BBC governors reject homophobic complaints

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

The BBC’s governors have dismissed complaints that the station broadcasted homophobic material.

The complaint to the BBC board of governors, objected to perceived homophobia on BBC Radio 1 and on the Catherine Tate comedy show.

Radio1 DJ Chris Moyle’s was cited for describing a ring tone as gay and offence was caused by comments made by US rapper The Game on Jo Whiley’s show on the same station, when he described gay people as “faggots”.

The complaint also cited the camp, effeminate Derek character in The Catherine Tate Show.

BBC governors said the items “met the required editorial standards and did not demonstrate homophobia.”

The independent committee recognised Moyles comments may have caused offence, but said the use of the word “gay” to mean “lame” or “rubbish” was widespread amongst young people.

“In broadcasting to an audience of predominantly young people, it was to be expected that Chris Moyles would use expressions and words which the listeners used themselves,” the report said.

“The committee believed that Chris Moyles, when using the word, had meant no offence to gay people.

“It did, however, feel that it would be advisable to think more carefully about using the word ‘gay’ in its derogatory sense in the future.”

In regards to The Game’s remarks, the committee said: “The Game’s comments were very offensive, completely unacceptable and clearly homophobic.

“However, it also noted that the presenter, Jo Whiley, was swift to make a full apology for what had been said and to distance herself and the network from The Game’s comments.

“This apology was an appropriate and proportionate response to what had occurred and meant that, taken as a whole, the programme did not breach required programme standards.”

The BBC also cancelled other interviews with the artist.

The committee excused the “overtly effeminate” Derek character in the Catherine Tate Show, who takes offence to being called gay, calling it an “extreme stereotype, which was supposed to be “funny, not realistic.”

The Catherine Tate Show complaint centred around its “overtly effeminate” character Derek, who takes offence when people assume he is gay.

“The committee agreed that humour does and should challenge and push boundaries.

“The series was very well received and popular, demonstrating that its challenging material was acceptable to most people.”

A study by gay charity Stonewall last February found that gays and lesbians are rarely featured positively by the BBC.