Best of PinkNews: BBC accused of homophobia over Lindsay Lohan slurs
As PinkNews.co.uk celebrates its fifth birthday, we take a look back at some of the most important exclusive stories we’ve broken. In January 2009, the BBC was accused of homophobia over comments about bisexual actress Lindsay Lohan it broadcast by the BBC Radio 5 Live presenter DJ Spooney. He described lesbians as “munters and mingers” and said that Hollywood superstars like Ms Lohan “should be saved for guys.” It led to scores of complains to media regulator Ofcom and the BBC Trust.
BBC3 programme The Most Annoying People of 2008, which listed bisexual actress Lindsay Lohan has been branded as homophobic by gay rights activist Peter Tatchell following complaints to the broadcaster by a PinkNews.co.uk reader.
Within the programme, which was broadcast in two parts on BBC3 on 30th and 31st December, lesbians were described as “munters” and viewers were told that female Hollywood superstars should be saved for heterosexuals.
In the first episode (which is still available on the BBC iPlayer), bisexual actress Lindsay Lohan and her partner DJ Samantha Ronson were listed as number 43.
During the programme, BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Spooney said of lesbians: “Let the munters and mingers get each other. That’s cool. Nobody wants them.”
He then referred to Lohan and Ronson: “But when they’re hot and fit…you know what I mean?
“Hollywood superstars: they should be saved for guys.”
Porn actor Ron Jeremy made several references to ejaculating on the couple.
Paul Flynn, of Grazia magazine, commented that the high profile of Lohan and Ronsons’ relationship is a positive thing for the lesbian community, as “You don’t have hot, cool lesbians in culture; they don’t exist.”
Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell told PinkNews.co.uk: “The remarks by DJ Spoony and straight porn actor Ron Jeremy were gratuitously sexist and homophobic.
“The production company and the BBC should have never broadcast them.
“The upcoming repeats should either cut or bleep-out their stupid, bigoted remarks.
“The BBC should also issue a public apology.
“Spoony should be suspended by the BBC and only be allowed to continue presenting his Radio 5 programme after he has apologised on air and promised not to repeat his homophobic garbage.
“Ron Jeremy’s comments were needlessly offensive, he’s an ugly, sexist pig, which no right-thinking woman, lesbian or straight, would want to meet, let alone have sex with.”
Mr Tatchell’s comments come after PinkNews.co.uk reader Georgina Burns, complained to the BBC that the comments made within the programme were offensive to lesbians.
Ms Burns told PinkNews.co.uk: “From the moment they discussed a real lesbian they spent 70% of the time on men salivating.
“Paul Flynn’s comment on there being no ‘hot, cool’ lesbians; I couldn’t believe it! Every male stereotype of women was in the programme.
“None of them discussed Samantha Ronson as a person.
She added: “The BBC won’t allow the word ‘faggot’ on to be played in a song on Radio 1, but every week lesbians and women in general are slated in the media.
“I left such a bad taste in my mouth; it seems that you can just say what you like about lesbians.
The BBC wrote to her saying that the comments were made in a “light-hearted fashion with no malicious intent.” The BBC added that the commentators were “voicing their own opinion – they don’t represent the views or opinions of the BBC.”
The article published by PinkNews.co.uk resulted in scores of complaints to the media regulator Ofcom and the BBC Trust. The later upheld the complaints by PinkNews.co.uk readers saying that the comments upheld negative stereotypes. Unforutnately, this was just one of a series of occasions that the BBC was accused of homophobia. A report by Stonewall just last week named the BBC the worst broadcaster for on-screen portrayal of gay people.