Peter Tatchell of the LGBT rights group, OutRage! claims today that the FA’s decision to cancel the screening of an anti homophobia film, “Has thrown the Football Association’s commitment to tackling homophobia into disarray”
The premiere was due to take place on Thursday February 11th with a special event at Wembley Stadium.
The film, in the form of a 90-second advert, had been hailed as “groundbreaking” after a Stonewall report found that homophobia was prevalent in the sport.
“Contrary to what the FA is now saying, the video and strategy was agreed nearly two years ago,” continued Mr Tatchell.
“This postponement comes on top of the FA’s dissolution of the broad-based Tackling Homophobia Working Group. Set up several years ago, the group had helped push forward many of the FA’s constructive initiatives to rid football of homophobia.
“The FA has now reconstituted the Working Group with a hand-picked, much smaller and less representative number of members. It no longer includes all interested stakeholders. Many relevant LGBT groups are not included.”
In the film the main character abuses a newspaper seller, tube train passenger and an office worker with anti-gay taunts. The video finishes with him shouting homophobic abuse at a football match. The captions make the point that since homophobia is not acceptable at work, it should not be acceptable on the terraces either.
“The ad agency’s advice was that shock tactics were the most effective psychological device to expose and shame bigoted fans into stopping their homophobia,” he continued.
“They are professionals and experts in these matters.”
Yesterday, ‘Kick it Out’, the body responsible for tackling homophobia and racism in football, responded to the FA’s decision to postpone the showing of the short film.
In a statement the ‘Kick it Out’ director commented:
“We believe the advertising film that has been made to challenge homophobia in football is a decisive step in the long battle to tackle homophobic attitudes, abuse and harassment.