Thursday, 10 December 2015

BBC letting the bad guys take over Dodge (or SSE Arena*)

I've come home to the news that the BBC journalist Andy West has been suspended because of his comments that he's ashamed of his employers fail to admit their error in giving Tyson Fury a platform on SPOTY. Seeing the coverage that the story has been getting on the BBC over recent days actually rebroadcasting his views unedited and as spoken I feel that Andy West is not the only person to be ashamed.

The BBC brand themselves as Your BBC meaning that it really is "Our BBC". It would appear that in the case of this incident it applies providing you aren't gay or a woman. It must not be forgotten that Fury's comments that he is repeating are both homophobic and misogynistic.

The hosts of SPOTY include Sue Barker, Gabby Logan and Clare Balding. Three strong women who have succeeded in the macho world of sport reporting. The later of course is also married to her same-sex partner. If a gay journalist is ashamed, and Clive Myrie calls him a dickhead live on air how much must these three women (as well as fellow nominee Jessica Ennis-Hill) feel uncomfortable sharing the studio with Fury in 10 days time. Is it right that the BBC allow these women to take part in a live event with a man whose words are clearly set to provoke, who remains unrepentant and continues to accentuate the anguish his initial comments passed with every time he is asked for comment.

The BBC continue to dig a hole for themselves over this issue. Sadly it might well bury the corporation if they are not careful.

*The SSE Arena in Belfast is the venue that will be hosting the BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) awards on 20th December.

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