Melon Farmers Original Version

Political Correctness vs. Free Speech


2020: Jan-March

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Blacked Out...

Barbara Taylor Bradford forced to change the name of upcoming novel, Blackie and Emma, over political correctness fears


Link Here29th March 2020
The literary character Shane 'Blackie' O'Neill, from Co. Kerry, is a popular one, created by novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford. But his name has meant that the proposed title of her latest book Blackie and Emma has now had to be changed.

The prequel to the highly successful A Woman of Substance was due for imminent release. But at the last minute her publishers feared that the title Blackie and Emma might offend political correctness and asked her to come up with an alternative.

A quote used in the promotional material rather demonstrates how key the nickname is:

I am that, to be sure. Shane O'Neill's the name, but the whole world calls me Blackie.

The author spoke about the last minute change in the title saying that the book will now be called Shane O'Neill and Emma Harte .

 

 

Offsite Article: The woke war on Brazil's Carnival...


Link Here29th March 2020
Is there nothing middle-class puritans won't try to suck the joy out of? By Raphael Tsavkko Garcia

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Shouting fire in a crowded theatre...

Alex Jones' Infowars app gets ejected from Google's Play Store


Link Here28th March 2020
Full story: Coronavirus...Internet censorship and surveillance
Alex Jones' InfoWars is already widely banned from social media on political grounds for disputing politically correct dictates. However disputing the need for social distancing during the covid crisis was maybe a step too far leading to Infowar's Android app being ejected from Goggle's Play Store.

The app was apparently removed because of a video posted by radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones that, according to Wired, disputed the need for social distancing, shelter in place, and quarantine efforts meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

A Google spokesperson said:

When we find apps that violate Play policy by distributing misleading or harmful information, we remove them from the store. Infowars was not immediately available for comment.

Last week, Alex Jones was ordered by New York Attorney General Letitia James to stop selling Infowars products that were marketed as a treatment or cure for the coronavirus.

 

 

Offsite Article: Ten woke ways to shut down debate...


Link Here15th March 2020
Some people would prefer you didn't talk back -- here's how they'll try to cancel you. By Peter Franklin

See article from unherd.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Tim Berners-Lee calls for urgent action to make cyberspace safer for women and girls...


Link Here12th March 2020
Why can't we have policies that protect everyone equally. Identitarian one sided rules have achieved little beyond unfairness, injustice and society wide aggrievement

See article from theguardian.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Now they're censoring free-speech societies...


Link Here11th March 2020
If you thought students' unions had more sense than to go after pro-free speech student groups, think again.

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

The outrage mob rants about dated Doctor Who episodes on BritBox...

But are we so sure we're on the moral high ground? The 1970's didn't have an unfair pecking order defining which identitarian groups are allowed and encouraged to attack and bully other groups, resulting in widespread societal aggrievement


Link Here 10th March 2020
An outrage mob has accused he BritBox of racism after it put up an episode of Doctor Who where Chinese people are played by western actors.

The pay streaming service run by the BBC and ITV was accused of failing to put a trigger warning on the 1977 six-part series titled The Talons of Weng-Chiang where white actors are shown wearing make-up and putting on accents as they play Asian characters.

Britbox later added a content warning to the episode since the kerfuffle, and said its compliance team are still working to review all programmes. A warning to the series now says that it contains some offensive language of the time and upsetting scenes.

A spokeswoman for the British East Asians in Theatre & on Screen told The Times the episode is really hard to watch because yellowface is so unacceptable now.

The episode stars Tom Baker playing the Doctor as he battles a Chinese stage magician villain called Li H'sen Chang, played by white British actor John Bennett.

 

 

Nothing to read here...

Woody Allen's autobiography is censored by his publisher Hachette


Link Here9th March 2020
Woody Allen's memoir, Apropos of Nothing, was acquired last week by the publisher Hachette in the US.

The move was quickly condemned by the author's daughter Dylan Farrow, who has alleged that Allen sexually abused her as a child, allegations that Allen has denied. These allegations have twice been investigated by the authorities but have not led to arrest, charge or prosecution.

Allen's son Ronan Farrow, whose book Catch and Kill --also published by Hachette -- details his investigations into institutional sexual abuse in the media and Hollywood, also blasted the decision and announced he would no longer work with Hachette.

The Hachette censorship was  initiated by Hachette staff in the US who staged a walkout at its New York offices over the memoir. The publisher then pulled the book, claming that the decision was a difficult one.

Woody Allen's memoir will still be published in France despite its US publisher dropping it, with his French publisher saying that the film director is not Roman Polanski and that the American situation is not ours.

 

Offsite Comment: This is the behaviour of censors, not publishers

9th March 2020. See article from theguardian.com   by Jo Glanville of English Pen

I do not want to read books that are good for me or that are written by people whose views I always agree with or admire. I am always afraid when a mob, however small and well read, exercises power without any accountability, process or redress. That frightens me much more than the prospect of Woody Allen's autobiography hitting the bookstores.

...Read the full article from theguardian.com

 

 

Oxford University feminists no-platform Amber Rudd...

Once academics spoke from their seat of learning, now they speak from their arsehole of dogma


Link Here 8th March 2020
The UNWomen Oxford UK Society had invited former Home Secretary Amber Rudd to speak on the totally uncontroversial topic of women's equality. She was due to be interviewed on her former roles as minister for women and equalities and chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Sex Equality.

