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BBC Trust rejects complaints about ‘should gays be executed?’ online debate

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  1. Ian Bower 3 Aug 2010, 7:02pm

    Bet they wouldn’t reject complaints if the question was ‘Should Jews be executed?’ or ‘Should black people be executed.’

    This is undeniable proof that the BBC is institutionally homophobic – and I have to give them money to be able to use my TV.

    OK – so the BBC apologised, but only for not making it clear that it was to do with Uganda. Big deal! So it’s OK to discuss if it’s right to murder gay Ugandans.

    Incredible and utterly repugnant!

  2. The BBC has learned nothing since the Telegraph said this in 2006, following a similarly bigoted decision by the BBC Governors.

  3. They apologised – but how long before they do a similar thing? I can’t believe they thought that this was a matter that should be up for debate. You’re right, Ian Bower. I can’t imagine a question like that being asked about black people or Jews, so why’s it OK to ask it about LGBT people?

    It seems the BBC is more than happy with their question and can only comment that the language was wrong and they asked the question too starkly. Can they not understand it’s a question that should never have been asked?

  4. The BBC Trust are trying to re-write history.

    1) They did not make a prompt apology. They justified their action; and not until overwhelmed by pressure did they make the limited apology.

    2) I can’t find any substantive difference between the question “Should homosexuals face execution?” and the claimed Twitter mis-quote “Should homosexuals be executed?”. To me, they say have exactly the same meaning, and bear exactly the same weight.

    The BBC were very wrong to frame a debate in the terms of posing an impartial question, as if they were asking “Should thieves face jail?”.

    The question incited (and in resulting from this, the BBC received and published) homophobic hatred. These are crimes. It wasn’t a stark question, it was inciting homophobic hate speech and therefore a criminal offence.

    It was also not just something from BBC Africa that just slipped through the net. Horrocks said that the decision to go ahead with this “Talking Point” hadn’t been taken lightly and it had caused controversy around the office. They deliberately broke the law.

    I many times defend the BBC, but this particular behaviour was beyond the pale; and this judgement from the BBC Trust make it clear that the BBC Trust are the wrong framework to deal with complaints against the BBC. They are not impartial. They are reactive, ignorant, and under the sway of political pressure, but not of the law of the land.

  5. I have complained twice now on the poor coverage of London Pride in July on the complaints section. each time i have received no response…hence my second attempt! Is somebody in the complaints section deliberately ignoring complaints on gay issues. has anyone similar experience?

  6. Dr Robin Guthrie 3 Aug 2010, 7:57pm

    Oh well.

    That’s just saved me £145 odd quid per year, cos I am no longer paying my license fee.

    F em…

    Never watch their tripe anyway.

  7. Yes, quite Ian,
    Should gay Ugandans be executed?…let’s have a heated debate!…er actually no debate needed, disgraceful, how could the BBC so lose it’s moral compass.

  8. what is the BBC doing to educate African listeners and viewers about homosexuality?

  9. How could the BBC possibly be homophobic? After all, you only need check out this BBC Impartiality Report to find out the Trust was worried that the BBC’s institutional support for equal rights [page 72] for gay people might spill over into their programmes.

  10. “The committee noted that, given the global availability of the BBC website, online content producers would now have to be more aware that all material they produce is universally available via the internet. Hence, headlines that might cause offence to certain audiences needed greater contextualisation than previously.”

    Read as: We need to be more subtle about our homophobia, since those darn people spying on our exclusively homophobic site are trying to ruin a bit of good ol’ executin’ fun!

  11. David North 3 Aug 2010, 9:48pm

    Ahh. I see.

    Self interested, paid for by the BBC watchdog, says the BBC was correct in publishing.

    Who would have thought?

  12. Lucio Buffone 3 Aug 2010, 10:40pm

    If you look at the BBC’s representation of gays then I think personally they lag behind the commercial sector massively. We are still waiting for the BBC ‘Queer as Folk’, or indeed more recently ‘Skins’. It’s a shame as in the 90′s ‘The Gay Show’ was actually very good. Since then they seem to be distributors of stereotype. The be gay on the National BBC programmes you need to be camp or just asexual. There is no sexual representation whatsoever. One of the biggest out gay BBC stars told me, he no longer felt able to go out on the scene in Vauxhall, as he felt it would compromise his career. With this in mind and the judgement by the BBC Trust, I have to conclude, Institutional homophobia.

  13. Lucio Buffone 3 Aug 2010, 10:45pm

    Previous post with mistakes corrected!

    If you look at the BBC’s representation of gays, then personally, I think, they lag behind the commercial sector massively. We are still waiting for the BBC ‘Queer as Folk’, or indeed more recently ‘Skins’. It’s a shame as in the 90′s ‘The Gay Show’ was actually very good. Since then, they seem to be distributors of stereotype. To be gay on the National BBC programmes you need to be camp or just asexual. There is no sexual representation whatsoever. One of the biggest out gay BBC stars told me, he no longer felt able to go out on the scene in Vauxhall, as he felt it would compromise his career. With this in mind and the judgement by the BBC Trust, I have to conclude, institutional homophobia.

  14. Stark as it may be, wouldn’t you rather know what people really think about us? Go to the Yahoo Answers boards, or the Yahoo reports about that gay couple that stayed in a guest house, or rather didn’t stay. See how the whole world things we live in a world of fecally-coated sheets and poo-coated penises. For them, gayness is shit, quite literally. There is no middle ground – the whole world is the worst they can imagine. Let them rant their piece. Now – look at your neighbours – there’s the place to start.

  15. dave wainwright 3 Aug 2010, 11:51pm

    this is just one more instance in a long line of headlines which could be construed as anti gay to the point of propaganda , perhaps the person/s designing the headlines for the bbc has /have religious convictions and agenda and are availing their position/s to promote that agenda .

