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Exclusive: Jonathan Ross accused of homophobia

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  1. I haven’t heard the actual recording, and would like to think context makes a difference but if this is accurate I’m very disappointed that Ross could be that crass.
    Sachsgate I could just about forgive… that was just an inappropriate prank call at the expense of 2 people. This is more worthy of Chris Moyles.
    Surely he’s not so naive as to think a remark like that isn’t gratuitously offensive to his gay audience? Don’t his in house band “4 poofs and a piano” give him any perspective on the sensitivity of gay issues?
    When he’s on form he’s intelligent, witty and articulate. I enjoy his Saturday radio show, but this is another big black mark against his name. He should learn from his mistakes… one BBC DJ with foot in mouth disease is quite enough.

  2. Do you want to complain about Jonathan Ross, here is the “easy way” to complain to the BBC…!!!!! http://bit.ly/UfP3b

  3. Well done, Karen Mills, for speaking out about this!

    Ross will say and do anything for a laugh. He’s a parasite. They should have sacked him over the Sacks affair.

    But, Karen, you say “I don’t understand how the BBC – a public body that we all have to fund, is allowed to get away with this kind of casual homophobia – especially when its own website goes on and on about its commitment to ‘equality and diversity’ and about its duty to serve all parts of its ‘diverse audience’.”

    I expect this is a rhetorical question? And you know that the BBC is actually devoid of integrity? Remember when it was revealed a couple of years ago that they had callously fleeced viewers of their money in telephone-voting? Shortly after that they acknowledged that throughout the entire BBC there was an appalling lack of integrity. Mark Thompson, I think it was, then announced that every member of the BBC’s staff was to undergo “integrity training”.

    Well, obviously, you can’t invest people with genuine integrity during some one-off morning down in the BBC’s staff-training centre . . . and so they are still as bad as they ever were, while continuing to preen themselves as guardian’s the world’s morality.

    They’re not all bad, of course. But Ross will drop his tongue to the bottom of the barrel and lick, lick, lick at the filth if he thinks it will bring in a laugh.

  4. Karen Mills: Get a Godamn life for crying out loud! There is a distinct difference between verbal abuse and having a bit of fun.
    People need to develop a thicker skin and stop knee-jerk reacting every time someone pokes a little fun at your expense. Comedy is usually about somebody else’s misfortune, get over it.

    The problem with all this stuff is people complain when they dont like something, but how many ring in to approve something they like? It’s not equal parity and it only takes a handful of miserable sods with faces that looked like they just sucked on a lemon to give somebody a bad reputation. If you don’t like the show, turn the bloody thing off.

  5. John (Derbyshire 13 May 2009, 7:23pm

    It will be interesting to see what kind of spin The Daily Mail will put on this! Usually they cannot wait to criticise Ross-but something tells me that on THIS occassion they might just ignore it!!

  6. Simon Murphy 13 May 2009, 8:10pm

    While his comments are quite tasteless I don’t think it’s worthwhile to get too worked up about it. The BBC is not perfect by any means and it does seem to have a tolerance for casual homophobia but we need to remember that the campaign ‘against’ the BBC is largely the concoction of the likes of News International and the Daily Mail – privatel companies who resent the public funding given to the BBC. I’d like to see the BBC pay more heed to their presenters occasional homophobia but I don’t want to support a Daily Mail witch-hunt either.

  7. The OP said: Don’t his in house band “4 poofs and a piano” give him any perspective on the sensitivity of gay issues?

    I think his house band is more part of the problem, not a route to the solution. They are there for a purpose, and that is to be the target of Jonathan’s lewd joke about gay sex as part of his warming up routine. Even Ross himself has made comments about his band’s poor singing ability in a few of the recent shows.

    e.g. on 6th March – Ross: You know fellas you don’t have a bigger fan than me at the BBC , but even I have to admit you lost your way a bit there, didn’t you?

    On 20th March – Ross: Well I sense we got a little bit lost there and found our way back in.

    The fact is that Jonathan Ross uses casual homophobia as part of his act. This show is one of the BBC’s most scrutinized, yet they let casual homophobia get through to transmission.