But less than an hour before the event, the UNWomen society had a change of heart and decded to no-platform their invited speaker.

It seems that the issue that offended the students was that the Windrush scandal happened under Rudd's watch at the Home Office and negated all her other achievements.

Amber Rudd described the decision to cancel the event as badly judged and rude'

The students have now tried to justify their censorship in article from theguardian.com

 

 

Meaningless Words...

Ludicrous campaigners call for a dictionary to be a list of recommended words not a definition of how word are used and what they mean


Link Here5th March 2020

Did you know that if you are a woman, the dictionary will refer to you as a bitch or a maid? And that a man is a person with the qualities associated with males, such as bravery, spirit, or toughness or a man of honour and the man of the house?

These are, according to the dictionary, the synonyms for woman alongside a wealth of derogatory and equally sexist examples 203 I told you to be home when I get home, little woman or Don't be daft, woman!

Synonyms and examples such as these, when offered without context, reinforce negative stereotypes about women and centre men. That's dangerous because language has real world implications, it shapes perceptions and influences the way women are treated.

Dictionaries are essential reference tools, and the Oxford Dictionary of English is an essential learning tool, used in libraries and schools around the world. It is also the source licensed by Apple and Google, namely the most read online dictionary in the world.

Its inclusion of derogatory terms used to describe women should aim at exposing everyday sexism, not perpetuating it.

Bitch is not a synonym for woman. It is dehumanising to call a woman a bitch. It is but one sad, albeit extremely damaging, example of everyday sexism. And that should be explained clearly in the dictionary entry used to describe us.

We are calling on Oxford University Press, which publishes the Oxford Dictionary of English, as well as the online Oxford Dictionaries (www.lexico.com to change their entry for the word woman. It might not end everyday sexism or the patriarchy but it's a good start.

Maria Beatrice Giovanardi and the campaign team
Mandu Reid, leader of Women's Equality Party
Deborah Cameron, professor of language and communication, Oxford University
Nicki Norman, acting CEO of Women's Aid Federation of England
Fiona Dwyer, CEO at Solace Women's Aid
Estelle du Boulay, Director of Rights of Women
Laura Coryton, tampon tax petition starter, Period Poverty Task Force Member at the Government Equalities Office, alumni of University of Oxford (MSt in Women's Studies)
Gabby Edlin, CEO and Founder of Bloody Good Period
The Representation Project
Zoe Dronfield, trustee at Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service
Gwen Rhys, founder and CEO of Women in the City
David Adger, professor of linguistics, Queen Mary University of London
Dr Christine Cheng, author and lecturer in war studies at King's College
Dr Christina Scharff, author and reader in gender, media and culture at King's College
Judith Large, senior research fellow

 

 

Misguided Censorship...

ASA bans sexy fashion poster from Misguided


Link Here4th March 2020
Full story: PC censorship in the UK...ASA introduce politically correct censorship rules for adverts

Two posters for Missguided, a clothing company:

  • a. The first poster, seen on the London Underground on 14 November 2019, featured a model wearing a pink wrap mini-dress, which showed her legs and cleavage.

  • b. The second poster, seen on 24 November on a train station platform, featured the same model leaning against a side table wearing an unbuttoned jacket with nothing underneath, sheer tights and high heels.

Issue The complainants, who believed the images were overly sexualised and objectified women, challenged whether:

  1. ad (a); and

  2. ad (b) were offensive.

  3. One of the complainants also challenged whether ad (a) was appropriate for display where it could be seen by children.

ASA Decision

1. Not upheld

The ASA considered that the pose adopted by the model in ad (a) was no more than mildly sexual. The wrap style of the dress and her pose, with one arm slightly behind her, meant that it fell open just by her breast, which we considered was likely to be in keeping with how the dress would ordinarily be worn, but featured no explicit nudity. We also considered the focus of the ad was on the model in general and on the featured dress, rather than on a specific part of her body. While we acknowledged that some people might find the ad distasteful and the clothing revealing, we considered that the ad was unlikely to be seen as overtly sexual or as objectifying either the model in the ad or women in general and we therefore concluded the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

2. Upheld The model in ad (b) was wearing a blazer with nothing underneath, which exposed the side of her breast, and which was coupled with sheer tights, sheer gloves and underwear. We considered she would be seen as being in a state of undress and that the focus was on her chest area and lower abdomen rather than the clothing being advertised. We also noted that her head was tilted back, with her mouth slightly open, and her leg was bent and raised, which we considered was likely to be seen as a sexually suggestive pose. We considered that the sexually suggestive styling and pose would be seen as presenting women as sexual objects. Because the ad objectified women, we concluded that ad (b) was likely to cause serious offence.

3. Not upheld Ad (a) was seen on the London Underground and we accepted that children were likely to have seen the ad. However, for the reasons stated in point 1 above, we considered the image was not overtly sexual, and therefore concluded that it had not been placed inappropriately.

Ad (b) must not appear again in its current form. We told Missguided Ltd not to use advertising that objectified women and which was likely to cause serious offence.

 

 

Offsite Article: Europe: death by censorship...


Link Here3rd March 2020
We need to fight back against the new censorship or risk losing the most precious liberty of all. By Paul Coleman

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Deleted scene...

Disney drops politically incorrect imagery from the Clone Wars series on Disney Plus


Link Here29th February 2020
The animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars has made it onto the internet TV service Disney Plus, but it's missing a bit on the episode A Distant Echo .

