MIDLAND & NATIONAL: BBC Blasted for Negative Attitude to Gays

Article excerpt

BBC presenters such as Anne Robinson and Jeremy Clarkson have been criticised in a report for perpetuating negative attitudes towards lesbians and gay men.

The report, by charity Stonewall, concluded that gay people were "almost invisible" on BBC 1 and BBC2.

It said lesbian and gay lives featured in 38 minutes of the 168 hours it monitored.

That included 32 minutes of derogatory or offensive references and only six minutes of positive portrayals.

Robinson came in for criticism for repeatedly using gay innuendo to belittle a contestant on The Weakest Link - Celebrity Chefs.

The presenter, who previously got into trouble for joking about the Welsh, asked a contestant: "What do you do in your restaurant? Just mince around?" and "Is Reza more puff than pastry?"

Examples of negative portrayals also included a joke on The Lenny Henry Show, accompanied by a limp-wristed gesture, about a man being arrested for being gay and let off by a gay judge.

The report said it was not unusual to hear Top Gear presenter Clarkson describing cars as gay, and also criticised Ally McCoist on A Question Of Sport, who featured in a montage of clips of sportsmen kissing.

Afterwards, the report said, McCoist "was quick to point out that he was not instigating the kiss, in other words, that he is not gay". …