    Can you imagine the BBC allowing a band called 4 Pakis and a Piano?

    It remains to be seen whether Ofcom is prepared to have a consistent attitude to both racism and homophobia.

  8. And what would have happened if he’d said “you might want to already think about putting him down for adoption before he brings a … erm… black girlfriend home.”

  9. stephen kay 13 May 2009, 9:34pm

    Considering gay kids suffer from from the evil that is bullying more than any other group and considering 1 in 40 gay kids end their lives because of that fact I find Jonothon Ross`s comments to be homophobic and child abusive.Beyond a laugh I find his mocking contempt of the suffering frightening.

  10. Duh! It was only a joke. Just be thankful you dont live in Canterbury ;)

  11. Brian Burton 13 May 2009, 9:57pm

    Wossy, what do’se he care what anyone says? He’s too rich to care, and thats the truth!

  12. Maintaining this low level of homophobic offence allows the BBC to preserve the fiction that it is somehow impartial.

    The racist, sexist supporters of the Guardian and the BBC occasionally have to add homophobia to their litany of discrimination, so what better way than to allow one of their most popular presenters normalise homophobic abuse.

  13. Karen Mills – please don’t insult my intelligence! As a young gay man, let me tell you what I thought about Jonathan’s comments whilst I listened to his show on Saturday. I thought it was funny and I laughed out loud. I didn’t feel insulted, I didn’t think his remarks were homophobic and I have the ability to distinguish between light banter and discrimination. Karen love, might I suggest that you do something more useful and productive with your spare time…

  14. no one’s disputing that this comment was intended as a joke, but jokes tend to play on certain assumptions, and what this particular joke reveals about Ross is fairly disturbing. it appears that he genuinely does hold the view that parents would naturally want to get rid of a child that they found out was gay – otherwise he wouldn’t have said that. There are plenty of other ways he could have joked about the child being gay without saying the parents might want to “put him down for adoption”.

  15. On his show, he has 4 poof’s and a piano, would it be especial if he had 4 N**g*rs and a piano…???

    Like I said before; here is the “easy way” to complain to the BBC…!!!!! http://bit.ly/UfP3b

  16. Quote: “However, these off-the-cuff remarks were made purely in jest and were not intended to be offensive. Jonathan is not homophobic in any sense and never meant for his comments to be taken seriously.”

    I like Jonathan Ross and I think he’s very entertaining, and I don’t believe he is homophobic.

    However, I still find his comments outrageous!! The fact people can say what he said and get way with it because “Oh it’s just an off-the-cuff remark made in jest” just goes to show that people think saying these sorts of things as a “joke” is acceptable.

    I’m sorry but I doubt very much that he’d be making a similar off-the-cuff remark on the air about jews, muslims, or afro-carribbeans.

  17. Brian Burton 14 May 2009, 7:00am

    Oh! Wossy, you grace the headlines on my laptop–Get off you womaphobe wotten fing!

  18. Pablo Fudrucker 14 May 2009, 7:59am

    You really need to get over yourself, especially Karen Mills. We all know The Ross is near the knuckle humour, so if it is not your thing, don’t listen. I get the feeling everyone is only listening to his show to try and find fault and have any excuse to make a complaint. The Ross is the least homophobic man alive, he has four poofs and a piano as a main part of his show!!! You all should find something better to do with your time than constantly attack a legend of a presenter, maybe go for a strutt round clapham common…..

  19. James Flint 14 May 2009, 8:14am

    I thought he was cool but not any more and its upset me to know what he realy thinks about the likes of us

  20. I don’t know, but I wouldn’t think that Jonathan Ross was homophobic. Yes, it was just a joke. Maybe many people got it as a joke. But, however unmalicious its intent was, many other people will have seen it as a green light to continue with homosexual stereotyping and ‘jokes’ that still serve to denigrate LGBT people, however mild and seemingly inoffensive the content is.
    The BBC always uses the excuse that it was ‘just a joke’ but do they use that same excuse for racist ‘jokes’? I’d think not.
    I don’t really think his comment was homophobic, just ill-thought out and a demonstration that he doesn’t live in the real world where LGBT people are frequently verbally abused and looked down on.
    Yes, we shouldn’t make too much fuss about what’s minor compared to some things, but I wish Ross and others like him would understand how their jokes help perpetuate the general atmosphere of ridicule and bullying in many areas of the UK.

