From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel (continued from 29 July 2008)
My blog on 28 March 2008 was about labels. Some people think they're a bad idea, but I thought that in some cases labels can be useful.
Yesterday I got an email from someone at the BBC Future Media & Technology department, claiming that the Feelings 4 grls message (blog 28 March 2008) wasn't originally taken down on account of being suggestive of same sex affections.
BBC management "have concluded that this wasn't the case." They say that the hosts needed to be reassured about the provenance of the user posting the comment. So I have asked why the hosts sought reassurance in that specific case, and am awaiting a reply.
The BBC email yesterday said that they have also found no evidence that comments from children are filtered out for using words such as "lesbian" or "gay". However my blog on 29 July 2008 detailed evidence that messages with those words are suppressed on the Bullying message board - and I am confident that my evidence is correct. In fact on 31 July 2008 I contacted Richard Tait and suggested that the BBC impartiality report intimation of institutional support for equality for women and gay people, on page 72, is misleading. I cited CBBC's Bullying message board as a case in point. A copy of the email was included in my submission to the BBC Trust consultation on children's services.
Instead of intimating that it's a haven for political correctness, as the BBC does in From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel, truth is that the BBC should be worried that it is a haven for heterosexism and discrimination.
Heteronormativity is espoused unthinkingly on CBBC programmes. In a recent example Newsround put selected viewers' questions to Britain's Got Talent winner George Sampson. He was interviewed by Ore Oduba.
Ore: George, I have to get this out in the open now, because it's a question that a lot of people wanna know.
Ore: Right I hope you don't mind, but I want to know - have you got a girlfriend?
George: I've not.
Ore: You heard it first from George Sampson - hasn't got a girlfriend.
George: I've not, no.