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BBC disciplines Graham Norton for wearing AIDS awareness ribbon on chat show

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  1. I am disgusted that the BBC have acted this way.

    If their presenters can wear a poppy, then they should be able to wear symbols for the charities that they support.

    Well done Graham for wearing the ribbon

  2. The rules need to be changed. I agree with not being allowed to advertise political causes, but World Aids Day is apolitical and relevant the world over.
    Well done Graham, bad rules need to be challenged.

    1. Poppy appeal can also be seen as political cant it? Depends if you were on the winning side right? I am with you – the intention is not to fuindraise, it was to respect and recognise the struggle of those living with HIV. THAT is what the ribbon symbolises. The Poppy symbolises the sacrifice made for us, but ONLY raises money for the British Legion……So if anything, the ribbon is far more universal and worldwide thant the poppy.

      1. Exactly, British Poppy appeal is a charity and therefor makes money, tons of BBC celebrites and guests wear them. The BBC should reprimand them as well “oh wait remembrance day is about glorify war and saying how great we are”. I forgot that, lets not stand up for the rights of aids victims!!!!!!!!!

  3. Cardinal Fang 10 Dec 2013, 12:24pm

    What about its annual telethon for Children in Need? There doesn’t seem any rational basis for the BBC position that I can see.

  4. Robert in S. Kensington 10 Dec 2013, 12:35pm

    Absolutely disgusting but then it’s the BBC isn’t it? There shouldn’t be any exceptions for the British Legion then.

    1. I had disgusting looks from people for not wearing a poppy. Also when passing by desks in the supermarket (Sainsburys) people were stopping to buy them and as I walked but I got more looks as I did not stop to do the same.

      However when Worlds Aids Day was been observed, this same supermarket did nothing to support it.

  5. Given that the BBC used to encourage Comic Relief and get kids involved it’s disgusting that they won’t allow the Red Ribbon. Especially after the revelation that Comic Relief money went to weapons companies, alcohol makers and tobacco products.

  6. Helge Vladimir Tiller 10 Dec 2013, 12:37pm

    Graham Norton is a wonderful person. Human and intelligent. And he is fair. Love his shows ! BBC, do you need stronger “glasses” ? AIDS awareness is important to the whole world. ( —Norway )

    1. Darren Yehuda 10 Dec 2013, 12:43pm

      Jeg er ikke en fan av showet, men jeg er en fan av hans handling

      1. for those who care – he said

        ‘I’m not a fan of the show, but I’m a fan of his action’

        1. Darren Yehuda 10 Dec 2013, 12:57pm

          Thanks JD. I use google translate to make Helge feel more at home here. Maybe I am naïve to think most people know this resource.

          1. Helge Vladimir Tiller 10 Dec 2013, 6:41pm

            Hi, friend ! I feel at home with people from all corners of the world. I’m not perfect in English, but I do not need Google Translation to make myself understood in PinkNews. Anyway, I understand your motive- and shake your hand—at a distance ! We are friends, Darren, with equal value ! Love from Norway!

  7. the also raise money for Comic Relief who donate a huge amount of our money to AIDS relief efforts in Africa etc….. they also invest in booze, fags and bombs…. then change their reporting mechanisms to hide such investments from the charity commission and the members of the public who watch each time and donate millions…… (licence payers)…….. Red ribbon over a Red Nose any day! #BBCgonemad

  8. Geoffrey Marsh 10 Dec 2013, 12:39pm

    I’d suggest Graham wears a TV Licensing badge and see if he gets reprimanded for that.

  9. Darren Yehuda 10 Dec 2013, 12:39pm

    Amazinly childish. Grow the feck up already!

  10. Why can they wear poppies and not the World Aids Day Ribbon – Disgraceful Bias on the powers that be – this is like saying Wogan can’t wear a Pudsey badge because it is a specific charity – utter nonsense
    Graham you have my support – Is it any wonder the population of the country STILL don’t know enough about this pandemic!

