Tuesday, December 18, 2007

BBC1 censors Christmas Classic

Two members of my family, who on most issues have very different tastes, both love the Pogue's Christmas song, "Fairytale of New York"

It's a story of two lovers who trade insults on Christmas Eve. Some of the insults are somewhat rude and I'm not going to quote it, but the song has been broadcast regularly for 20 years and it is a serious contender for the number one Christmas slot.

However, BBC1 have now bleeped out one of the insults because one of about ten possible meanings of the word in question, which clearly does not apply in this instance, is as a mildly insulting term for a gay person. The BBC were concerned that some gay or lesbian listeners might be offended.

Among those who have complained about the decision to censor the song have been quite a number of gay men and women.

Their view was summed up by a lady called Heather Goodwin, who posted the following on the Telegraph website:

"I am a gay woman, with many male gay friends, and we've always loved this song. I think the BBC needs to stop being knee-jerk PC. It's not necessary to sanitise every instance of the word 'faggot' - only where it is obviously being directed at gay members of the listening audience as an insult. Thanks, for caring, BBC, but next time, why don't you ask us? The lovely people at Stonewall - or, indeed, your own Diversity team - will always advise!"


Newmania said...

Very good

vervet said...

The BBC have their collective heads so far up their collective recta, they fail to see that censorship is despised more than the use of potentially insulting words when not used in an ofensive context.
Twats (definitely in an offensive context).

Chris Whiteside said...

Indeed. This is one of many cases where a well-intentioned but cack-handed attempt to avoid offending a minority group probably caused far more offence, including to members of that group, than the original words.