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‘Lezza’, ‘poof’ and ‘queer’ are acceptable on TV, Ofcom study finds

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  1. My feeling is that words like lezza and poof should never be used on children’s TV. Also they shouldn’t be used on a regular basis on any TV, and especially not as part of a derogatory joke. I wouldn’t object on extremely rare and carefully considered occasions.

  2. ChutneyBear 11 Jun 2010, 2:40pm

    Tell the rest of the gays to stop using it too, whats good enough for the goose is good enough for the into my comment what ye want

  3. Depending on the context words can or cannot be offensive.

    If you are watching a show about the civil rights movement in Mississippi in the 1950’s, then the word ‘n*gger’ would be an inoffensive word as it it used in the context of what the show is about – it’s used to highlight racism, abuse, lynchings etc.

    In this context it is an acceptable word to use.

    The use of the word n*gger in a white comedian’s act will be offensive as it is not a funny word and a white person should not really use it ever.

    The use of the word n*gger in a black comedian’s act will be offensive to some and acceptable to others.

    The words ‘lezza’ ‘poof’ and ‘homo’ should be viewed in the same manner.

  4. How do they justify this as acceptable?
    To be able to hear these on the news or on the radio are disgusting and will only lead to complaints, OFCOM has failed again

  5. PumpkinPie 11 Jun 2010, 3:05pm

    I agree with MartinM’s post.

    Asking the majority to decide which terms will be offensive to minorities is a pretty futile endeavour.

  6. I also agree with everything Martin M just said… if it’s a Jim Davidson style comedy routine it’s most likely gratutitous homophobia, but in certain drama contexts it can be justified. Whether we should be using those epithets on each other is also a moot point as it encourages straight people to imagine we’re ‘fair game’ as Chutney Bear rightly implies. I’m not 100% convinced on the “we’ve reclaimed those words for ourselves” argument. When they stop shouting them from football terraces I’ll conceed.
    Context is everything.

  7. What a shock. We all know Ofcom NEVER sides with the gays. It’s homophobic

  8. darkmoonman 11 Jun 2010, 3:40pm

    What does one expect when one surveys 130 Catholic breeders as they leave mass? Try doing an actual survey, Ofcom.

  9. We need some offensive terms for the vanilla breeders!

  10. Tush and fie! I don’t think its acceptable at all!Just when there are campaigns to stop abusive language and homophobic bullying in schools they say its accepatable to use these words? So if a girl is bullied by being called a lezza its ok now is it???

  11. It is pretty pointless to ask majorities which terms stigmatised minorities find offensive – point one – though it may give a crude indication of their own shifting attitudes. I think point two may be more significant – that these homophobic terms are more acceptable that racist ones. It bears out an old lesson – anti-racism has about a 40-year head-start on anti-homophobia.

  12. The grey area for me would be things such as a gritty TV Drama depicting a homophobic character. In that context would you try to script around the elephant in the room or would you have him/her use homophobic terms of abuse?
    Is it more acceptable if the character isn’t sympathetic? Gene Hunt from “Ashes to Ashes” would be a classic example of a character in a TV Drama who uses un-pc terms for various minorities. Should we exclude him from dramas the first place or should he be made so thoroughly odious nobody in their right mind would root for him? The problem is he’s framed as the hero of the series, deliberately invented by people trying to hark back to the Sweeney.
    I guess Alf Garnett or Al Murray’s pub landlord character are in a similar bracket. Where should we draw the line?

  13. What the hell? I wouldn’t have used these terms when I thought I was straight. I certainly wouldn’t want any of them to be used ‘against’ me now I’m out. If a straight person wants to talk about gay people, male or female, then they should be as respectful as they’d like us to be about them. These words are all anathema unless used by ourselves, and even then with care.
    Interesting that the American term faggot is considered worse than the English terms poof or queer.

  14. Father Tafferty O'Cavity 11 Jun 2010, 6:27pm

    130 people? 130 people!

    This isn’t a study. It’s an undergraduate dissertation.

    Typical crap from Ofcom.

    I wonder how many of these 130 were gay themselves? Probably about 5.

    And just because a few non-gay people decide that it’s OK to use the word “lezza”, then that doesn’t make it acceptable.

    It’s just like saying “130 people didn’t mind Jews being put in concentration camps.”

    So that makes it OK then.

    Just when I think Ofcom can’t get any more stupid or homophobic, they amaze me yet again.

  15. Thanks ofcom for your intelligent use of taxpayers money. bet the survey participants thought it was okay to use the word nigger and coon too. or slut and slag. how about retard or mongol twat. its all okay to use ….isnt it!

  16. This is sickening.

  17. #13 The word “faggot” has connotations of violence and death. The words poof and queer are merely derogotary. The word “faggot” comes from the days when we were burned at the stake for our sexual orientation. Faggots were the bundles of sticks used in the fire.

  18. The Independent Producer Handbook published jointly by Channel 4 & Five says the following:-

    “As with ethnic minorities and the disabled, the casual or insensitive use of offensive terms, such as ‘poof’ or ‘queer’, can cause serious offence, regardless of intention.”

    I suspect that, with Jonathan Ross out the way, Ofcom wanted another way to justify allowing broadcasters to use the word poof on TV. Hence the new survey.

  19. Until 2005 BBC guidelines made it clear that Gay and lesbian people, and those who are bi-sexual, make up a significant minority entitled to be served and treated fairly by the BBC ….Lesbians and gay men can be particularly subject to thoughtless and offensive stereotyping …. There is no place in factual programmes for our use of words like ‘queer’, ‘dyke’, ‘fairy’ or ‘poof’: when contributors use them they should be challenged wherever possible.

    All that changed a year after Mark Thompson took over as BBC Director-General

  20. Nasty words such as ‘poof’ and ‘queer’ are not acceptable, Ofcom.

    If they are regarded as acceptable, why not take a similar approach to derogatory terms towards racial minorities?

  21. Typical reactions from hypocritical faggots with a persecution complex. Probably the same ones that were howling with laughter at all the abuse hurled in “Gimme, gimme, gimme”. Words only have power when one reacts to them. Ignore them and they become commonplace and people stop using them as insults.

  22. Ignore them and they become commonplace and people stop using them as insults.

    What is your evidence?

  23. ChutneyBear 14 Jun 2010, 5:59pm

    because dave the context they are used in tend to be light hearted 90% of the time ….

  24. because dave the context they are used in tend to be light hearted 90% of the time ….


    I’ll have a go, too. The context they’re used in tends to be as an insult 95% of the time! Ha, my statistic beats yours. Should’ve played it higher. You were close, though, so good game.

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