Monday, June 15, 2009

Jonathan Ross, the bully

Jonathan Ross is a bully. According to the BBC he is "not homophobic in any sense.." I disagree.

Let's look at the principal characteristics of a typical bully:-

He or she will pick on people who are less able to defend themselves.

He or she makes use of differences between people as the focus of insults

He or she believes that their behaviour makes them popular

He or she is a coward

Jonathan Ross has all of these attributes. Here's why:-

In May 2009 Jonathan Ross suggested, on his Radio 2 programme, that parents would not want a son to be gay and should get him adopted (see blog 17 May 2009). After the Radio 2 comment, and complaints to Ofcom, Ross said he was mortified that anyone would think he was being homophobic. Had that been a one-off remark about gay sexuality it would be possible to overlook it as a very unfortunate mistake. But the truth is that week after week Mr Ross insists on putting down the gay men in his house band. No other minority group gets such treatment on the BBC.

His house band may have chosen their name unwisely, but that does not entitle Jonathan Ross to demean them in the way he does. As one user of the Pink News' message board put it:-

If you are so mortified, Ross, then insist that those four gay men who sing on your program every week are called, by you at least, by some other name than "Four Poofs" . . . so that you will no longer be able to begin your weekly show with a show that implies gay men are focussed solely on having sex with each other and others.

Ross fosters the impression that such behavior is the norm and reasonable, and of course the band members always giggle at his joke. But has Ross considered how many gay people are subjected to similar treatment at school and at work. No doubt most people in similar situations will also laugh off the remarks, but inside they may be deeply hurt, and powerless to do anything about it.

Bullies like to choose vulnerable targets - and that's exactly what Ross does, with full backing from BBC management. The rapturous welcome he gets each week reassures him that he's cool and got loads of friends - bullies always like to think they're popular. Finally, Ross is a coward. He knows that if he were subjected to reasonable scrutiny he would have to drop the homophobia. But he will carry on as long as he's able, because at heart he's a bully, and a homophobic one at that.

This is what he said on last Friday's programme:-

Ross: ... I'm very pleased to announce some special news in my house. My dog, Mr Pickle - the apple of my eye - he has received a job offer. He has been invited, by a lady called Janet, to join a new musical group she's forming called 4 Pugs and a Piano. But as you can see it's not working at the moment because at the moment they've only got three. They've got three adorable pugs there - that's Ernie, Stanley and Dudley, OK. I already know their names - it took me years to remember that lot over there [Ross points to the members of his own house band]. Which is great news for Mr Pickle, not such good news necessarily for my current house band, because you know it's a difficult choice. Do I stick with them ... do I go with the pugs? Though of course who wants a house band that spends most of its time sniffing your crotch and trying to hump your leg? [to his band] Which is why I might have to replace you with the pugs. Don't tell me ... don't tell me you didn't see that coming.

House band and 3 pugs
Screen shot of Friday's programme

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