Good Morning Britain ‘gay cure’ segment breaks Ofcom complaints record
Ofcom received record-breaking levels of complaints about a segment on Good Morning Britain featuring a gay ‘cure’ therapist.
On September 5, the ITV daytime show aired a discussion between host Piers Morgan, Liverpool Echo journalist Josh Parry and gay cure ‘therapist’ Dr Michael Davidson.
On the show, Dr Davidson explained that he has a thriving business attempting to ‘cure’ desperate gay people, saying: “in the last year I’m seeing up to 14 a week, many of them are in therapy for up to two years.”.
LGBT groups condemned the segment for irresponsibly giving a platform to gay ‘cure’ therapy, which has been disavowed by every psychiatric and medical body in the country and is banned on the NHS.
It has emerged that the episode attracted a total of 1121 complaints to broadcast regulator Ofcom, breaking records for the most complaints this year.
Ofcom recorded a total of 672 complaints about the episode based on ‘Sexual orientation discrimination/offence’, while a further 449 complaints were attracted on the grounds of ‘Due impartiality/bias’.
The record levels of complaints pass the 663 complaints attracted by an episode of Britain’s Got Talent earlier this year in which Amanda Holden wore a revealing dress.
It also passes the Comic Relief telethon, which earned 340 complaints after comic Russell Brand swore before the watershed.
The Good Morning Britain segment was widely condemned by LGBT activists.
Stonewall Chief Exec Ruth Hunt wrote: “I’m increasingly thinking that @stonewalluk needs an early morning crew just to respond and counteract early morning ITV sanctioned hate”.
Peter Ruddick, producer on rival morning show BBC Breakfast, said he would “resign” if a programme he worked on booked such a guest.
During the segment host Piers Morgan laid into the idea that being gay was an invention which could be turned on and off.
But the therapist insisted he could help a “population group who are unhappy with homosexuality”.
Piers Morgan told him off for his comments.
He said: “You know what we call these people? We call them horrible little bigots in the modern world.
“Bigoted people who talk complete claptrap and, in my view, a malevolent and dangerous part of our society.
“What’s the matter with you? Stop talking for a moment. Stop banging on.”
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“You seem to care very much, you seem to think he wasn’t born gay and now needs to be cured.
“To which I say, shut up you old bigot! Sorry, but this is ridiculous.”
Gay cure therapy has been widely and conclusively debunked by experts – it is not possible to forcefully change a person’s sexuality.
Despite this, the practice remains broadly legal in the UK, with a Liverpool church being exposed as telling gay people they could be ‘cured’ by starvation just weeks ago.
It is banned on the NHS, and any professional who is a member of the General Medical Council found to offer gay cure therapy would be struck off.