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Comment: How dare the presenter of a TV show that plugs films and albums promote HIV awareness

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  1. Midnighter 11 Dec 2013, 5:24pm

    The BBC’s position is utterly ridiculous, and as you intimate any attempt conflate support for this particular cause with being a political message is dubious; to me it smacks of ignorance and homophobia looking for an excuse.

    So long as the BBC aren’t requiring a particular charitable cause to be supported, then questions to the BBC about presenters supporting a particular cause over another can be answered by the presenters themselves.

    Like you, Ben, I considered the counter argument in terms of ” a constant merry-go-round of different ribbons, badges and paper flowers” But how exactly would that manifest? If a presenter wore a different ribbon /badge each day, so what, really? The BBC could easily compromise by permitting only one item and one change per week or whatever.

    It is a non-issue which could easily be worked around, if there were any real desire at the BBC to do so.

    1. Guy Lambert 11 Dec 2013, 5:30pm

      Calling it homophobia is utterly absurd. So how exactly would you plan to make sure EVERY charity were equally treated by the BBC? You’d have to have someone going around making sure every single charity were treated equally, otherwise you’d have endless complaints from charities about this. Much easier to have one simple, clear rule: no promotion of any charity when you’re a BBC employee

      1. As long as that includes the British Legion and also covers businesses (ads at football matches must be covered up, companies contributing to a programme cannot be mentioned in the credits, etc.), that sounds fair.

      2. Midnighter 11 Dec 2013, 6:25pm

        What is “utterly absurd” is the ability of the conservative mind to view “gay” as a lifestyle and HIV is part of our “political agenda”. Mild suspicions predicated on that background are quite reasonable in my view.

        What I personally find absurd is you suggesting that your proposed solution is the preferable one simply because it might be “easier”. What a terrible attitude to go through life with.

        Also absurd is your naivety in assuming the BBC would in fact find it “easy” to ban the wearing of poppies. I suspect the British public might not approve.

  2. Guy Lambert 11 Dec 2013, 5:28pm

    But what you’re basically saying is “This charity is important to ME and therefore it should be treated differently”. Well that’s not acceptable. What about cancer charities? Dementia? Other issues that seriously affect people’s lives. I didn’t see a single one of them, or have EVER seen a single one of them supported by a guest on Graham’s show. Here you had guests, all promoting the AIDS charity clearly, but where’s the other charities? Why do they never get airtime or on-air support like this? If you let one person promote their favoured charity – however important it might be – you open the BBC up to accusations of bias and, frankly, people like me will protest if their own supported charities aren’t on-screen. It may seem like a harsh rule, but it’s a blanket policy that stops people from abusing it

  3. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Dec 2013, 5:42pm

    The BBC is supposed to remain impartial yet it gave very little positive coverage of the marriage debate allowing opponents more than their fair share of coverage, yet permits the British Legion charity to promote the wearing of poppies . Clearly, it has demonstrated utter hypocrisy.

  4. I disagree.

    HIV awareness is of course important.

    But so is breazst cancer awareness. As is prostate cancer awareness. As is diabetes awareness. As is awareness of depression.

    Presumably he would have been reprimanded for wearing a badge for these illnesses as well.

    It’s not like the BBC are singling out HIV.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Dec 2013, 6:07pm

      Then it should level the field and stop giving preferential treatment to the British Legion charity. There are many charities and other organisations promoting the wearing of poppies.

      1. They are in a bind there. Of course they should not be promoting poppy day either but the backlash they would face for doing that would lead the Daily Mail on a witch hunt.

        who was the newsreader who got massive abuse for refusing to wear a poppy. Not because she was opposed to it but rather because she didn’t think it was fair that only 1 charity was eligible to be promoted.

        1. The British Legion Poppy Appeal is in a different position, it is a mark of respect for the fallen in two world wars and other conflicts. Most of the population have lost a dear one in one conflict or other. The population is behind this charity more than any other. To suggest changing that is disrespectful of the dead, and the majority of the population would be against the change. Not to mention all the good work done by the Legion for injured soldiers.