  11. This is really unbelievable – TV presenters almost get lynched if they don’t wear a poppy (remember C4’s Jon Snow a few years ago?), but Norton isn’t allowed to wear the ribbon all his guests wear? Ridiculous!

  12. the bbc is pathetic at times

  13. Simon Bryant 10 Dec 2013, 1:08pm

    Please complain to the BBC about this disgraceful attitude.

  14. MARK BREEDON 10 Dec 2013, 1:10pm

    Its about time the BBC concentrated on important things, like getting rid of Patten, who will happily attempt to destroy the BBC to help the likes of Murdoch. I look forward to seeing your ribbon again next year Graham. Thanks

  15. Steven Rowland 10 Dec 2013, 1:12pm

    SHAME ON THE BBC and good on Graham for wearing it. If the BBC can wear poppy then. and Graham can’t wear a red ribbon well other people should NOT wear Poppys again SHAME ON THE BBC

  16. Why does the BBC consider these ribbons to be controversial?!

  17. Ridiculous. Pink News needs to push the BBC to give a full and comprehensive explanation and rationalisation of why this rule is in place and why the poppy does not come under the same restrictions.

    1. Darren Yehuda 10 Dec 2013, 3:34pm

      here here!

  18. If there was a blanket ban on everything, then I would agree. Since they make an exception for the Poppy they’ve opened the door. Do they also ban Pudsey Bear badges? Or is it only certain, select favourites that are allowed in?

  19. I don’t understand the ban, HIV/AIDS remains a potential threat to most people everywhere, awareness can only be a useful and positive thing.

    1. Frank Boulton 12 Dec 2013, 11:03am

      Exactly, the AIDS-awareness ribbon is a symbol that is above and beyond politics. Raising awareness of HIV/AIDS has the potential to save and extend lives. That the BBC is trying to enforce such a petty and discriminatory rule over and above consideration for human well-being makes them look pathetic. Good on ya, Graham, from New Zealand.

  20. Ricci Muir 10 Dec 2013, 1:38pm

    Little history Lesson for the BBC (I am truly shocked at their stance & Congratulations to Graham Norton for pointing out there is still a need for awareness & support)

    Red Ribbon VS Drunk Driving: (1986)
    In 1986, MADD started the Tie One On For Safety campaign. It is MADD’s longest running and most visible public awareness project. During the holiday season, drivers are encouraged to tie MADD red ribbons to visible locations on their vehicles, or place window decals on their vehicles’ windows. The red ribbons represent the drivers’ commitment to drive safe, sober and buckled up. It also encourages others to designate a sober driver before drinking.

    Red Ribbon VS Drugs (1988)
    The Red Ribbon was used as an awareness symbol made by after DEA Agent Enrique Camarena was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered while working undercover in Guadalajara, Mexico. Citizens in his home town of Calexico, California donned the ribbons to emphasize the need for increased prevention efforts. In 1988, Red

  21. nixi otemba 10 Dec 2013, 1:45pm

    the disgusting BBC is at it again, after ignoring the equal marriage in their news, now this??

    I’m really pissed off

  22. After weeks and weeks of poppies everywhere, they make a fuss about the AIDS awareness ribbon? Absolutely disgraceful. Well done, Graham Norton for showing your heart’s in the right place – but your show is still obnoxious.

  23. Al Robinson 10 Dec 2013, 1:58pm

    This is where political correctness goes mad. The BBC has a duty to remain impartial and therefore cannot be seen to promote one cause over another. The only exemption is The British Legion hence the poppies.

    But in doing so, it breaches the fundamental rule of equality. Either ban the promotion of all causes or allow the promotion of all causes. Exceptions mean inequality which means discrimination. Therefore the BBC have just labelled themselves discriminatory and should therefore be accountable for their actions.

    Graham was indeed right to stand up for equality and in doing so WAD. I applaud his stance against a ridiculous policy which must now be reviewed.

