Monday, March 09, 2009

BBC and coverage of LGBT History Month (part 2)

The first report on the Inside Out programme (BBC One, London, 25 Feb 2009) was by journalist David Akinsanya. A few years ago David made a documentary for the BBC called Sad To Be Gay. So needless to say, his report was hardly a celebration of LGBT History Month.

Although one of the BBC's Values begins: "We respect each other and celebrate our diversity," the Corporation takes these words less conscientiously in regard to the LGBT community. Thus, in order to imply 'neutrality' Inside Out occasionally used terms like homosexuality, as well as talking about lesbian and gay people (see comment by Tony Fenwick in previous blog)

Drama teacher Jo Letson, talking about Romeo and Julian, her adaption of the Shakespeare play: At the beginning it was a novelty for the kids. And then, as we started doing the project, as we started looking at the language and the words, it kind of developed into something else. The kids started to look at it, and started to really feel that this is about tolerance.

David Akinsanya: You may think this focus on sexuality in schools is new, but actually something similar was tried over twenty years ago.... So according to Akinsanya, and as with CBBC, relationships become sexual when they're lesbian and gay relationships.

Akinsanya claimed that "just five years ago teachers were forbidden from even using the word 'gay' in classrooms." Not true, although at the time many teachers felt that to be the case. What is certainly true, however, is that BBC children's TV today has a de facto ban on using words such as 'lesbian' and 'gay'

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