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BBC is “institutionally homophobic”

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  1. Maybe if you had given us longer than a two hour window to respond to your survey, the figures would have taken more people’s opinions into account!

  2. Brian Burton 25 Mar 2009, 3:46pm

    Oh dear, just walk on by Blowing a Rasberry as you go!

  3. Hmmm, I’m unsure about this. To my mind sacking seems too extreme, but the rather limp reprimand he’s had so far doesn’t take into account his responsibilities as a broadcaster and his previous form.
    If it were down to me, I’d say he should be given the same sanction as Ross and Brand… 3 months suspended without pay, a public apology and a warning not to do it again. There was no option for “suspension without pay” on the survey.
    I don’t like Moyles, I think he’s an arse. That said I don’t think baying for blood is the only way to sanction a broadcaster.
    He sets trends that are repeated in schoolyards across the land, so there should be some firm action but I’m loathe to sack him.
    Radio comedy should push the envelope, but on this occasion he crossed the line. If Brand and Ross were suspended for insulting two people, this guy has implicitly insulted an entire minority group for the second time. It’s time the Beeb were tougher.

  4. Simon Murphy 25 Mar 2009, 3:52pm

    The Director-General of the BBC is a man named Mark Thompson.

    His email address is as follows:

  5. Simon Murphy 25 Mar 2009, 3:52pm

    Dear Mark Thompson,

    I am writing to inform you that I will not be paying my BBC license fee in the future.

    As a gay person I do not see any reason to pay this fee to an organisation (like the BBC) which tolerates and accepts casual homophobia and refuses to reprimand staff for their casual bigotry against the gay community.

    My decision to stop paying my license fee stems from the decision by the BBC not to reprimand or punish Chris Moyles after an Ofcom judgement found Moyles to be in breach of broadcasting guidelines after his homophobic comments about Will Young on his Breakfast Show on 20 January 2009.

    This follows an earlier occasion where the BBC refused to reprimand Moyles for his use of the word ‘gay’ to describe something useless.

    Also no action was taken against Jeremy Clarkson or DJ Spoony for homophobic comments in recent times.

    This acceptance of casual homophobia by presenters across the BBC and the refusal of BBC management to take the matter seriously indicates an institutional homophobia across the BBC.

    Had Moyles used sneering racial or sexist stereotypes against black or Asian or female singers I have absolutely no doubt that serious action would have been taken to ensure that the culprit apologised and that the incident was not repeated.

    Why the homophobic double standard.

    As all the evidence points to an institutional homophobia in the BBC I will be with-holding my license fee until the issue has been addressed seriously

    Yours sincerely

  6. I don’t like Moyles, but to be fair you should state the size of your sample and that the majority or readers are gay. A very poor quality survey, shame you missed the opportunity to do something useful.

  7. Darryl W Bullock 25 Mar 2009, 4:02pm

    Why does this news story start with the line that ‘survey has found that 69 per cent of gay respondents think Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles should be sacked..’?

    I filled in the questionnaire, but at no point was I asked if I were gay or not, neither was it a prerequisite of answering the survey. Isn’t the claim therefore a bit presumptuous?

  8. This is just another example of the BBC’s homophobia. Long standing (mainly gay) Eurovision fans were not on the list for receiving tickets to see Your Country Needs You – and the invitation specifically asked men to bring a woman along. Two of our friends got tickets (they applied for them using a woman’s name) and were very rudely pushed to the back, even though they were nearly at the front of the queue. And yes, it was all hosted by Graham Norton. Ironic or what!?

  9. Glenn Fairclough 25 Mar 2009, 4:13pm

    As i’m sure the readership here is predominantly from the GLBT community the poll does lack some important persectives… get a better sample of the population… and yes don’t presume everyone who reads it are in that community.

  10. Simon Murphy 25 Mar 2009, 4:36pm

    Remember when gay people used the expression ‘How dare you assume I’m straight?’ as a rallying cry.

    Times have changed if the readership of a gay news website are now saying ‘How dare you assume I’m gay?’

    I would expect the vast majority of readers of this site are gay. And there is nothing insulting in assuming the same thing.

    Either way I think it’s well understood that if Chris Moyles had engaged in crude racial stereoptyping he would have been severely reprimanded, been forced to apologise and possibly fired.

    I don’t think people want him fired. But we cannot whine about homophobia if we don’t take action to address it.

    I think it would be wise to focus on the BBC’s homophobic double standard rather than the side issue of whether the readers of this site are gay.

  11. sensibly common 25 Mar 2009, 4:41pm

    When you phrase the question like this:
    “Given that Jeremy Clarkson also faced no action when he described a car he didn’t like as ‘a bit gay’, do you think that the BBC is
    institutionally homophobic?”
    Exactly what answer do you expect to get?

    You’ve let yourselves down, Pink News.

