Saturday, 16 January 2010

Just don't be a dick, Stephen

I did something today which makes me a little bit more like a Mail reader. I complained about a programme on the BBC. Seriously, I went on their complaints page and filled out the form and everything.

What stops me transforming into the kind of person who sticks pins in a doll of Jonathan Ross and compulsively writes 'Harperson' in the mistaken belief that it's a genuinely hilarious pop at polidigob corridigibob gawn maaaaaaaad, rat-fans, was the fact that I was complaining about this.

I'm ashamed to say that I held off on complaining for a couple of days, rather than getting after it straight away like I did with Brooklyn's champion gurner Letterman, because I actually quite like the BBC, I'm aware it's under threat from the Mail-reading brigade and the Murdoch family and their mates in the Tory party...but feck it: they fucked up, big-time, and they aired a segment which reinforced the bullshit 'trans panic' defence and made fun of one of the most marginalised groups in society. That's a major, major fail, and the fact that it comes from an organisation I generally, genuinely, trust, love and respect is no excuse to go easy on them. If anything it's a reason to be more strict with them because we know that the BBC can be, and has been, held to account, so we can actually make a difference, rather than the fart-in-a-force-10 which complaining about the Daily Mail is, given that it's editor is the chair of the Press Complaints Commission.

So here's that complaints page link again. Please do contact the BBC, tell them they've fucked up, tell them why. And with any luck - while we've still got a national public service broadcaster which does pay genuine attention to us - there's a chance that the BBC's insensitivity in this case might lead to an apology which becomes a teachable moment in letting the vast audience QI enjoys know that mocking peoples' gender identity and reinforcing prejudice which harms the most vulnerable people in society for cheap, schoolboyish 'humour' is not OK, no matter who you are.

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