    1. Staircase2 10 Dec 2013, 3:40pm

      Well said, except this has absolutely NOTHING to do with ‘political correctness’ and everything to do with blatant stupidity on the part of the BBC

  24. I like the way the BBC brazenly accepts it makes a completely hypocritical exception for the British Legion. Establishment shills.

  25. I have contacted the BBC# as urge fellow PinkNews Contributors to do the same

    email or their Points of View message boards

    HIV affects the world as is NOT a political issue or product placement –

    If more people on TV and in the public eye wore Red Ribbons – greater awareness would exist country wide

    1. Also used link above to complain – bastards!

  26. I like the fact that the BBC as a whole seems to have completely ignored it and let Graham get on with things up until some local sports reporter from the west country starts whining.

  27. So the BBC don’t want to promote any outside campaigns/causes? Like when they ran a series of programmes on Radio 4 for Breast Cancer Awareness month?
    Or is that somehow different and wearing a ribbon passively without direct mention of the cause is not allowed but using a campaign to base a series of shows on over the course of a month is perfectly fine?

    Let’s face it, we all know why Norton’s been rebuked. Because even in 2013, the issue of AIDS is probably considered to ‘icky’ for the BBC audience.

  28. Tom Cotner 10 Dec 2013, 2:50pm

    I suspect the asshole who decided this rule is the same one who decided on the deplorable programming on BBC America — a channel which, at one time, was excellent, but in recent years has fallen into the pit of dumb and inane programming. I, frankly, am not surprised.

  29. The BBC should lose their license, they are homophobic just look at their history, never reported Gay Marriage, never ever support Gay Pride, but will let mental muslims and christians to shout their foul mouths off. So lose yer license BBC (Bigoted Bastard Company)

    1. Darren Yehuda 10 Dec 2013, 3:39pm

      (Bigoted Bastard Company)
      Good one !! TeeHee

  30. Why are we still paying a license fee for the dinosaur.

  31. I get really annoyed at all the presenters and others wearing red poppies for weeks before Nov 11th, and I understand that they are more or less forced to do so, so think this decision is disgusting. What is the logic anyway, if guests can wear them??

  32. K.D.Elston 10 Dec 2013, 3:33pm

    What if Graham wore a poppy with a red ribbon. I bet that would really blow the minds of the pea-brains at BBC!

  33. Staircase2 10 Dec 2013, 3:37pm

    Disgusted by this ridiculous behaviour by the BBC

    How does wearing an AIDS ribbon cause them a problem exactly? And why is it that wearing a poppy doesn’t?

    Bloody stupid

  34. I suspect if this was another charity/cause, the reaction on here would be much more muted….

    I agree however, that the poppy shouldnt’ be an exemption

    1. Why would it be any different?
      I don’t watch shows to seek out symbolism of what the presenter supports of promotes. Do you?

      Perhaps if the cause were nothing to do with LGBT subjects then yes, there wouldn’t be a piece here – but this is a LGBT news site. If it were an Feminist news site and this were over a pink Cancer Awareness ribbon that would also be relevant.

      I think too many people easily forget what site they are on. This is LGBT interest story, so of course it should be presented on PN where other sites would likely not even give it a mention.

  35. What a fuc*ed up decision by the BBC.
    How the hell can they justify this? Who in their right mind would want to complain about someone supporting a charity on their own damn show!? Oh, let me guess, maniac “Christians” would be on the phone to the BBC screaming about “gay propaganda”?

    What utter tripe.

    With each passing day I am more and more inclined to tell the BBC where to shove that license fee. What with the blatant BBC News propaganda, silencing of stories, manipulation of the truth and now this, I don’t think I am alone in my disgust of what the Beeb has become.

  36. Andy Brettell 10 Dec 2013, 4:14pm

    This is disgraceful! Don’t the BBC realise that AIDS is still a major problem worldwide? I noticed that they didn’t mention World Aids day on the 6pm news. Also I never hear people on quizes and the like who are raising money for charities say that they are doing it for AIDS charities. Is that because they are not allowed to?

