Dannii Minogue cleared over ‘homophobic’ X Factor joke

Jessica Geen November 23, 2009
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Dannii Minogue has been cleared of making a ‘homophobic’ jibe about an X Factor contestant’s sexuality by broadcasting watchdog Ofcom.

Nearly 4,000 people complained when she suggested that Danyl Johnson did not need to sing about a woman.

Minogue made the remarks on Saturday October 10th when bookies’ favourite Johnson changed the gender references in Jennifer Hudson’s song I’m Telling You.

Referring to a newspaper report in which Johnson implied he was bisexual, Minogue said: “Changing a girls’ song into a guys’ song but if we are to believe everything we read in the paper maybe you didn’t need to change the gender reference in it.”

Minogue apologised several times for the remarks and although a number of outraged fans called for her sacking, Johnson and fellow judge Simon Cowell defended her.

In a judgement released today, Ofcom said viewers had complained the comments were malicious and homophobic.

Others complained that she had humilated Johnson, while some were concerned that the mention of sexual orientation was inappropriate in a ‘family’ show.

The body ruled that Minogue had not been pejorative or homophobic and said that there were sufficient details about Johnson’s sexuality already in the public domain.

It also said that the reference to Johnson’s bisexuality had been indirect and was “not likely to cause widespread offence, be understood by any young children who were watching, or shock viewers who came across this material unawares”.

However, Ofcom recommended that broadcasters approach the subject of indvidual sexual orientation with caution.

It said: “Broadcasters need to exercise caution in this area, particularly when the subject of sexual orientation may foreseeably arise in the context of a live programme. In no way should the ‘outing’ of participants in television programmes be encouraged, condoned or legitimised.”

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