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ITV comedy Moving Wallpaper investigated for ‘transphobic’ comments

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  1. Prejudice is something that IS out there. When I hear of these debates it makes me wonder whether it’s best to have programming that portrays no one being abused so that we give ourselves a false sense of having resolved the issue in our society, or whether it’s best to show the abuse and show characters fight to overcome it. I seriously don’t have an answer as to what approach might be best. Probably it would be to show those who portray bigoted views to be shown as bigots but I’m not sure that completely removing prejudice from dramas is the best solution.

  2. Christine Burns 1 Apr 2009, 5:21pm

    ITV are being wholly disingenuous if they claim that the object of the exercise was satire. The thing about satire is that the audience must get the point and the fact that this kind of workplace discrimination and harassment takes place with regularity underlines the point that the audience DON’T get it.

    The programme portrayed an unlawful series of acts of sex discrimination for no other reason to get a laugh and with no proper indication in the narrative that this was wrong or had consequences. By inviting the audience to find the scenario funny ITV have invited their audience to regard such behaviour as not just acceptable but a bit of a hoot.

    Would the ‘satire’ defence be allowed had the subject been black, muslim, disabled or a woman? No. It would be seen for what it is: the kind of lie that a bully reaches for when called out on their behaviour.

    ITV cannot be allowed to repeat this episode. If they repeat the series on their digital channels then the episode must be omitted or substantially amended first.

    Christine Burns

  3. Sophia Siedlberg 1 Apr 2009, 5:31pm

    Who are ITV trying to kid? The apology is empty at best and the episode of Moving Wallpaper was a hatefest. Kudos and Jane Bodie were getting cheap laughs out of the humiliation and casual abuse of transsexual women, they were caught red handed and that is that. They can squeak and spin until they are blue in the face, the intent of that show was obvious. And I am sure Kudos TV and Ms Bodie will not mind when some satirist has a go at them in an equally vicious manner.

  4. Christina Engela 1 Apr 2009, 8:31pm

    Speaking as a transsexual woman, I have been the butt of people’s jokes and the object of ridicule. Some may feel this is better than being beaten up or treated like a second class citizen, but it is one and the same thing.

    I can assure you, I am not over sensitive, co workers can make jokes and I laugh with them, and even make jokes of my own – but not where the “humor” starts to take on a vicious side and shows intent to actually hurt.

    People should be aware of the fine line between laughing with somebody – and making a laughing stock and mockery of them.

    If the intent was to show up bigots and their unjust hate, then fine and well, but then it should be done in a way that educates and challenges people’s preconceptions and prejudices.

    If they are not sure about the effects of such material then they can test it on a transgender screening audience before airing it.

    Unless of course, sparing the dignity of transgender people is too much trouble.

  5. Can’t be the same programme I watched then. The main character was an out and out pig to everyone, the Transwoman was just another moving target. An insecure pig at that, feeling emasculated by his female boss and reduced to sniffing her exercise saddle to get his kicks and scribbling a school boy note on her chart.

    I was more offended by the arse who calls himself a comedian, Ricky Gervais. He was doing a stand up at the Apollo and to say he was offensive and belittling to Transwomen would be an understatement. This talentless pig trades on the fame he achieved with the office (and I am yet to be convinced it was anywhere near as funny as folk make out) and uses it to belittle and insult minorities. Yet I have heard nothing about this performance yet I can’t be the only Transperson to have seen it.

  6. I agree with Christine Burns. I believe that a percentage of the audience will see as this, not as satire, but as a validation of their existing prejudices, and by a national broadcaster.

    Kudos makes ‘Hustle’, which I enjoy, so I am extremely disappointed in them.

  7. Brian Burton 6 Apr 2009, 7:03am

    Well, I am the only one who has not bothered to watch ‘Moving Wallpaper’ Why? The crass, idiotic title induced me to stear clear. So, serve you all right for watching sutch crapp!

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