A leaked WhatsApp conversation between BBC employees has revealed that staff are clashing over the inclusion of trans people in their new broadcasting quotas.

The groups, which were said to have been created in the wake of the BBC equal pay scandal, have seen staff members at odds over whether or not trans women are women, a report by BuzzFeed revealed.



Sparked by the BBC’s recent announcement that they want an equal number of male and female expert contributors to appear on their news programmes by April 2019, the WhatsAppers discussed whether or not that would include trans women – and the conversation ended with some people leaving the group.

The logo for the Broadcasting House, the headquarters of the BBC is displayed outside on July 25, 2015 in London, England. (Carl Court/Getty)

“The reason we don’t get on progs and panels is discrimination due to biology and that’s the thing that needs to be addressed,” wrote one senior BBC producer in one of the 100 women-strong chats, reports BuzzFeed.

“Agreed. A panel with 2 men and 2 men who identify as women is not 50/50,” said another in a leaked message.

“There are TERFs [trans-exclusionary radical feminists] clashing with the millennials and just posting blatantly transphobic things in the chats,” one anonymous BBC journalist told the publication.

“It’s not pretty and you can see younger women leaving the groups every time it comes up.”

(Justin Sullivan/Getty)

However, it is clear that not everyone in the chat agreed with the direction the conversation was taking.

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“Hello, I find this quote offensive… trans women are women and should be included in these discussions?” said one person in the debate.

Trans people make up less than 2 percent of the BBC’s workforce.

Out of the BBC’s 21,000 employees, 417 identify as transgender, according to the broadcaster’s equality report.

71 out of 2,988 senior staff members in leadership positions at the BBC are transgender.

Another 300 members of the Labour Party have left due to the fact that self-identifying trans women are included on all-women shortlists.

The party expressed their confusion and stated that self-identifying women have always been allowed in the voting selection.

Women’s officer Lily Madigan, who is trans, tweeted that “I, and the women I represent fundamentally welcome this.”

Lily Madigan
Lily Madigan

“Today, approximately 300 transmisogynist women left the Labour Party,” said Madigan.

“Today is a good day 🌹✊.”




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