  16. Dave (5): The BBC aren’t ignoring your complaint because you complained about a gay issue… they ignore complaints on all issues. And this is unacceptable, because what is the point of a complaints system if the complaints they don’t feel like dealing with are just ignored? They wouldn’t ignore so much as a whispered comment if it came from Alistair Campbell.

    Here are my suggestions:
    1) If you have cause to complain to the BBC, keep a copy. Paste it into a Word Processor and save it, along with the date, and maybe a screenshot showing that you ticked the “I want a reply” box. Put a note in your diary for 11 days time, because they are supposed to reply within 10 days.

    2) Don’t just complain to the BBC – it’s a waste of time. Post it under an appropriate article on Pink-News. Blog it. Facebook it. Twitter it. Write it as a complaint to your MP. Start a petition about it on the Number10 web site… the full monty! And every public place you post the complaint, show other people an easy way to support you.

    3) When your 11th-day alarm goes off, there’s no other way to appeal to the BBC than by post. Add to the appeal letter that you have a further complaint that the BBC isn’t adhering to its own complaints procedure and hasn’t given you a reply. Shout about your fury with the BBC (just like you did!) on Pink-News. Blog-it, Facebook it, Twitter about it. Complain to your MP that the BBC isn’t accountable.

    Additionally, I tend to send my complaints to individuals in the BBC. They almost never reply, they probably rarely read them, but they can’t completely shut out the anger. Most people at the BBC have an e-mail address: firstname.lastname@bbc.co.uk.

    And last thing – if you’re reporting a crime, like this was… report it to the police. I did, in the case of this particular issue. You can submit a crime report over the internet. I submitted it while I was in Japan, and got a call later in the evening from home, because a local officer had come round to record the details.

    Good luck (^_^)

  17. “Culture Secretary may reduce licence fee”. Bring it on. And soon.

  18. Stan James 4 Aug 2010, 7:16am

    Your country has budget problems, just like mine – the USA

    Well, if the BBC is really still homophobic, give them a choice – 20% of the programming must show gays in a good light, as the ordinary decent citizens they are.

    Or you just shut the whole thing down.

  19. what’s the difference between gay and homosexual? straw-picking like that is really pathetic

  20. Just to put the whole thing in context, it was around this time that the Brand/Ross debacle was plastered all over the news, questions were asked in the house, the director general was grilled on Newsnight, there were calls for both of them to be sacked, the producer fell on her sword and Brand left the BBC. Ross was suspended by the Beeb for 3 months and has since left. Over one ill judged prank phonecall on air left on Andrew Sack’s answerphone suggesting [truthfully] that Brand had had sex with Andrew Sachs’ granddaughter. Storm. Teacup.
    Then some honcho at the Beeb polls on the topic “should gay people be slaughtered en-masse” insulting an entire minority group and giving a platform to those who think mass slaughter against LGBT people is the way to go.
    We get a round of mutual management butt covering and an apology which sounds like they merely thought the wording was wrong, but that the debate itself was perfectly valid.
    “This house suggests all BBC managment need to be hung, drawn and quartered by a rabid lynchmob, do you agree?”
    Oh sorry, my wording was a bit tactless, but you have to admit it’s a valid topic for debate.

  21. Time to scrap the TV licence and see how long they last!

  22. Some more heated debates ideas for the BBC world service….

    - Should Blacks be used as slaves?
    - Should Jews be sent to gas chambers?
    - Should Muslims be stoned to death?
    - Should christians face crucifiction?
    - Should the disabled be aborted during pregnancy?
    - Should women be treated as second class citizens?

    Not only was the original online debate disgusting, but the apology is also disgusting. I now support stopping the BBC licence fee. Why should I pay to the educate others to execute me?

    And for those going on about freedom of speech again. Get over it. There’s no such thing. The majority of people aren’t racist because they are told by the minority who control them not to be – simple. Not because they are ‘nice’ kind people.
    People will stop being homophobic when they are told not to be. It’s not about changing their minds with debate, it’s about telling their tiny minds what to think. You can make a whole population do anything, you just need to tell them to do it, over and over – and eventually they will.

    If the debate had been headed……

    “Should gays be free to love one another?” – then that would be making people think that gays should be free to love another – people just move the words around – ‘gays should be free to love one another’ – people take the question away and just think what it says.

    “should gays face execution?” – homophobic, because people don’t ask the question, they just move the words around and say “gays should face execution” – the big bosses at the BBC know this. Someone should have been sacked over this. It’s so disgusting.

  23. i don’t need a telly license, the TV works just as well without it.

  24. There’s no such thing. The majority of people aren’t racist because they are told by the minority who control them not to be – simple. Not because they are ‘nice’ kind people.

    I don’t think you’re right about that. I believe most people recognise that it’s simply not fair to judge a person based on their race alone.

    I really think attitudes have changed – although it’s true that government was largely responsible for the change.

  25. And why dave do you think that “most people recognise that it’s simply not fair to judge a person based on their race alone.” – because thats what they are told to recognise, either through education or intimidation. Attitudes have changed because the majority of people are told to change their attitudes by the minority who control them. It’s that simple. You can make an entire population believe that it is good that women should wear blankets covering themselves with holes for their eyes and receive no education. You make make an entire population think it is good to put a group of people on trains and drive them into gas chambers for execution. You can make an entire population think it is good to execute gays. And you can make an entire population think it is good to love gays. It just depends on what the minority in charge want. The masses always just follow. ‘Bah, Bah, bah’ bleats the sheep/population. ‘Woof woof woof’ barks the sheepdog/police. ‘This is the law’ commands the sheperd/leaders.

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