  21. Pumpkin Pie 14 May 2009, 10:10am

    Dear Karen Mills, who I know nothing about, I feel very strongly that a popular millionaire needs creepy apologists, so I have come to tell you that you were wrong to express your opinion and that spending time making one phonecall means you have no life, because none of us Ross fans ever make phonecalls because we have lives and we’re too busy trying to solve world hunger while hang-gliding off of cliffs, so we don’t have time for phones.

    No, wait, that’s just me being satirical and/or ironic.

  22. My gorgeous seven year old, who adores all things pink, shiney and (so-called) girlie, would be quite hurt by Ross’ comments. It is very hard for him growing up in a home where ‘gay’ is certainly not regarded as an insult but attending a school where the children of biggots believe it is. I have already removed him from one school (supposed to no longer be C of E but still employing many God botherers) because a teacher asked, when he was four, if I wasn’t ‘worried if he might turn out gay’. I responded that I was far more worried that – as he is already vegetarian and a keen painter – he might turn out a nasty little facist and start annexing poland etc. I was then given the most appaling of looks.

    I have no idea if my son is gay (although pretty well everyone seems to have decided he is), nor do I think it’s my business (anymore than my heterosexuality is his) but I do want him to feel able to continue being the kind, beautiful and loving little boy he is within a society that doesn’t regard sexual orientation as either the be all and end all or a means of bullying.

    I think Ross’ comments directly reinforce the validity of the bullying he already suffers at the hands of the ignorant children of stupid parents.

  23. This is way out of proportion. The whole reason the joke was funny is because the idea of a gay kid wanting a hannah montana mp3 player is such an obviously ridiculous stereotype in the first place. And Jonathan Ross knows that his audience understand that. He wasn’t trying to indoctrinate primary school kids here. Lets not insult the nations intelligence with ridiculous complaints. One thing that I feel has only been detrimental to racial issues in this country is the overly pc way we are all told to deal with it. Lets not create the same kind of public resentment for gay issues.

  24. I think you over-estimate his listernership. Lots of teachers, I expect. What do I do, as a parent, when well-meaning people keep telling my son he is gay (at seven, I feel like this is akin to buying a bra for a six year old girl) while others make his school life hell by calling him ‘gay’ – while hitting him- in the playground. It’s the adoption thing, Rob, that offends – I only posted because 8 people today have contacted me to ask if I’ve considered it. None of them are parents and it shows. It’s really upset me.

    Besides which, Ross is tired and uninspired these days. He has more chins than genuinely funny quips.

  25. Dave! Well said! Great to hear someone stating this. You wrote: “I think his house band is more part of the problem, not a route to the solution. They are there for a purpose, and that is to be the target of Jonathan’s lewd joke about gay sex as part of his warming up routine.”

    Absolutely. Those four poor gay men are there simply to be laughed at. A couple of years ago a girlfriend of mine who other than when she’s socialising with me and my partner lives in an entirely straight world in Soho recording studios with “hip” pop-music people, used the word “poofs” in conversation as if it were a perfectly acceptable synonym for “gay men”. She was genuinely surprised when I pointed out that the term is offensive. She had assumed because it was being used in the BBC mainstream by the likes of Jonathan Ross whom she adores that it was a perfectly “cool” term to use.

    As for RobN’s latest outburst above: what kind of conscienceless uncaring unethical self-hating gay man would state the kind of things he does. What on earth is he doing looking at a website that is substantially devoted to listing infringements of gay rights? This guy is seriously perverse.

