Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mark Thompson said last year that the BBC has a duty to take lesbian, gay and bisexual people as seriously as any other part of its audience. He said their experiences and perspectives must be portrayed with as much conviction and fairness as they would portray anyone else.

Perhaps Mr Thompson could be taken more seriously had he not spent almost his entire term in office as BBC Director-General trying to eradicate LGBT portrayal from children's TV. Amongst the first of his decisions were the setting up of a "diversity board" chaired by himself, and the approval of new guidelines which omitted wording about treating lesbian, gay and bisexual people fairly.

So, by the time the first civil partnerships took place in December 2005 not a single word was reported about them on CBBC Newsround. In fact that failure was the final straw which, a few days later, led to the establishment of Newsround Blog.

Regrettably the discriminatory culture still lingers on, as is evident from a careful reading of the BBC LGB Review Update (see blog on 2 January 2013) The quoted section on Page 9 of the Review Update mischaracterizes the original findings of the 2010 Review, and also indicates that BBC Children's management have no intention of treating LGB people with equal respect

An example of this different attitude can be seen in a 12 Again Valentine's Day Special, broadcast earlier today.
12 Again - CBBC's Valentine's Day Special

Although CBBC has finally got round to acknowledging the existence of civil partnerships, there is a clear distinction in the way straight and gay affections are treated. The programme interviews a number of well-known stars, all of whom either reminisce about opposite sex affections, or don't make the object of their affection known.

In this clip it seems that Craig Revel Horwood has just been asked if he had a crush on any of the girls at his school. And in this clip, narrator Iain Stirling says that Antony Cotton's idea about love is wrong on so many levels.

Happy LGBT History Month & Valentine's Day

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