Culture secretary tells he will look into BBC ‘homophobia’

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

Culture secretary Ben Bradshaw has told he will look at the evidence of alleged homophobia by BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles.

Moyles has been rapped by Ofcom twice for breaching the broadcasting code with ‘anti-gay’ jokes but has never been punished by the BBC.

In 2006, he called a ringtone he didn’t like “gay” and earlier this year, Ofcom found him in breach of the code for mocking openly gay singer Will Young in an “effeminate” voice.

In comparison, Jonathan Ross was suspended without pay for three months after making lewd phone calls to Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs.

When asked by last night what he thought of Moyles, Bradshaw, a former BBC journalist who is openly gay, admitted he had not listened to the DJ’s show.

He said: “I haven’t listened to the guy. but if I had been asked what I thought, I would have said, ‘go on, give me some examples of what he’s like’ and then I may have been able to respond.

“As a general point, I don’t think we should lose our sense of humour.

“Having never listened to the guy, I can’t judge whether he goes beyond that, but if he does, I would deprecate that but I’ve not listened to him. I don’t think I should say any more really, it’s like being asked to comment on something you’ve never seen or heard. ”

After we cited examples of other stars being punished for racist and other offensive incidents but not for homophobia, Bradshaw promised to look more closely at the issue and even to speak to Ofcom, if necessary.

He said: “Why don’t you send me a dossier of this and I’ll have a look at it? If I think it’s justified, I’ll probably speak to Ofcom about it.”

We also asked Bradshaw about the huge salaries of stars such as Jonathan Ross and Graham Norton.

He said: “Well, I think it’s important that all organisations that are spending public money are cognisant of the time we’re living in, when a lot of people in the private sector are taking pay freezes or pay cuts and I also think they need to be aware of the the public, if the public is paying for something, they have a right to know how that money is spent.

“So I welcome the increasing openness in organisations like the BBC and hope that it continues.”

When asked whether stars’ paypackets should be cut, he replied: “Well, those are really matters for the BBC management to defend. I’m not going to second-guess the kind of decisions they have to take on an individual basis. They’re operating in a market and they’re perfectly well and able to defend those decisions themselves.”