    Ivan! Absolutely agree with you. ‘And what would have happened if he’d said “you might want to already think about putting him down for adoption before he brings a … erm… black girlfriend home.”‘

    Andy, you wrote: “As a young gay man, let me tell you what I thought about Jonathan’s comments whilst I listened to his show on Saturday. I thought it was funny and I laughed out loud. I didn’t feel insulted, I didn’t think his remarks were homophobic”. Andy, you must indeed be “a young gay man” although not all young gay men are so socially and politically unaware as you plainly are. Go and do several years’ worth of evening courses in philosophy, sociology, or psychology. You clearly have never been immersed in anything involving such deep thought already.

    “Pablo Fudrucker” said “The Ross is the least homophobic man alive, he has four poofs and a piano as a main part of his show!!!” Your “evidence” Mr. F is evidence completely to the contrary. As understood by others, see above, the four “poofs” are there only to hang lewd jokes upon.

    Ross’s mouth moves much faster than his brain, so to speak. The unfortunate fact is that this individual is contributing substantially to the shaping of the current moral climate of this country. Is there anybody who believes that Ross should ordain what is acceptable to think and say? I’m certainly not advocating we turn instead to Cardinals and Archbishops . . . but allow the self-adoring filth-loving Ross to have such an influence?

  26. It was offensive and he should apologise.

    When I was a little boy I had dolls and would no doubt have like Hannah Montana if she had been around then. There were people who did what they could to try to make me feel abnormal, but I grew up happily in a loving family.

    When you assess a homophobic comment your should always try changing the context to a racist one to see how offensive it sounds as this is a good touchstone. If he had said that a white child listening to hip-hop should be adopted before he brought home a black girlfriend would that be offensive?

  27. Does anyone else think that the low level of complaints is due to the fact that gay people know Ross is homophobic and therefore they do not watch/listen to his programs? That is my reason anyway. As for the band on the TV program they should be ashamed to be promoting the stereotype expected by homophobes like Ross, Moyles, the BBC and the media as a whole. http://www.ofcom.org.uk/

  28. Vulpus_rex wrote
    “Maintaining this low level of homophobic offence allows the BBC to preserve the fiction that it is somehow impartial.

    The racist, sexist supporters of the Guardian and the BBC
    occasionally have to add homophobia to their litany of discrimination, so what better way than to allow one of their most popular presenters normalise homophobic abuse.”

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    I also think there is some form of normalising of homophobic abuse in relation to Ross’s programme per se. . . His recent comments I see as an extension of some thing deeper as Vulpus_rex points to.

    “Four Puffs and a Piano” . . . I feel their name is the part of the problem. By labelling themselves as such they allow an invidious collusion with some quite insidious. For example, when a big brother contestant used the term Puff in relation to another house mate a few years ago, Offcom disagreed that it was homophobic citing Ross’s Four Puffs and a piano as justification.

  29. Marianne: “a teacher asked, when he was four, if I wasn’t ‘worried if he might turn out gay’. I responded that I was far more worried that – as he is already vegetarian and a keen painter – he might turn out a nasty little facist and start annexing poland etc.”

    That made me laugh! :D But, seriously, Marianne – well done for standing up for your son. I wish every parent had your attitude.
    If your son is still being called gay at his current school, you could, if you chose to, go in and complain. I used to teach in a primary school and the school banned the word gay when used as an insult in any situation (and it was extremely prevalent eg “Oh, you dropped your pencil! You’re so gay!” etc etc). We explained to the older children that it was unacceptable and a sign of their own ignorance more than anything. I know it’s harder with younger children, but things can be worded in a way that’s suitable for them. You’re probably right about their ‘stupid parents’ but many parents are racists and schools wouldn’t allow children to make racist comments.
    Your post and your attitude towards your son made my day.

  30. Iris, I teach in a primary school and I agree with what you have said. What continually frightens me is how the little ones come into school already loaded with so much homophobia which they’ve picked up from home and television. We CAN turn it around if we try hard enough at the primary stage, but if nothing is done at that stage then I believe it becomes entrenched and set for life – which explains the almost immovable homophobia in British society today in my view.