A once teased, but ultimately axed scene featured some WW2-era pinup-style graphics. It showed a leggy Senator Padme Amidala in high boots, a severe updo, a mischievously cryptic look on her face, and a gun in hand.

In the deleted scene, Anakin asks Hunter, Hey! What's with the nose art? Hunter responds, That's our girl. The Naboo Senator. We check her out on the holoscans. Wrecker responds, Yea! She can negotiate with me anytime!

Disney has not given any reason for this latest cutting room floor decision. But some fans are frustrated at Disneyand those within, who want to sterilize everything for the modern era.

 

 

Offsite Article: We need to turn the tide on cancel culture...


Link Here29th February 2020
Toby Young on why he set up the Free Speech Union

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

You can't say that!...

The BBC defends airing widely held, but unallowed, views on immigration during Question Time debate


Link Here27th February 2020

Question Time
BBC One, 20 February 2020

Summary of complaint

We have received complaints from viewers who felt that a member of the audience was allowed to make unchallenged racist comments, and that a clip should not have been posted to the programme's Twitter page.

Our response

Question Time is a topical discussion programme where the audience place a key role in the debate. We always seek out a range of opinions and views on every topic and it is therefore inevitable that from time to time there will be comments made that you may disagree with. This edition of the programme included a debate about immigration which featured a broad range of views from the audience members and panellists.

After the audience member in question finished speaking, Fiona offered the panel the opportunity to respond to the points raised. Ash Sarkar strongly refuted the audience member's claims before the debate continued and we heard from other members of the panel and our audience on this issue. We recognise that some of our viewers would have preferred that Fiona interrupted this particular audience member more quickly but we are satisfied that in the generality of the debate we ensured that different perspectives and viewpoints were heard. As a programme we are a forum for discussion and therefore never take a view on the comments made by our panellists or audience members. We do want to assure you, however, that all content that we publish adheres to the BBC's editorial and legal guidelines.

In regards to the Tweet, Question Time posted five clips of people expressing their different views on the issue, which included the contributions of two panel members and two other audience contributions. We note that some of these posts have also been widely discussed and shared in keeping with our core obligation around ensuring that our audiences on social and digital as well as television and radio get a balanced summary of the debate in question.

 

 

Offsite Article: Why we must win the fight for free speech...


Link Here27th February 2020
Good on Toby Young for defending people's right to blaspheme against PC orthodoxy. By Brendan O'Neill

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Commented: Orwellian police ticked off for their harassment of people exercising their right to free speech...

Court finds that the police were acting unlawfully in pursuing Harry Miller for Twitter posts insulting trans people


Link Here17th February 2020
Background to the case

1. Between November 2018 and January 2019 the Claimant, Harry Miller, posted a number of tweets on Twitter about transgender issues. He holds gender critical views. The Claimant strongly denies being prejudiced against transgender people. He regards himself as taking part in the ongoing debate about reform of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 on which the Government consulted in 2018.

2. The College of Policing is the professional body whose purpose is to provide those working in policing with the skills and knowledge necessary for effective policing. The College publishes operational guidance for police forces in relation to hate incidents. This is called the Hate Crime Operational Guidance (HCOG). It requires police forces to record hate incidents whether or not they are criminal. The recording is done primarily for intelligence purposes. A noncriminal hate incident in relation to transgender is defined as

Any non-crime incident which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.

3. The Claimant's tweets were reported to Humberside Police by a transgender woman called Mrs B. Mrs B read the tweets when a friend told her about them. She regarded them as transphobic. They were recorded by the police as a non-crime hate incident. Of all the people who read the tweets, Mrs B was the only person to complain.

[An example Twitter post was

You're a man.

You're breasts are made of silicone
Your vagina goes nowhere
And we can tell the difference
Even when you are not there

Your hormones are synthetic
And lets just cross this bridge
What you have you stupid man
Is male privilege.]

4. A police officer visited the Claimant's place of work to speak to him about his tweets. They subsequently spoke on the telephone. What was said is disputed, but in his judgment Mr Justice Julian Knowles finds that the officer left the Claimant with the impression that he might be prosecuted if he continued to tweet. A press statement issued by an Assistant Chief Constable and a response to a complaint by the police also referred to the possibility of criminal proceedings if matters escalated, a term which was never further defined.

The judgment

5. In this application for judicial review the Claimant challenged the lawfulness of HCOG. He argued that, as a policy, it violates domestic law and also Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects freedom of expression. Alternatively, he argued that even if the policy is lawful, his treatment by the police was disproportionate and unlawfully interfered with his right of free speech under Article 10(1).

6. In his judgment handed down today, Mr Justice Julian Knowles concludes that HCOG is lawful as a policy both under domestic law and under Article 10. The policy draws upon many years of work on hate crime and hate incidents which began with the 1999 Macpherson Report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993. The Court concludes that HCOG serves legitimate purposes and is not disproportionate.

7. However, Mr Justice Julian Knowles also finds that the police's actions towards the Claimant disproportionately interfered with his right of freedom of expression on the particular facts of this case. The judgment emphasises the vital importance of free speech in a democracy and provides a reminder that free speech includes not only the inoffensive, but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative, and that the freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having.