  37. Martin Hodge 10 Dec 2013, 4:15pm

    What possible reason could the BBC give for not allowing Graham to wear the red ribbon – the universal symbol of awareness and support for those living with HIV. They allow (it sometimes feels, expect) show hosts to wear red poppies. What is the difference?

  38. Presenters, guests etc should be free to wear whatever they choose so long as it is not offensive. We don’t need another branch of the Fashiont Police defining what is acceptable, least of all in the BBC..

  39. Matthew Blackett 10 Dec 2013, 4:44pm

    I’ve lodged a complaint about this with the BBC. Why don’t others? go here:

  40. James Campbell 10 Dec 2013, 4:54pm

    I fail to understand (but then, I don’t work for the BBC) why anyone with a working brain can regard the red ribbon as going against the ‘impartiality’ rule. The red ribbon is a symbol for several important issues: drunk driving prevention, drug prevention, and for the fight against AIDS. All of these are ‘impartial’ in the way they destroy lives. In this particular case, Graham Norton wore it to represent the latter cause. None of these areas are controversial in terms of breaching impartiality (other than in the minds of BBC bureaucrats). I could compile a long list of where the BBC *have* shown bias. Red Ribbon International is an organisation founded in 1993 whose main purpose is the education about prevention of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Related Complex, ARC and AIDS. As a doctor I fully support everything the red ribbon represents.

  41. THAT is their problem…wear’n a pin that affects everyone walk of life in the WORLD? seriously
    BBC needs to crack their own skulls open and reprimand themselves fer make’n themselves look like complete morons!

  42. Utterly ridiculous and shameful, BBC!

  43. Joanne Cooper 10 Dec 2013, 5:44pm

    How petty can the BBC get they don’t advertise and yet they plug more books, video’s, CDs, DVDs and films than anyother channel waste money on stupid games shows which is license payers money and because someone wears an awareness ribbon they get nasty which is what they’ve done but I wonder if they would have reprimanded a guest on such a show for doing the same.

  44. Not even got the end of the story! I needed to comment. What a load of bull*hit BBC.
    Never give it up Graham.
    Holy mother of the Lord – cannot believe this is an issue.

  45. Colin (Queenstown/London) 10 Dec 2013, 6:36pm

    I love the BBC but certainly it has faults. Still the best on this planet.

    For me it’s all or nothing. No picking and choosing.

    1. Have you seen the plethora of American TV programmes that feature non stereotypical gay characters, or ever watched Channel Four’s reality shows/game shows that nearly always include gays or lesbians. When has the BBC ever produced a programme wholly about gay men or even featured a non camp gay man whose sexuality is never an issue? BBC best on this planet? For what? Homophobia?

  46. This is hardly a surprise. We are subjected to the biannual ritual of celebrities weeping in African hospitals for Comic Relief, yet when a gay man wears a red ribbon, suddenly Editorial Guidelines prohibiting references to charities are pulled out. I am sick of the BBC’s homophobia and paying money to an organisation that constantly makes gay stereotypes the butt of humour and seems to think that we should justify our right to exist.

    1. Paul, you fall into the error of equating AIDS awareness and homosexuality. The BBC may or may not be homophobic, but this issue is related to a world wide health issue that affects everyone, not just gay people.

      1. How patronising. I am well aware that AIDS is a world wide health issue that does not just affect gay people. Indeed, the BBC has featured African children affected by AIDS during Comic Relief. Perhaps you would like to explain why that is acceptable, but a gay man wearing an AIDS ribbon is not? That is the point I was making. And while you are at it, maybe you would like to explain why the BBC, “which may or may not be homophobic”, in its programmes about STD clinics, featured extremely promiscuous gay men (50+ partners in 3 months) having HIV tests, whilst a heterosexual woman doing so had only had one partner.