  31. Even taken out of context this doesn’t really offend me. To suggest that this is going to make play ground bullying acceptable is ludicrous. One harmless off-hand comment is not going to make the slightest bit of difference in anyone’s attitude (not sure how many children listen to the show anyway?). I think people have forgotten what real homophobia (or any kind of prejudice/discrimination) looks like.

  32. Jane, this is indeed just one incident, but every such incident is a symptom of an underlying attitudinal problem. There are at least two ways of working against homophobia: by looking at the problem globally, top-down, and seeking to reduce homophobia in general, and by reacting to all instances of homophobia, the symptoms. Both methods challenge the underlying problem: the homophobic attitude. Every teacher in the classroom like Iris and Steve above know that this is true. When a child says or does something inappropriate in the small community which is the classroom you don’t ignore it and say, “Oh, well, there are bigger problems to tackle” but you attend to the matter immediately, working at it from both directions, broaching the problem in general and broaching the actual incident.

  33. Jane wrote
    “Even taken out of context this doesn’t really offend me. To suggest that this is going to make play ground bullying acceptable is ludicrous. One harmless off-hand comment is not going to make the slightest bit of difference in anyone’s attitude (not sure how many children listen to the show anyway?). I think people have forgotten what real homophobia (or any kind of prejudice/discrimination) looks like.”

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    1. THE CONTEXT
    Ross is shameless in his uses 4 Poofs and a piano to normalise homophobia

    2. HARMLESS OFF HAND COMMENT
    Ross is a celebrity with enormous influence.

    3. HOW MANY CHILDREN LISTENING
    Adults certainly listen to his programme, many may be teaches and come across homophobic bullying in the playground.

    4. PEOPLE HAVE FORGOTTEN ABOUT REAL HOMOPHOBIA
    This is real homophobia . . . it is called covert homophobia. It is invidious, insidious and insipid
    . . . Rather like your comments.

  34. Hmmm, I am wondering as yet another incident is highlighted and dragged through the mire, scrutinised, defended, attacked, dismissed, ignored, all depending on peoples attitudes, preferences, interest levels, at what point do we all have to lock ourselves away in our own little domeciles for fear of causing offence, harrassment, upset to someone, something, somehow.

    Taking it to another angle, we now have to call black boards chalk boards, white boards dry wipe boards, chairmen chairpersons etc. Terms that were once accepted are now rejected, I understand from a teacher that it is now unacceptable to call a child formerly medically classed as obese as just that, obese, they are now “medically at risk due to their weight”! I am seriously spinning in an attempt not to be homophobic, sexist, ageist, heightist, weightist, racist or to offend, insult or harrass anyone in anyway however inadvertently. It seems then that this must be especially difficult with celebrity status putting you right in the public eye.

    Until we can find celebrities that don’t swear, eat to appease any food persuasion (vegetarion, vegan etc) don’t have “unusual” sexual desires (so are then not deemed to be staight/bi/gay as one or the other of each could offend someone), don’t spend money (as they are showing off and being lavish) don’t save (as they are then being miserly) but give everything they own to charity (obviously spread between all charities to aviod favouritism)plus abstain from all other vices, drink, drugs etc then this is always going to be a no win situation.

    Can anyone honestly say, either reading this or taking part, that they have never on one occassion done or said something that could cause offence, or be taken out of context by someone?

    If that person exists, then they are the ideal candidte for TV, but then lets see how long they last before being dragged down by the masses. I am sure even the pope, mother theresa, ghandi and others cause offence by not being muslim, hindu, jewish, catholic, buddhist, etc

    It seems to me that we all like to complain, and feel superior by picking up and highlighting others faults, but is the reason for this to actually help, or just to feel superior to someone they possibly feel jealous off or innadequate too.

    I am not setting myself up as an angel either, and neither condemning or agreeing with the issues here, just simply ranting about the press’s ability to pick up on things, and everyone else’s seeming willingness to jump on board.

    Imagine if we spent all this time and energy doing something positive instead of complaining or debating something deemed negative, how much would we achieve then?!!