8. Mr Justice Julian Knowles concludes that the Claimant's tweets were lawful and that there was not the slightest risk that he would commit a criminal offence by continuing to tweet. He finds the combination of the police visiting the Claimant's place of work, and their subsequent statements in relation to the possibility of prosecution, were a disproportionate interference with the Claimant's right to freedom of expression because of their potential chilling effect. In response to the Defendants' submissions that any interference with the Claimant's rights was trivial and justifiable, the judge concludes that these arguments impermissibly minimise what occurred and do not properly reflect the value of free speech in a democracy. He writes: The effect of the police turning up at [the Claimant's] place of work because of his political opinions must not be underestimated. To do so would be to undervalue a cardinal democratic freedom. In this country we have never had a Cheka, a Gestapo or a Stasi. We have never lived in an Orwellian society.

9. To that extent, Mr Justice Julian Knowles upholds the Claimant's claim.

The BBC obtained a follow up statement from the police rather showing that the police are wedded to the Orwellian society that they are enforcing.

Deputy Chief Constable Bernie O'Reilly, of the College of Policing, said:

Policing's position is clear - we want everyone to feel able to express opinions as passionately as they wish without breaking the law.

He added:

Hate incidents can be a precursor to these types of crimes and without recording them the police will begin to lose sight of what is happening in their communities - and potentially lose their confidence.

Offsite Comment: We need more Harry Millers

15th February 2020. See article from spiked-online.com by Tom Slater

He fought the thoughtpolice, and he won.

Today is a good day for free speech in Britain. The High Court has ruled that it is unlawful for police officers to harass members of the public for expressing views on the internet that some people find offensive, but are otherwise entirely legal to express. That this even had to be clarified tells us something about how far we've fallen, and how sorely this ruling was needed.

Statement: Index welcomes ruling that police reaction to tweets was disproportionate interference

15th February 2020. See article from indexoncensorship.org by Jodie Ginsberg

Index has long expressed concerns about the way police are handling online speech.

Index on Censorship chief executive Jodie Ginsberg said:

All too often speech that breaks no law is being investigated in a way that stifles people's freedom to express themselves -- while direct and credible threats of violence go unpunished.

Index on Censorship provided a witness statement in the Miller case and in particular noted the importance of being able to debate matters of public interest, such as the questions that arose from the government's consultation on the Gender Recognition Act. Index argued that the growing number of cases in which police were contacting individuals about online speech that was not illegal -- and sometimes asking for posts to be removed -- was creating confusion among the wider population about what is and is not legal speech.

Offsite Comment: Unpopular Thoughts Approved In The UK

17th February 2020. See article from reprobatepress.com by David Flint

 

 

 

I Accuse, #MeToo...

Moves to honour a highly rated Roman Polanski film are attacked by the French #MeToo movement


Link Here16th February 2020
J'accuse (An Officer and a Spy) is a 2019 France / Italy historical thriller by Roman Polanski.
Starring Jean Dujardin, Louis Garrel and Emmanuelle Seigner. IMDb 

In 1894, French Captain Alfred Dreyfus is wrongfully convicted of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil's island.

The entire board of the César Academy, which distributes France's equivalent of the Oscars, has resigned amid a wave of #MeToo criticism of its nomination for 12 awards for a film by Roman Polanski. The Césars had defended the nominations, saying that the body "should not take moral positions" in giving awards.

1,500,000 French people have seen the film at French cinemas, and by all accounts, it is a remarkable film worthy of the nominations.

The decision to honour Polanski's An Officer and a Spy has angered feminist groups and led to calls for a boycott. Hundreds of actors, producers and directors have attacked the board  claiming "dysfunction" at the César Academy and opacity in its management.

A general meeting is set to be held after this month's ceremony to elect a new board.

The Polish-French director has been wanted in the US for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl since the 1970s. He has since faced other accusations of sexual assault. 

 

 

Will the BBC soon be history?...

300 complaints to Ofcom about BBC propaganda aimed at children that denigrates British history as worthless


Link Here15th February 2020
There seems to be a bit of a backlash building against the general PC denigration of British people and their culture. In particular the BBC is being seen as a major institution that has taken to belittling Britishness.

A good example has been provided by a Horrible Histories Brexit special. The programme itself is a musical comedy aimed at kids, but its core purpose seems to be teach kids that British history is horrible and that the nation has contributed nothing of note to mankind.

THE BBC ran a short skit on Brexit day that depicts Queen Victoria of not realising that her British tea is not actually British, but is imported from India. The clip was presented by comedian Nish Kumar who introduced the video with a reference to Britain's EU departure.

The clip has been viewed three million times on Twitter, largely as a result of the controversy it attracted.

Andrew Neil, of the BBC, was a notable voice attacking the clip on Twitter. He commented:

This is anti-British drivel of a high order. Was any of the licence fee used to produce something purely designed to demean us?

It was reported that TV censor Ofcom has received 300 complaints about the issue.

 

Update: The BBC says that  the Anti-British skit was not meant to be anti-British

15th February 2020. See response from bbc.co.uk

This 9 minute long special, available on iPlayer, was a montage of old clips taken from previous series. Some viewers may only have seen the CBBC tweet which linked to the full episode, but only included the final clip from the programme -- a song about British Things which was first broadcast on CBBC in June 2009.

The programme was intended as a light-hearted and fun acknowledgement of a momentous day in Britain's modern history, i.e. leaving the European Union and included sketches about the Norman Invasion, the German origins of the Royal Family, and 15th century Italian fashion. Regular viewers of the programme -- now into its eighth series -- will be familiar with the tone of these comic sketches. None of them were meant to be anti-British or anti-European.