  47. Although I do find Norton’s camp persona a little bit annoying, this is absolutely insane good for Norton for standing up for his cause. This is pure discrimination and double standards if his guests where allowed to where him why can’t he.

  48. ED JANISON 10 Dec 2013, 8:30pm

    Hi, one of your poofters from across the pond (east coast USA).

    Excuse my ignorance, but why is it ok for the guests on your talk show to wear red ribbons for HIV/AIDS awareness, but not the host?

    Just wondering :]

    1. Colin Brathwaite 11 Dec 2013, 12:56am

      Stupid person ,”poofter “indeed ,.

    2. Ed, I am no apologist for the BBC, but the corporate stance is that presenters proffering their talent or otherwise on behalf of the Corporation should be neutral as to faith, political belief, or support of commercial or non-profit enterprises. So, for example, a news reader should not wave a “Vote for Bloggs” banner when telling us about a forthcoming election, or have a crucifix on display when talking about morally repugnant sinners.

      The guests, on the other hand, are there to express their opinions, and as such are bound to be partial. Tory ministers wear sober suits and blue/grey ties, Labour partygoers desport more flamboyant red ones (unless they are trying to mimic the Tories to get more votes). Clergymen wear clerical vestments, and sporting so called personalities blatantly advertise commercial companies.

      So, that is the reasoning of the BBC. I think it got it wrong in this instance as AIDS awareness is a matter for everyone, not a partial belief.

  49. The BBC should be disgusted with itself.
    Well done Graham.

  50. I have never heard anything so ridiculous!

  51. BOOTMASTER 10 Dec 2013, 9:50pm

    The BBC should be ashamed of it’s self. What a bunch of bigoted people. Did it not feature on the news? SHAME on you BBC.

  52. ‘Auntie’ needs to stop getting in an ethical knicker twist over this one. This is SO clearly NOT about promoting ‘marginal’ hobbyhorse but highlighting a pandemic. The reality of HIV/AIDS & its worldwide impact is consistant with the core messages the BBC exists to broadcast. Look forward to you wearing your red ribbon nxt yr Graham!

  53. Will BBC rethink airing Comic relief after the latest scandal? Where is freedom of opinion regarding Mr. Norton? Is it the right way to promote awareness of HIV/AIDS to put a veil on such issues to members of staff?? Is this some kind of prehistoric thinking?

  54. Good on you Graham, it’s a shame about the disciplinary, really surprised about that.

  55. Not a power struggle in Rwanda ?

  56. The BBC need to go and have a long Hard Look at them selves, The General public have to pay to watch their Programmes though the TV licence, World Aids DAY is a well established in the calendar as poppy day, we need people like Graham Norton to Make a stance against and raise awaness of HIV, People are forgetting that there is no cure

  57. The BBC need to go and have a long Hard Look at them selves World Aids DAY is a well established in the calendar as poppy day, we need people like Graham Norton to Make a stance against and raise awaness of HIV, People are forgetting that there is no cure

  58. Michael Snaith 11 Dec 2013, 4:39am

    Is the BBC truly the voice of licence payers. It is our BBC.

    1. Michael, if you pay a Licence Fee all you do is support the income of the BBC. That is all. If you buy Corn Flakes you cannot claim any control over the Kellog Corporation.

      Suppose you buy a car for £15,000 but decide not to insure it whilst driving on the road. Suppose the Police catch you and take the car away, with the ultimate power of destroying it. Is this not theft? No, it is not, because the car is licensed, and you became its Registered Keeper. The log book specifically states that it is not a certificate of ownership. The truth is that, whilst you may have legal title to the car, by registering it, it is owned by The Department of Transport, a section of The UK Government, and UK plc.

  59. Sister Deary Me 11 Dec 2013, 6:22am

    BBC once again shows how out of touch they are with the licence payers who keep they wrapped in their ivory towers!

  60. Sergie Gritzeko 11 Dec 2013, 8:40am

    Bravo, Graham! Dis-obey this disgusting ‘rule’! BBC – wake up!! What is it? – double-standards?! Shame!