    In repsonse to those who say I am supporting Ross, I have several friends who are gay, and who I love spending time with, speaking freely about our differently lifestyles frankly, openly and with no judgement, just interest and an understanding.

    I have also had experince first hand having spent some time in the police of being hated, abused, disliked for no reason other than what I represented, despite the fact these people neither knew nor cared who I was, what my values were or even half the time that I was there to help them!!

    So my focus will be on working to improve the way I am, the way I approach others, and the undertsanding and tolerance I show.

    I will leave individuals to choose whether they want to continue to drag others down and spend energy on hating them, but then does that really make these individuals any better than the people they claim are hating and attacking them and their values??

    Is it a case of attack to defend, or should we just learn to tolerate and understand one another??

  35. Tony… I do know what you mean. I think almost any joke can cause upset; and some jokes that would sometimes be inoffensive can upset us when we’re feeling particularly vulnerable. I do much the same as you – weigh-up the offence-factor in different contexts.

    But there’s another side to the coin. There’s a difference between something which is intended to provoke hate and something which is designed to provoke humour. There really is a difference, even though both will be offensive to some people. Most or many of us tease our friends… some of the most cutting things we say are to the people we care most about.

    And I think that’s also true in a public sphere: if we’re party of society, we have to accept jokes made at our expense, just as we laugh at jokes made at other people’s expense. In other words, we have to learn not to take ourselves too seriously.

    If that argument doesn’t make the case for you, list every one of Jonathan Ross’s “witty remarks”: the sexist ones, ageist ones, religious ones, ones at the expense of some minority: fat, thin, gay, disabled, wearing glasses, geeks or dunses, politicians, journalists, accountants, lawyers, estate agents, builders, traffic wardens, prostitutes, mothers-in-law, football fans, people who holiday in Spain… every one of them is a put-down. Every witty remark makes fun of a stereotype.

    How far up the offence-scale is this particular John Ross comment? In any case, the kind of people who don’t find taking-the-piss out of people really would do better not listening to Jonathan Ross in the first place… it’s hardly playing the game to find it funny to take-the-piss out of every group except ones own. (I take that advice for myself… I don’t listen to him, because I don’t think he’s funny.)

    If we opt-out of all the jokes, we’re opting out of membership of society. The things that are beyond a joke, are taboo subjects like death and religious fundamentalists. How many friends did Islam lose by the fuss it made over the remarkably innocuous Danish cartoons?

    Even accepting that careless humour can be hurtful, I just think developing a hard-enough skin is inevitable in British society, because if you took away taking-the-piss from British humour, there’ be arse-all left. (^_-)

  36. Pumpkin Pie 14 May 2009, 3:20pm

    Marianne, you sound like a wonderful parent! High-five!

    And no defender of “humour” has yet claimed it would be OK for Ross to make a joke about getting rid of a son who wants a black girlfriend. It’s exactly the same gag, so surely you guys must think it’s pretty damn witty, right?

  37. If the BBC was actually committed to equality and against prejudice and hatred it wouldn’t be lobbying hard to be excluded from the Equality Bill. The fact is they do what seems to suit their purposes at the time, them lie to bridge the gaps. That’s socially very harmful because it validates similar behaviour elsewhere. Worldwide given the BBC’s reach.

    Thus they have many gay men as presenters but lesbians seem invisible and they cover hardly any LGBT news, and then mostly badly, and include hate in their programmes. They are appalling on gender identity issues, and people, still sexist and discriminatory on women on screen, and very ageist. What they take seriously is racism, but still don’t get it right often.

    As for Ross, who I find a disgusting old lech, the best interpretation is that he feels himself part of the LGBT community and joked as some gay men might amongst friends, forgetting that he is a heterosexual man broadcasting to a mainstream audience. Or perhaps it was script written by a thoughtless gay man.

    But this would be a very ignorant trap to have fallen into. All comedians need to know that humour is often about society and is socially specific. The humour is in the contradictions, which are not clear to just anyone, and may easily be misinterpreted. A member of a community can make jokes about their community that are harmful coming from others. Its a community commenting upon itself, maybe changing itself. When others do it there is usually aggression, and ignorance involved.

