BBC is “institutionally homophobic”

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A survey has found that 69 per cent of respondents think Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles should be sacked over a “homophobic” imitation of gay singer Will Young.

The figures come after Chris Smith, the former Culture Secretary and creator of media regulator Ofcom, criticised the BBC for allowing Moyles to continue making anti-gay comments.

Sixty-seven per cent of the 200 readers surveyed that an unwillingness to discipline other stars such as Jeremy Clarkson over similar comments showed that the BBC was institutionally homophobic.

When asked whether the BBC would take a stronger line if such jokes were about black, Asian or disabled people, 91 per cent thought it would.

Only one per cent thought it would treat anti-gay jokes more seriously and four per cent said it would treat them the same.

Speaking exclusively to last night, Mr Smith said the BBC needed to take “a more severe line” against the presenter.

Responding to a question on why homophobia is seen as less serious as racism, he said: “”I suspect the reason why there is a difference in the way racism and homophobia are treated is that we haven’t yet changed attitudes as far as we need to in order to get people to realise just how unnacceptable homophobia is.”

An Ofcom judgement released earlier this week found the BBC in breach of the Broadcasting Code following complaints from eight listeners.

The complaints regarded a Chris Moyles Breakfast programme broadcast on the 20th January 2009 where the DJ discussed the birthday of the Pop Idol winner Will Young.

During the broadcast, Moyles imitated the singer by singing alternative versions to his well known singles ‘Evergreen’ and ‘Leave Right Now.

During both songs, the media regulator found that Moyles “adopted an effeminate and high pitched voice.”

Ofcom said that although the comments were not intended to cause offence, that Moyle’s language could reasonably have been perceived by listeners as “hostile and pejorative” and had the potential to cause offence.

Moyles was criticised in 2006 for describing a mobile phone ringtone he disliked as “gay”.