The song British Things, from 2009 , was intended to reflect that we are a nation, like many others, that enjoys a patchwork of traditions and culture from other countries as well as our own. The song accurately reflects the fact that many goods common in Britain during the Victorian era were harvested or produced by slaves in other countries. The contribution Britain made to ending the slave trade prior to this period has been featured in other Horrible Histories episodes.

In numerous sketches over many years Horrible Histories has extolled great British achievements, British ingenuity, inventions in science and agriculture, the genius of our writers and artists, culture and great British achievements. Indeed, the most recent series included a whole episode highlighting Queen Victoria's role in supporting the pioneers of early film technology. Other specials have celebrated the 800-year anniversary of Magna Carta, and the work of William Shakespeare.

The introduction to the full programme states that ....the UK is leaving the European Union and at the end that Britain in the European Union is now history. We feel it is clear to viewers that the reference to leaving Europe means the European Union.

 

 

Offsite Article: Shoving divisive identity politics down gamers' throats doesn't sell games...


Link Here 15th February 2020
Industry professionals know that, but the media is in denial

See article from rt.com

 

 

Sadiq Khan's naked hypocrisy...

Why is the London mayor throwing money at some underwear ads while banning others?


Link Here12th February 2020
Full story: Transport for London Censors...Advert censorship

 

 

Commented: Outsized egos...

More politically correct nonsense from the advert censors who ban sexy fashion advert


Link Here10th February 2020

A pre-roll Youtube ad for Prettylittlething.com, a women's clothing retailer, seen on 29 October 2019. The ad opened with a woman wearing black vinyl, high waisted chaps-style knickers and a cut-out orange bra, dragging a neon bar and looking over her shoulder. The ad proceeded to show women in seductive poses, wearing various lingerie style clothing and holding the neon bars.

A complainant, who believed the ad was overly sexualised and objectified women, challenged whether the ad was offensive and irresponsible.

Prettylittlething.com Ltd stated that the ad highlighted how they supported and promoted diversity through bold and distinctive fashion of all shapes and sizes which focused on different trends. They said they had not intended to create an ad which was deemed offensive and irresponsible. They said they worked hard to promote a positive and healthy body image that was inclusive and empowered women. Prettylittlething.com provided a mood board to demonstrate the creative theory behind the ad and explained that the ad was inspired by their customers who seek the latest rave style clothing.

ASA Assessment: Upheld

The ASA noted that the ad began with a woman looking over her shoulder in a seductive manner wearing black vinyl, high waisted chaps-style knickers which revealed her buttocks. A later scene depicted a woman wearing a transparent mesh bodysuit. The woman was lying on her side with her knee bent up and with a neon bar in between her legs. The next scene showed a woman in a bikini top, holding the neon bar behind her shoulders in a highly sexualised pose which accentuated her breasts. The woman was then depicted crouched down with her legs apart, wearing chaps-style trousers to reveal string bikini bottoms. We considered that the cumulative effect of the scenes meant that overall, the products had been presented in an overly-sexualised way that invited viewers to view the women as sexual objects. We therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence and was irresponsible.

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Prettylittlething.com Ltd not to use advertising that was likely to cause serious offence by objectifying women.

Offsite Comment: Is the ASA run by Mary Whitehouse?

6th February 2020. See article from spiked-online.com

Update: Pretty Little Thing advert doesn't objectify women

7th February 2020. See article from bbc.co.uk By Eleanor Lawrie Business reporter, BBC News

Even the BBC has called out ASA on this one

Offsite Comment: The Tyranny Of The Perpetually Offended

10th February 2020. See article from reprobatepress.com

Perhaps the ASA could enlighten clothing companies as to how to sell underwear without causing widespread offence to individual cranks.

 

 

Offsite Article: All angles covered...


Link Here10th February 2020
How intimacy coordinators are changing the way intimate encounters are filmed. But the article doesn't mention if this affects the viewing experience

See article from cbsnews.com

 

 

Barnes and Noble's brainless straw man falls apart...

Book publisher's Diverse Editions inevitably prove divisive


Link Here 7th February 2020
Barnes & Noble has shelved their plans to release a collection of classic books with new culturally diverse covers following an internet backlash.

Penguin Random House and Barnes & Noble Fifth Avenue had given twelve classic young adult novels new covers, known as Diverse Editions. The books were meant hit the shelves on Feb. 5, and the books were to be on display in their massive storefront throughout the month of February.

Each title had five culturally diverse custom covers designed to ensure the recognition, representation, and inclusion of various multiethnic backgrounds reflected across the country.

Following the news of the new covers, many Twitter users expressed their anger and disappointment over the situation. Example tweets were:

Jesus. Slapping cartoon POC on books by white folks when the words within those books don't promote anything but the white narrative isn't diversity. Diversity is giving POC equal opportunity to be published in a predominately white marketplace. Do better.

slapping Brown faces onto white stories is insulting. if #barnesandnoble wants to promote diversity, why not just promote classics written by diverse authors? they exist!

Barnes & Noble released a statement on Twitter acknowledging the concerns of the public and ultimately cancelling the release event at the store.

We acknowledge the voices who have expressed concerns about the Diverse Editions project at our Barnes & Noble Fifth Avenue store and have decided to suspend the initiative.

