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BBC: We dealt with Chris Moyles “swiftly and firmly” over ‘homophobic’ comments

Jessica Geen March 23, 2009
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The BBC has said it dealt with Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles “swiftly and firmly” over offensive comments he made about gay singer Will Young but would not confirm how it would prevent such incidents from occuring again or what action it is taking.

An Ofcom investigation ruled that the loudmouth star had breached the Broadcasting Code following eight complaints of homophobia from listeners.

The episode in question was aired on January 20th, in which the presenter “adopted an effeminate and high pitched voice” to sing spoof versions of Young’s songs.

During the alternative version of ‘Leave Right Now’, Moyles sang: “Oooh Will Young here, mmmmh. I’m here, it’s Will’s birthday and as the years go by I get more very gay. When you saw me years ago you didn’t know, but now I’m the gayest fella you probably know. mmm I like to wear a silly hat, I get camper by the hour, oh would you look at the muck in here. I’m Will Young and I’m gay.”

The complaints made by members of the public to Ofcom claimed that Moyles ridiculed Will Young because of his sexuality. Some added that the comments were offensive and derogatory towards the gay community.

Ofcom ruled that the language used to imitate Young could have reasonably been interpreted by listeners as promoting and condoning certain negative stereotypes based on sexual orientation, along with the high-pitched voice used.

When asked what the corporation would do to avoid a repeat of the incident, the spokesman said: “We dealt with this swiftly and firmly at the time – we spoke to Chris to make sure he understood these comments were unnacceptable.

“The BBC remains absolutely committed to representing the UK’s diversity, including through honest and accurate reflection of gay, lesbian and bisexual people. We strive to do this across all genres on television and radio. ”

Moyles has come under fire for his presenting style before, including comments pertaining to homosexuality.

The DJ was named as “Bully of the Year” by gay rights charity Stonewall in 2006 after refusing to apologise for describing a ring tone that he didn’t like as being “gay.”

Derek Lunn, Stonewall’s director of public affairs, commented: “It’s about time maverick homophobic DJs like Chris Moyles were reined in by the BBC.

“Stonewall research has found gay lives are five times more likely to be portrayed in negative terms than positive ones on the BBC. Lesbian and gay taxpayers deserve better value for money for their licence fees.”

Related topics: England

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