  12. This disgusting man should be sacked from the BBC. I strongly object to licenxce fees paying his wages. Get rid of Jonothan Ross too. If his remarks were about Islam or race, he would have been sacked.

  13. There’s a yobbish populist culture at the heart of the BBC, encouraged by Mark Thompson, and that is largely responsible for the casual homophobia. See, for example, my blog on 26th October 2008.

    Regrettably even after wasting half a million pounds on its Safeguarding Trust initiative, the Corporation is still dishonest. It doesn’t keep to its diversity promises and the public is regularly treated with contempt.

    Last Friday, as part of his introduction to his house band, Jonathan Ross said that his programme had resulted in a charity being raided – the truth according to the charity concerned, Secret World, is that a police officer went round to ask a few questions after a complaint from a member of the public.

  14. It is a quantum leap to assume that all readers of Gay News must be homosexual. You don’t have to be murderer to play Jack the Ripper! There are many heterosexual people who are outraged by Mr Moyle’s homophobic behaviour. You talk about homosexuality as if it were a club to which one chooses to belong.

  15. I love Chris Moyles and have been toggling between Moyles and The Today Programme on the drive to work for years – the choice depends on the day ahead!. However I was one of those people that heard his Will Young impersonation and complained to the BBC. It was an absolutely outrageous and grossly stereotypical sketch, but I’d like to separate the comment from the person. He’s not homophobic, he plays for (sometimes very cheap) laughs. However, he certainly would have been disciplined if the comments had been directed at other minorities, in the same way anyone else in any other job would have been, and he should have been disciplined for these comments, but you don’t solve the problem through a sacking in this case. This wasn’t a complex situation that required interpretation and a formal reprimand should have been issued. I felt more let down by the BBC than Moyles.

  16. Rob McDowall 25 Mar 2009, 11:16pm

    The BBC have made a full reply to the Lindsey Lohan complaint:


    I understand you remain unhappy about comments made in the programme Most
    Annoying People of the Year 2008.

    Firstly please let me apologise for the delay in responding, BBC
    Information has been extremely busy and there was a backlog unfortunately.
    Please let me also apologise for the fact that your first response from us
    was not personalised, however, it was our official statement and had been
    signed off by the programme.

    I am also aware that you have written to the Director General’s office and
    you should also be hearing from them soon.
    The BBC has a three stage complaints process; initially BBC Information
    will try to answer your complaint to the best of our ability, but if you
    remain unhappy then we will pass your concerns onto someone connected to
    the programme.

    If you remain unhappy then you can go to stage two of the
    process by contacting our Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU) who will
    investigate further and make a ruling as to whether or not your complaint
    should be upheld. If you disagree with ECU’s findings then you may escalate
    your complaint to the BBC Trust which is the third and final stage of the

    In line with this I have already passed your email onto Katie
    Taylor, who was the BBC Executive Producer on Most Annoying People of the
    Year 2008. She has prepared the below statement for you with the help of
    the show’s producer Anna Gien. As previously mentioned, if you would still
    like to take this matter further then Katie has provided ECU’s details at
    the end of her statement.

    John Farmer
    BBC Information Divisional Advisor

    Full reply from producer –


    I’m very sorry to learn that you were offended by some of the commentary
    during the piece on Samantha Ronson and Lindsay Lohan.

    The Most Annoying People of the Year (2008) was a light-hearted, comedic
    review of the events of the last twelve months, casting a look back at the
    stories that have irked and amused.

    Sam Ronson and Lindsay Lohan was one of the most over-publicised celebrity
    stories of 2008. They made it onto the list, not simply because of their
    sexuality, but because of their constant denial of the relationship, that
    was simultaneously being played out in the public eye. As extremely
    PR-savvy celebrities, Sam and Lindsay, were not the first couple to have
    made it onto one of these lists for these reasons. For example, in previous
    episodes, we highlighted similar arguments about Billy Zane and Kelly
    Brook’s relationship.

    I feel that Heidi Parker, our interviewee at the very start of the piece,
    made it clear to viewers why Sam and Linsdsay made it onto the list:

    “What’s been annoying is that they’ve really had a lot of fun with working
    up the press into a tizzy about are they or aren’t they, and it’s just so
    obvious that they are, but you know, they’re kind of sweet in a way because
    they seem like they’re in love and happy but they’re kind of annoying too
    because they’re working it.”

    The programme then goes on to discuss the nature of the relationship
    between the pair and invites various commentators to give their views on
    it. These commentators were deliberately chosen as they covered a broad
    base of views and sexuality.