Diverse Editions presented new covers of classic hooks through a series of limited-edition jackets, designed by artists hailing from different ethnicities and backgrounds. The covers are not a substitute for black voices or writers of color, whose work and voices deserve to be heard.

The booksellers who championed this initiative did so convinced it would help drive engagement with these classic titles. It was a project inspired by our work with schools and was created in part to raise awareness and discussion during Black History Month, in which Barnes & Noble stores nationally will continue to highlight a wide selection of books to celebrate black history and great literature from writers of color.

 

 

American Dirt...

PC bullies get book promotion tour cancelled


Link Here2nd February 2020
The publisher of Jeanine Cummins' new novel American Dirt has cancelled the remainder of her promotional tour as a result of a politically correct backlash.

The novel about a Mexican mother and her young son fleeing to the US border had been praised widely before its 21 January release and was chosen by Oprah Winfrey for her book club.

But PC bullies who think they have the right to tell others what stories they can write have campaigned against the book for wrong think. Mexican American writers have claimed that the book contains  stereotypical depictions of Mexicans.

Julissa Arce Raya, the author of My (Underground) American Dream, argued American Dirt was not representative of her experience as an undocumented immigrant in America. Author Celeste Ng shared a review calling Cummins' depictions of Mexico laughably inaccurate. Roxane Gay deplored Oprah's decision to elevate the novel.

Bob Miller, president of the book's publisher, Flatiron Books commented:

Jeanine Cummins spent five years of her life writing this book with the intent to shine a spotlight on tragedies facing immigrants. We are saddened that a work of fiction that was well-intentioned has led to such vitriolic rancor.

Unfortunately, our concerns about safety have led us to the difficult decision to cancel the book tour.

Flatiron now plans to send Cummins to town-hall style events, where the author will be joined by some of the groups who have raised objections to the book.

 

Offsite Comment: The offencerati just got a book tour cancelled

2nd February 2020. See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Religious violence vs free speech...


Link Here1st February 2020
French 16 year old school girls receives a barrage of death threats in response to her criticism of religion on Instagram

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

 

Offsite Article: Forgive and forget...


Link Here28th January 2020
Full story: Thai TV Censorship...Kissing and catfights make the news whilst booze and fags are blurred
Thai TV drama series (lakorn) are very un-PC about sex and violence

See article from scmp.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Men should not talk about sport at work...


Link Here28th January 2020
Sexist and hateful head of the Chartered Management Institute demonstrates exactly how political correctness has become so divisive and disruptive

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

 

Offsite Article: Debased academia...


Link Here28th January 2020
No-platforming free speech has given a platform to bullies, charlatans, propagandarists and the corrupt

See article from timeshighereducation.com

 

 

You can't say that!...

250 complaints to Ofcom, mostly about the audience support for Laurence Fox's views on Question Time


Link Here25th January 2020
Actor Laurence Fox caused a bit of a stir when not going along with the progressive line that it is racist to criticise Meghan Markle.

The heated exchange result in 250 complaints to Ofcom but even the complaints had something extra to add to the debate. According to the Express the main issue of the complaints wasn't targeted at what Fox said. Instead the complaints were directed at the audience response which was generally supportive of Fox's line of debate, especially when Fox took issue with the audience members recourse to the clichéd claim of 'white privilege'.

Well the audience on meant to take the side of those opposing political correctness so the BBC was accused of selecting an audience that was not representative of the area (Liverpool) and so leading to a pro-Conservative bias in the discussion on racism.

It was pointed out in other articles that maybe the BBC bias in audience selection may have worked in the other direction. The audience member who accused Fox of 'white privilege' is well known to the BBC and has appeared on topical BBC shows eg discussing what the papers say.

Not the complaints will go anywhere. They will already be in Ofcom's waste paper bin already, who'd want to get involved arbitrating in such a debate anyway?

 

 

Collective Shout recommend...

An Australian TV advert for KFC's Zinger Popcorn Box


Link Here21st January 2020
An Australian feminist campaign group, Collective Shout , have whinged about a KFC ZInger advert featuring young lads being transfixed by the cleavage of young woman checking her cheerleader like attire in the reflection of a car window.

The campaigners claimed the the ad to be:

a regression to tired and archaic stereotypes where young women were sexually objectified for male pleasure; and males were helplessly transfixed when confronted with the opportunity to ogle a woman's body.

The ad has been running on television and has also been shared on the fast food chain's YouTube channel.

KFC apologised saying:

We apologise if anyone was offended by our latest commercial. Our intention was not to stereotype women and young boys in a negative light.

KFC has not confirmed if it will stop using the ad.

 

 

Commented: Why is Sheffield University searching for things to be offended about?...

Paying students to snitch on fellow students and their 'microaggressions'


Link Here 18th January 2020
The University of Sheffield is to pay students to call out so-called microaggressions - which it describes as subtle but offensive comments. They will be trained to lead 'healthy' conversations about preventing racism on campus and in student accommodation.

Vice-chancellor Koen Lamberts said the initiative wanted to change the way people think about racism.

The students will be paid £9.34 per hour as race equality champions, working between two and nine hours per week to counter microaggressions in the university.

These are described as comments or actions which might be unintentional, but which can cause offence to a minority group. It gives examples of what it means by micro-aggression - such as:
  • Stop making everything a race issue
  • Why are you searching for things to be offended about?

Strange as these examples seem to be exactly what Sheffield University is doing.