    Sometimes outsiders get to be honorary members of communities, but Ross certainly doesn’t qualify as an honorary gay or trans child – which is whose lives this “joke” comments upon. So it was nasty, and threatening, especially the all too factual reference to children being thrown out on the street, or threatened with it.

    It came over as a bar room-like bit of confirming nastiness amongst ignorant fathers, which is how Ross often comes over. Helped by how he looks.

  38. Always nice to see how complicit some gay people are in condoning homophobia – and the comments on this thread are a good fund of that.

    I was not personally offended by Ross’s comments. But then, I’m an adult and words don’t hurt me. What I wouldn’t ever do, is presume that somehow my opinion is the only valid one – which is what quite a few people on this forum have done. It’s like they’re so egocentric, they think that if they have an opinion, then everyone else must feel the same way. So if they’re not offended by Ross, then that’s the end of the discussion.

    I accept that many people are not offended by Ross, and also that some people are. Some people may be very homophobic and take the comments as validating their own homophobia. Some may view it as a silly joke. Some may not understand the Hannah Montana reference. There are hundreds of responses – all valid.

    Because of this range of responses, and because homophobic bullying is still endemic in schools, I’d say it’s best to err on the side of sensitivity and caution. Ross should be sent on a training course, and banned from live broadcasting until he can act more responsibly towards minorities.

    As for 4 puffs and a piano. More complicity. Sad.

  39. Tom wrote:
    “Because of this range of responses, and because homophobic bullying is still endemic in schools, I’d say it’s best to err on the side of sensitivity and caution. Ross should be sent on a training course, and banned from live broadcasting until he can act more responsibly towards minorities.

    As for 4 puffs and a piano. More complicity. Sad”

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    What a “Theatre de Complicte Tragic”

    . . . 4 Poofs and a Paino . . . So full of self loathing . . . So not 21st century . . . So lets keep exposing this implict or covert homophobia.

  40. I agree with Dave. 4 poofs and a piano are absolutely part of the problem. It’s not novel, it’s not funny and it’s a negative stereotype. We are being asked to accept and normalise something that’s actually quite insulting. Why do we do it? We are being complicit in homophobia.

    I know! Let’s bring black and white minstrels back! 4 minstrels and jazz hands on Wossy! Exactly. Bad idea!!

    4 poofs and a piano are used as a device by Wossy, that’s all.

    His latest outburst is absolutely disgusting – he does wield huge influence and he is irresponsible with it. I like him, but I hope he gets kicked out of the BBC. There is great talent out there and it’s time Ross retired his slightly sad humour and took his outdated views with him.

  41. Stephen Kay: Considering gay kids suffer from from the evil that is bullying more than any other group and considering 1 in 40 gay kids end their lives because of that fact…

    Actually transsexual children – to whom Ross’ remark is more directly applicable – are by far the most bullied (as in constant), and misunderstood (not least by people who think they are gay), misdiagnosed as mentally ill and stigmatised further, abandoned in care, and at risk of suicide, and from earlier ages, when it is all more difficult. All because of the sort of reaction Ross treated as a joke – research in societies (for example Samoa) that are tolerant find there are no such problems for such children.

  42. Tom… nobody on this page condones homophobia in any sense whatsoever. It’s not an issue to be taken lightly: it causes abject and lifelong misery and frequent suicides. It is the cause of bullying, of murder and state sanctioned murder.

    But to forbid and to exclude any and all humour about gay people, habits and stereotypes is not to diminish homophobia, it is to fuel it. It’s as serious as that.

  43. Tsuchan, what are you talking about? I agree with your other comments, but stereotypes are rarely positive, and are used by social ingroups (i.e. straight) to exclude those in outgroups (i.e. gay ). In fact, they are the basis of prejudice in which a majority suppress a minority group. Think about it in terms of white vs. black, for example.

    Before you accept that which has been ‘normalised’, ask yourself if it’s right for someone with social influence to make these jokes. Certainly wouldn’t be acceptable about disabled, mentally disabled or black, for example.

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