Susan Calman has sparked outrage by daring to do what all female competitors
have done on all 14 previous series of Strictly Come Dancing -- dance with a man. The problem, or outrage, such as it is, is that Calman is openly gay.
When she was paired with Kevin Clifton, one of the show's most popular professionals who has come second in the competition four times in a row.
That was enough for Calman to be branded a traitor to the gay cause. Never mind that she gave a shout-out to her wife in her first interview, never mind that she has spent her whole career campaigning for LGBT rights.
Calman was forced to defend her decision to have a male partner. I've worked tirelessly for LGBT equality my whole life and right now I would like to dance and bring entertainment to people by dancing on a Saturday night. Dancing's not necessarily
about sex, it's acting.
Meanwhile 28 people have campaigned to Ofcom about a gag on The Great British Bake Off where a time check was called by a presenter from inside a fridge and then having the door closed on him.
Viewers took to social media to blast the show's producers for being irresponsible and setting a bad example to children. Shocking. So dangerous. How could this get onto a family programme. Wouldn't happen on the beeb, said one.
US catholics have become an early victim of newly introduced censorship measure from YouTube presumably because their teaching is considered offensive due to politically incorrect attitudes towards gays and abortion. Catholic Online writes:
More media organizations are criticizing YouTube's increasingly oppressive soft censorship policies which are now eliminating mainstream news reports from the video sharing network. Many content creators on YouTube are losing millions in revenue
as the Google-owned firm reduces and cuts off payments in pursuit of profits and control.
YouTube is censoring content though various indirect means even if that content does not violate any terms of service. The Google-owned firm is removing content that it deems inappropriate or offensive, and is taking cues from the Southern Poverty
Law Center. The result seems to be a broad labeling of content, and the suppression of even mainstream news. Many of Catholic Online's bible readings have been caught up in YouTube's web of suppression, despite containing no commentary or message
other than the reading of the scriptures.
YouTube is not a government agency but a private platform, so it is free to ban or restrict content as it pleases them. Therefore, their policies, no matter how arbitrary, are not true censorship. However, the firm is practicing what some call
Soft censorship is any kind of activity that suppresses speech, particularly that which is true and accurate. It takes many forms. For example, broadcasting celebrity gossip in place of news is a form of soft censorship. Placing real news lower in
search results, preventing content from being shared on social media, or depriving media outlets of ad revenue for reporting on certain topics, are all common forms of soft censorship.
For some unknown reason, Catholic Online has also been targeted by these policies. Saints videos and daily readings are the most common targets. None of this content can be considered objectionable by any means, and none of it infringes on
YouTube's terms and conditions. It is suspected that anti-Christian bigotry, such as that promoted by liberal extremist organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center, are to blame.
The problem for content creators and media organizations is that there are few places for them to go. Most video viewing takes place on YouTube, and there are no video hosting sites as well known and widely used as YouTube. Other sites also
restrict content and some don't share revenues with content creators. This makes YouTube a monopoly; they are literally the only show in town.
The time has come for governments around the world to recognize that Facebook, Google, and YouTube control the public forum. If freedom of speech is to be protected, then these firms must be compelled to abide by free speech rules.
A few angry parents have launched an attack against Aldi supermarkets in Australia for stocking a book about transgender children.
Led by mother Kathryn Woolley, the parents have commented on social media accounts of the retailer to chastise its decision to sell the short novel, The Boy in a Dress . Woolley wrote on Aldi's Facebook page:
Aldi 203 we are so very disappointed in your decision to stock a book within your store 203 relating to transgenderism in children!
We would ask that you reconsider your choice to sell it!
Family & children must be protected in times where there are those whose agenda is to groom & sexualise them!
We ask you to have a conscience in this matter!
The book is the debut novel of British comedian David Walliams and aims to promote diversity and challenge gender roles by telling the story of a twelve-year-old who likes to wear dresses and the reaction of his family and friends.
The Orpheum Theater in Memphis has cancelled its traditional annual screening of Gone With the Wind , apparently in response to the anti-all-things-Confederate sentiment that's seizing the US.
It's the story of Southern belle Scarlett O'Hara, and her evolution from sheltered plantation owner's daughter to impoverished war casualty to scrappy Reconstruction-era survivor and hard-headed businesswoman. It's also a love triangle between
Scarlett, Rhett Butler and Ashley Wilkes. It's set against the backdrop of the Civil War but it's not supposed to be about the war, or slavery.
No, it is not a realistic depiction of the institution of slavery. Yes, the black characters in it are mostly stereotypes. It was published in 1936 and filmed in 1939. Gone With the Wind is dismissed by its critics as romanticizing the Confederacy
and the Old South, when on the contrary, if you look past all the melodrama and hoop skirts and fiddle-dee-dees you can find a strong anti-Confederacy statement.
Gone With the Wind contains strong black characters and staunchly anti-slavery white characters, most notably the character of Ashley Wilkes. My takeaway has always been that it's a scathing indictment of the Confederacy and the hubris of
Confederates who believed they could prevail against the economic and military might of the United States government. Admittedly all this comes across more in the book, but it's there in the film too.
Artistic works of decades past should be viewed in the context of the time in which they were created, not censored. It's unfair to hold them to present-day standards.
Instead of being banned, it could be presented in an educational forum discussing the issues surrounding it and how society has changed since the 1930s in its perception of them.
The Bigger Drive Home
City Beat Preston, 8 June 2017, 18:35
City Beat Preston is a community radio station broadcasting in Preston, Lancashire.
The Bigger Drive Home is the station’s drive-time programme, broadcast every Monday to Thursday between 15:00 and 19:00.
Ofcom received a complaint about an edition of the programme broadcast on 8 June 2017 which referred to transgender people. Towards the end of the programme the presenter read out a list of people who were celebrating their birthdays on that date
and then said:
“And if you’re out and about having a few drinks tonight, don’t forget like I always tell you – if you are single and you meet somebody tonight, make sure you know exactly what they’re gonna be looking like in the morning. I know [another
CityBeat presenter], he does it all the time. Goes out, has a few beers, meets a girl and then wakes up in the morning and finds out it’s, er, a transgender. Ah! [laughter] Can I say that? ‘Course I can!”
Around two and a half minutes later, and following an advertising break, the presenter said:
“And by the way, I was only joking about transgenders and [another CityBeat presenter]”.
Ofcom considered Rule 2.3:
“In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context…”.
Ofcom decision: Breach of rule 2.3
Ofcom considered whether the broadcast contained material which could be considered offensive. The presenter sought to make a joke by referring to a colleague’s experience with transgender people. We considered this had the effect of portraying
transgender people in a negative and derogatory way and therefore had the potential to be offensive.
We took into account that the presenter went on to say: “And by the way, I was only joking about transgenders and [another CityBeat presenter]”. In Ofcom’s view, this may have provided some limited mitigation to the potential offence. However, we
considered that the presenter’s use of the collective noun “transgenders” had further potential to cause offence.
Therefore, for the reasons outlined above, we considered that the content was in breach of Rule 2.3 of the Code.