Offsite Comment: Turning students into a woke Stasi

18th January 2020. See article from spiked-online.com

A friendly word of warning to black students thinking of applying to the University of Sheffield: don't. Racism is endemic at this university. You will be confronted with racist abuse everywhere -- in your accommodation, the library and the student bar.

Racism at Sheffield University is -- apparently -- so rife that the vice-chancellor has had to resort to paying students to police not just the words but also the thoughts of their peers in a bid to get to grips with it.

... read the full article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Morrissey unleashed...

Record shops reported to be planning on banning Morrissey's next album


Link Here17th January 2020
A Glasgow record store has decided to ban British pop icon Morrissey from its shelves.Monorail Music said it will continue to sell records from the Smiths:

But like many of our peers will not sell the singer's 13th studio album, I'm Not One dog on a leash.

This follows last year's indie music store ban for Morrissey's latest album, California Son .

Morrissey responded to the latest round of stains and stops saying:

I call for the prosperity of the word. free; the disappearance of totalitarian control; I call for diversity of opinion; I call for the total abolition of the sea; I call for peace, above all; I call for civil society; I call for an end so far. unknown to brutality; No to Soviet Britain.

Morrissey's I'm Not One dog on a leash is set to be released on 20th March.
 

 

 

ASA does the girl boss thing...

And searches for optimal easy offence


Link Here13th January 2020

A poster ad for PeoplePerHour, seen on the London Underground in November 2019, featured an image of a woman and text that stated YOU DO THE GIRL BOSS THING. WE'LL DO THE SEO THING. Further text stated Hire expert freelancers by the hour to help your business grow. With everything from coding to video editing, it's easy to see why over 2 million people have trusted PeoplePerHour to help build their dream business.

Nineteen complainants, who believed that the ad perpetuated harmful gender stereotypes by depicting a woman running a business in a patronising way and by implying that women were not technologically skilled, challenged whether it breached the Code.

People Per Hour Ltd said the core intention of the campaign was to celebrate entrepreneurs and business owners, highlighting the fact they often walked a tightrope between driving their business forward and being weighed down by small day-to-day tasks.

The term girl boss was a reference to a book, popular culture movement and professional network. PeoplePerHour and their agency said they had not considered that the pairing of the term girl boss with the word thing could come across as patronising and reductive.

They acknowledged that the execution might unintentionally come across as sexist and demeaning to women. They had taken steps to rectify that by removing the word girl from the ad and issuing a public apology on their website.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The CAP Code stated Advertisements must not include gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence. The joint CAP and BCAP Advertising guidance on depicting gender stereotypes likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offence said that gender-stereotypical roles included occupations or positions usually associated with a specific gender, while gender-stereotypical characteristics included attributes or behaviours usually associated with a specific gender. It further stated that ads that directly contrast male and female stereotypical roles or characteristics need to be handled with care, and that care should be taken to avoid suggesting that stereotypical roles or characteristics were always uniquely associated with one gender.

The poster stated You do the girl boss thing. We'll do the SEO thing. It was a well-established stereotype that men were more suited to positions of authority in the business world than women. We considered that using the gendered term girl boss, as opposed to just boss, implied that the gender of the person depicted was relevant to their performance in a managerial or entrepreneurial role. It was also likely to be interpreted as indicating that a female boss was an exception to the norm. Furthermore, in the context of the girl boss thing, use of the word girl to refer to an adult woman reinforced the impression that a female boss was a novelty, playing at their role and somehow less serious than a man in the same position. We acknowledged that the term girl boss made reference to a book and TV show about a female entrepreneur, and resulting use of that term more widely in popular culture. However, we considered that many people viewing the ad were unlikely to be familiar with that reference.

It was also a well-established stereotype that women were not skilled at using technology. In contrast with the gendered reference in the first part of the sentence, we considered that We'll do the SEO thing (referring to search engine optimisation) was likely to be understood to mean that female bosses in particular needed outside help with IT matters. We acknowledged the steps taken to rectify those issues by removing the word girl from the ad and issuing an apology.

However, for the reasons given we concluded that the ad had the effect of reinforcing harmful gender stereotypes and that it breached the Code.

The ad must not appear again in the form complained about. We told People Per Hour Ltd to ensure their advertising did not perpetuate gender stereotypes in a harmful way.

 

 

Offsite Article: Political correctness is driving comedy...


Link Here12th January 2020
Ricky Gervais: why I'll never apologise for my jokes. Speaking to Andrew Doyle

See article from spectator.co.uk

 

 

Updated: The f-word vs the n-word...

Gavin and Stacey sangalong with the uncensored version of Fairytale of New York


Link Here10th January 2020
Gavin and Stacey will be performing their own rendition of the Pogues' Fairytale of New York in the Christmas Special.

In the anticipated upcoming episode, a singalong down the Dolphin with the gang will see the fan favourites sing along to the controversial Christmas anthem, including its use of the word 'faggot' instead of working around it.

Peter Tatchell, LGBT rights campaigner is urging the BBC to reconsider and edit the word out.Hhe told The Times:

It would send completely the wrong signal. It will give comfort to homophobes everywhere. The BBC would not screen a Christmas song with the n-word in it. It would be deemed deeply prejudiced and unacceptable. So why the double standards when it comes to the f-word?

