An episode of Good Morning Britain in which Piers Morgan interviewed a ‘gay cure’ therapist was the most complained about TV segment of 2017.
The show aired a discussion between host Piers Morgan, Liverpool Echo journalist Josh Parry and ‘therapist’ Dr Michael Davidson on 5 September
The episode went on to receive some 1142 complaints, more than any other programme.
Viewers were quick to slam the item, asking ITV bosses why a man who claims he can ‘cure’ homosexuality, which is not possible, was given the platform.
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) September 5, 2017
During the segment host Piers Morgan laid into the idea that being gay was an invention which could be turned on and off.
Dr. Davidson rebutted the brash TV host as he suggested a “population group are unhappy with homosexuality” – to which Piers pointed out he meant himself.
The 52 year old, who has previously been criticised for his views on non-binary people, began: “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.”
“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.”
After viewers said Dr Davidson should not have been given a platform for his views in the first place, ITV responded: “Should offensive views not be aired even if challenged?”
Stonewall Chief Exec Ruth Hunt wrote said at the time: “I’m increasingly thinking that @stonewalluk needs an early morning crew just to respond and counteract early morning ITV sanctioned hate”.
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.