Sunday, May 19, 2013

SadieJ has been mentioned a few times by Newsround Blog, for instance, in this review of the very first episode - Crushamondo

Perhaps as a result of careful planning, or possibly by pure coincidence, viewers of the CBBC channel had another opportunity to watch the third episode from series two of SadieJ last Friday - the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. In fact it was shown twice - first at 9.05am, and then again at 12.55pm

SadieJ was touted as an answer to criticism over the lack of LGBT diversity on children's TV. But despite these concerns, not one single episode ever actually addressed the subject of having same sex attraction, in other words what might generally be thought of as being lesbian, gay or bisexual.

The aforementioned third episode of series 2 is called Gagalicious. The episode seemed to try addressing the issue, but in the end it failed - and failed badly at that.

The theme running through the episode was very clear: that everyone should be proud to be who they really are. But that "proud to be" message did not seem to extend to being gay or bisexual. For example, whilst several characters in the series are either dating or "fancy" someone of the opposite sex, not one single character is either dating or has a crush on someone of the same sex.

Children's TV needs to deal with the full range of issues affecting the lives of 21st century British kids, otherwise it becomes an irrelevance and a waste of money. The Children's Media Conference has promised a session about LGBT inclusion at this year's event. We should have details about the session very shortly. Let's just hope it doesn't end up as just another cop-out which, as we've seen with SadieJ, is an all too easy mistake to make.

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