    DJ Spoony and Ron Jeremy admittedly made some very non-pc, unsophisticated
    remarks but they were not malicious in any way. Ron makes a pompous
    statement that they were lesbian because they had never met him and then
    goes on to fantasise about ‘situations’ with girls. Spoony comments were,
    we felt, largely in the same ‘what a waste’ vein that straight women often
    talk about attractive gay men. We feel that viewers of this programme would
    have known how to take their comments in a programme of this nature.
    Alongside this we had Miranda Sawyer and Heidi Parker discussing the
    positive impact of the relationship on Lindsay, who was known for her party
    lifestyle before they met up, and saying what a great couple they made. We
    also featured Grazia writer Paul Flynn, who is himself openly gay, talking
    about the couple changing the normal perception of lesbians. His exact
    words were:

    “I mean the lesbian community must be absolutely jumping for joy about that
    woman, because you don’t have hot, cool lesbians in culture, they don’t

    Paul’s point of view probably stemmed from the lack of visible ‘cool’
    lesbian figures in popular culture, various L Word cast members and the odd
    pop star aside. Sadly, major celebrity lesbians are virtually non-existent
    in the media and popular culture. The hysterical media storm surrounding
    Lindsay Lohan was itself evidence of this.

    As a female Series Producer for this show, I assure you that I would have
    been very uncomfortable with the idea of broadcasting anything that could
    be construed as being misogynistic or homophobic. (Incidentally, both the
    Executive Producer of the show and the Director are gay, and both would
    have been equally keen to ensure that there was also no hint of misogyny or

    The whole piece was simply a comedic look at the teasing tabloid obsession
    of a high profile lesbian relationship, examined in detail and from many
    different, sometimes very un-pc, perspectives.
    I hope my email demonstrates the true intentions behind the commentary
    included in this section of the programme.
    Yours sincerely,

    Anna Gien
    Series Producer -The Most Annoying People of the Year (2008)

    As you’re aware, you can pursue this complaint further by contacting the
    BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit who will independently investigate your
    complaint. You can write to them at the following address:

    Editorial Complaints Unit
    BBC, Room 5168
    White City
    201 Wood Lane
    W12 7TS

    Alternatively you can email the Unit at the address:

    Yours sincerely,

    Katie Taylor
    BBC Executive Producer

  17. Rob McDowall 25 Mar 2009, 11:17pm

    The BBC replied to the Most Annoying People of 2008 complaint from the LGBT Network.

    See the reply at www(dot)lgbtnetwork(dot)eu/?p=1712

  18. What absolute COBBLERS!! Chris Moyles may be a mouthy fat tosser, but that’s one hell of a long stretch of the imagination to accuse the BBC of homophobia when it it is well known within the London gay scene that the BBC is *awash* with fairys. For goodness sake’s dearies, it’s TELEVISION!


    In this clip from the BBC programme Timewatch, Ashley Pharoah, a writer on Life On Mars, expresses the opinion that racism isn’t funny but homophobia and sexism ‘still are’. This is the kind of person the BBC has writing drama.

  20. Chris Moyles, Clarkeson and Ross; what a shower! Ross blows hot and cold and pretends to be gay friendly when it suits. But I don’t think the Beeb is institutionally homophobic, just some of its presenters! There are a number of “on side” reporters and presenters on both Radio and TV, out numbering the homophobes as well as Out people like Clare balding, Evan Davis, Alice Arnold etc.

  21. How on earth does your article justify its headline? I can think of many things one might justifiably accuse the BBC of, but “institutionalised homophobia” is not one of them.

    I despise Moyles, but I don’t particularly think he’s homophobic. I just think he’s a cretin.

  22. sensibly common 26 Mar 2009, 1:32pm

    @RobN – you hit the nail on the head.

  23. As someone who took part in the survey and is bi I really don’t feel it’s accurate to say 69% of gay respondents.

  24. I was going to take the survey but the questions were so obviously leading and biased that I decided not to. For example, I wouldn’t want him sacked but I would like to see him suspended or penalised in some way. I wasn’t able to express that.

    As for the BBC being institutionally homophobic, such a sweeping statement is obviously not true. Yes there are issues (which were pick up by a Stonewall report a few years back) but at the same time, the BBC (I am thinking Radio 4 particularly here) produce some great, informative content on LGBT themes.

  25. Simon Murphy 26 Mar 2009, 2:42pm

    People are STILL missing the point.

    The issue here is that the BBC applies double standards when it comes to mocking different minority groups.

    Mocking someone for their race is TOTALLY unacceptable for the BBC.

    However mocking someone for their sexuality is acceptable.

    If you are happy with this status quo that’s fine.

    But remember that we are living in a country where the term ‘gay’ is used by teenagers and young people as a synonym for ‘rubbish’ or ‘crap’. Personally I don’t particularly care as I’m old enough to dismiss it. But I know that if I was 16 and in the closet and I heard this casual homophobic abuse on a daily basis from my friends (and then have it reinforced by Chris Moyles and the BBC) it would be very upsetting and distressing).

  26. Totally agree with Simon Murphy.

    We shouldn’t miss the main point by arguing over whether the respondents were gay or not.

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