Saturday, December 06, 2008

BBC children's TV has become quite predictable, especially in the area of diversity and inclusiveness. So I wasn't surprised when Newsround failed to cover this year's Anti-bullying week (see blog 23 November 2008). I'm hoping Newsround will get back to me and explain their reasoning, although to be honest it's looking very like BBC children's TV producers instinctively know they mustn't allow kids to be made aware of LGBT people.

This was also apparent on Thursday's edition of Election with Peter Tatchell as the guest mentor. Why the cynicism? Let's take a closer look at last Thursday's programme.

Shortly after the start we saw Angellica and the four surviving contestants, Hazel, Izzie, Jac and Quincy chatting in a London cafe. Someone dressed in a full body chicken outfit came along the street and held up a notice to the cafe window. It read "Chickens have rights too!!!" Next we saw the 'chicken' come in the cafe and hand out leaflets whilst calling out "chickens have rights."

So, no problem with covering issues to do with animal rights - and a good thing too. Angellica told the kids that their next task would be about the art of publicity stunts. Could they get strangers on the street to change their habits?

Angellica: And to help them is human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell. He's no chicken when it comes to campaigning, and has stuck his neck on the line in over 3000 demonstrations.

That was Angellica's 11 second introduction to Peter Tatchell, during which we were shown stills from three campaigns in which Peter had participated - a demonstration for women's rights in Iraq, a campaign against Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, and one in favour of making the UK a republic. Not a single mention of the issue on which Peter has been outspoken for more than a quarter of a century - LGBT rights. But it's exactly what I expected. Radio Times and the electronic programme guide referred to him as "Green Party campaigner Peter Tatchell."

The irony of Election's 'chicken' wouldn't be lost on people in California.

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