  5. Spot on!
    The BBC is far from impartial and as we found out yesterday, it’s OK for Red Nose Day to be used to fund alcohol, tobacco & guns but not for a presenter to wear a ribbon for World AIDS Day.

    1. So you support BBC presenters being allowed to promote any charity they like?

      How is that going to work seeing as advertising is not allowed on the BBC.

      Guests can promote what they like. Presenters can ONLY promote poppy day.

      1. Midnighter 11 Dec 2013, 7:04pm

        Does the charter ban advertising of anything, or does it in fact specifically ban advertising of commercial goods and services?

      2. Christopher Morrison 12 Dec 2013, 1:09am

        Poppy cock!

  6. The faux outrage about the BBC reprimanding Norton for promoting his favoured charity is very Daily Mail.

    Then again this website is very right wing and pro-religion

    I think PN would be better served by implementing some quality control on the streams of appalling articles it publishes which have not been proof read for spelling and grammar errors.

    1. Daily Mail? How verydare you :P

      I assure that my outrage (well, mild irritation really) was genuine, and resulted more from the poor rationalisation for their actions and their policy, than from the act of reprimanding Norton itself.

      I’m astonished by your second assertion. (That’s proper astonishment to you, none of this faux stuff. I gasped, and everything, trust me.) Pray tell, how did you arrive at those conclusions?

  7. Michael2912 11 Dec 2013, 8:01pm

    The real problem here is with the tyranny of the RED POPPY. I don’t mind that BBC presenters are forbidden from wearing the sort of symbols discussed (and I’m sorry: the homophobia charge is crass) but that they’re almost compelled to wear the exempted one is nothing short of oppressive and serves only to besmirch that which it’s intended to commemorate.

  8. The BBC is not impartial. It promotes Red Nose Day, Children In Need and Sport Relief on its channels. And when they do celebrity game shows the contestants always name their charity on air…

  9. Benjamin Cohen 11 Dec 2013, 11:46pm

    I just want to be clear here, there is no homophobia charge in what I wrote. I am just pointing out that a) the red ribbon, is an important symbol within the community b) that the BBC seems to think that it is fine to use his show to promote big budget films, but not fighting HIV…

    1. True, guests do go on the Graham Norton show when they have books and films to promote – but guests ARE allowed to wear a charity ribbon too.

  10. Christopher Morrison 12 Dec 2013, 1:05am

    Maybe if people who are asked to appear on such BBC programmes were all to wear ribbons, BBC management might get the idea eventually.

  11. A couple of years ago, Olivia Newton John appeared on the Graham Norton Show and promoted her husband’s company and a “feelgood” drink containing camu camu berries that was served to the host and his guests. Amongst those on Graham’s sofa that week was Ozzy Osborne who commented succinctly: “What a load of b*ll*cks”.

    I don’t recall the drink being named, but Ms Newton John’s website contains a prominent link to a company website that sells a drink containing camu camu berries called Zuma Gold. At only $40 a bottle, this drink can apparently help “nourish and support the function of powerfully protective immune cells, such as Helper T-cells and Natural Killer T-cells”.

    I find it mystifying that the BBC’s priority is to crack down on Graham Norton expressing support for people living with HIV and AIDS.

  12. NAT (National AIDS Trust) 12 Dec 2013, 11:34am

    Given HIV-related stigma and discrimination persists, seeing celebrities wearing a red ribbon around World AIDS Day challenges prejudice and sends out a really positive message for those living with the condition.

    We are concerned by the BBC’s stance on this issue, and have set up a campaign page which allows people who are concerned about this issue to email the BBC:

    We feel in these times of low public awareness of HIV in the UK, if someone feels passionately enough to want to wear a ribbon that should be encouraged not penalised.

    1. So you are looking for special treatment?

      Why is HIV awareness more important than awareness of other illness?

  13. PJW Holland 12 Dec 2013, 3:38pm

    Does this mean no more red noses? Please God!

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