Monday, January 12, 2009

Racist and homophobic language

Opinions about Prince Harry's language on the recently released video vary widely - some people believing that the issue has been blown out of all proportion, whilst others saying that there should be a zero tolerance attitude to racism. A BBC News report of the News of the World story has a warning - "Guidance: This video contains some strong language" but there are no swear words.

Newsround, too, has reported the story although its reports carefully avoided actually repeating the terms used by Prince Harry. Feedback from young people is on Newsround's website.

When it comes to homophobic language, the BBC has been somewhat less cautious. Take, for example, Jonathan Ross. Would the BBC countenance him employing a house band which called itself Four P*k*s and a Piano - I doubt it. Yet 4 P**fs and a Piano appeared regularly on what was considered a flagship BBC programme.

It will be very interesting to see whether or not 4 P**fs and a Piano continue to be the Friday Night With Jonathan Ross house band (see blog 31 October 2008)

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