  61. Pink Teddy, France 11 Dec 2013, 10:05am

    Hope that the BBC has scored an own goal with this issue. In France public TV has telethons for AIDS/HIV across nearly all channels (private and state owned). The red ribbon symbol is displayed on screen all day as is the channel ident. Gallic logic over British bigotry? But then everyone in France is aware that HIV/AIDS is not a ‘gay plague’ from the ‘eighties.

  62. The National Aids Trust have a petition

  63. Come on BBC get into the real world! I see nothing wrong with Graham wearing the ribbon and it is time that you reviewed your Policies! This is a recognised and respected symbol and how can your “rules” allow the guests to wear ribbons but not the presenter? It is not Graham Norton that should be disciplined! Common sense should have prevailed!

  64. Carl ROwlands 11 Dec 2013, 5:07pm

    If the Queen was to turn up at a function with no tiara and everyone else was wearing one it would be rather odd and worthy of much comment.

  65. The BBC need to hang their heads in shame.

    Graeme get back to Channel 4 where you won’t have to put up with the BBCB
    That’s BBC Bigots!

  66. Good on you Graham. The BBC seems to be becoming more abysmal and deranged with each passing month. This is the final nail in the coffin though; I won’t be paying my TV license this year for this, I’ll stick to Netflix thanks.

  67. Gerard McGrath 11 Dec 2013, 10:50pm

    I have been living with HIV for 27 years and am always impressed when key public figures, such as Graham Norton et al raise awareness through the medium of television. Graham Norton is a well known LGBT figure in British television and entertainment and a long time supporter of HIV/AIDS charities such as The Terrence Higgins Trust. The BBC should reflect on this unfortunate gaff and poor practice.

    I am assuming that their initial response will involve an argument against their presenters supporting every cause and charity and there will be a never ending display of emblems and paraphernalia of support.

  68. I’ve signed, won’t you…?

  69. Tammy Hale 12 Dec 2013, 1:05pm

    I am disgusted bby this the BBC should be ashamed to have called Graham up on this how dare they!

  70. Laura Moss 12 Dec 2013, 2:15pm

    Well – this has turned out to raise more awareness than if he’s just been allowed to wear it…. good stuff

  71. The one who complained went on a ‘BBC training course’. It must have lasted all of 1 minute. ‘Whichever government is in power controls the BBC, support this and deny everything. End of course. Well done, you’ve all passed. Now it’s time for tea and biscuits’.

  72. Clearly there are a few idiots in the BBC, not just for telling him not to wear the ribbon, but also for being seemingly unable to understand the word ‘guidelines’ as stated in the article. He got reprimanded for not following guidelines? Guidelines are suggestions/recommendations, not policies!

  73. Martin Gavet 14 Dec 2013, 7:26am

    If it is good enough for BBC presenters to wear poppies for the Poppy Appeal, then why cannot they wear red ribbons to highlight an important HIV/AIDS campaign.

    I wish there was an opt out of the licence fee (tax). Maybe I will think twice about Children in Need next year, and donate to Barnados or GOSH instead.

  74. Instead of whining to the BBC, Hamish Marshall might have done better to have worn the aids ribbon himself before claiming that Graham Norton was getting preferential treatment. That would have been a braver gesture, that made the same point. Now he just looks like the school snitch, whilst the BBC looks like some doddery, fusty old school-marm.
    Banning Norton from wearing the ribbon will surely backfire. No doubt next time he will use EVERY opportunity in his show to explain WHY he isn’t wearing a ribbon! Over to you Graham…

  75. mark dennes 18 Dec 2013, 4:46pm

    comletley disgusting of the BBC are they anti gay or what all presenterd on x faxtor wearing and all well known people its aids awarness come on you hippergrits of BBC …get a life and Graham Norton has every right to wear a the cheif boss of the BBC is a homephobic biggot

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