A BBC spokesperson responded:

Fairytale of New York is a very popular, much loved Christmas song played widely throughout the festive season, and the lyrics are well established with the audience,

Update: 11 complaints

27th December 2019. See article from thesun.co.uk

Gavin and Stacey bagged just 11 whinges to Ofcom over using the word 'faggot'. And as a bit of perspective the show won the Christmas Day TV ratings war with 12.31 million viewers.

There were few angry whinges on Twitter claiming of being offended by the homophobic slur used during a karaoke song with Nessa and Uncle Bryn.

Gay rights campaigners said the word was pejorative to the LGBT community and that the BBC should bleep it out.

Despite the hysteria online, an Ofcom spokesman told The Sun Online: We've received 11 complaints.

Update: 900 complaints and the BBC response

10th January 2020. See article from dailymail.co.uk

The BBC has reportedly received 866 complaints for the use of a homophobic slur in the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special. The one-off episode was watched by 11.6million viewers when it aired, but some were upset when 'fagott' was not omitted from Nessa and Bryn's rendition of Fairytale on New York .

The BBC has now published an official response:

Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special,
BBC One, 25th December 2019

We were contacted by viewers who were unhappy that a certain lyric from the song Fairytale of New York was sung during the programme.

Our response

Fairytale of New York is a well-established, much-loved Christmas song which tells the story of a troubled couple in 1940s New York. The descent of their relationship is reflected in the increasingly abusive and offensive terms they use to address each other; insults which are intended to reflect the language that such characters might have used in that era. The origin of the word includes a definition which describes it as a contemptuous and antiquated word for laziness, and the author of the song has cited this inference behind his inclusion of that line.

While the word faggot is now widely acknowledged as having the potential to offend, the song never suggests or implies that this is, or was ever, an appropriate way to address another person, nor does it link it to homosexuality.

Nessa and Bryn were seen singing the original lines and we can assure you there was no intention to offend viewers. We understand that some people will find it offensive in any context but we also recognise that the song is widely played and enjoyed in its original form. Ofcom have previously stated that they feel it is unlikely that audiences would widely perceive [the song] as a serious attempt to denigrate the homosexual community.

 

 

Gender extremist censors...

ASA bans PC Specialist TV advert: Thou shalt not have only men in a techie advert


Link Here8th January 2020

A TV ad for PCSpecialist, a manufacturer and seller of bespoke PC computers, was seen on 17 September 2019. It featured three men performing different activities on computers, including producing music and coding. The male voice-over stated, It's the beginning of the end. The end of following. It's the start of freedom, individuality, choice. It's an uprising. An insurgence. For the players, the gamers, the 'I'll sleep laters', the creators, the editors, the music makers. The techies, the coders, the illustrators. Bespoke, customised, like no other. From the specialists for the specialists. PC Specialist.

Eight complainants, who believed that the ad perpetuated harmful gender stereotypes by depicting men in roles that were stereotypically male and implying that it was only men who were interested in technology and computers, challenged whether it breached the Code.

Response

PCSpecialist said their customer base was 87.5% male, aged between 15 and 35 years. Their product, branding and service had been developed for and aimed at that target audience and the characters in the ad therefore represented a cross-section of the PCSpecialist core customer base. PCSpecialist said the characters looked into the camera as though they were using a PCSpecialist machine. They did not believe they represented negative stereotypes and were playing the roles of entrepreneurs, forward-thinkers and hard workers. They considered there was no comparison between men and women in the ad and the ad did not imply that women were not interested in computers. They said the ad did not juxtapose men using computers with women not using computers, nor did the ad explicitly state that women did not use computers or that the service was unsuitable for them.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The BCAP Code stated Advertisements must not include gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence. The joint CAP and BCAP Advertising guidance on depicting gender stereotypes likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offence said that gender-stereotypical characteristics included occupations or positions and also attributes or behaviours usually associated with a specific gender. It added that ads may feature people undertaking gender-stereotypical roles but they should take care to avoid suggesting that stereotypical roles or characteristics were always uniquely associated with one gender; were the only options available to one gender; or were never carried out or displayed by another gender. The guidance also stated that, subject to the guiding principles, neither the rule nor the guidance were intended to prevent ads from featuring one gender only, including in ads for products developed for and aimed at one gender.

The ad began with a PC exploding and went on to state freedom, individuality and choice before referencing a number of specialist and creative roles in quick succession, encompassing leisure pursuits and professional positions, not just limited to information technology, but in the creative and artistic industries and entertainment, namely: players/gamers, creators, editors, music makers, techies, coders and illustrators. We considered that the voice-over and fast-paced series of scenes in the ad conveyed a sense of excitement and opportunity and implied that those depicted in the ad were innovative, highly skilled and achieving excellence in the roles and careers mentioned and that those watching should aspire to excel in them too. However, the ad repeatedly cut to images of only men, who were both prominent and central to the ad's message of opportunity and excellence across multiple desirable career paths. We therefore considered that the ad implied that excellence in those roles and fields would be seen as the preserve of men. Because of that, we considered that the ad went further than just featuring a cross-section of the advertiser's core customer base and implied that only men could excel in those roles.

Although the guidance did not prohibit ads from featuring only one gender, we considered that because the ad strongly implied only men could excel in the specialisms and roles depicted we concluded the ad presented gender stereotypes in way that was likely to cause harm and therefore breached the Code.

The ad must not appear again in the form complained about. We told PCSpecialist Ltd to ensure their advertising did not present gender stereotypes in a way that was likely to cause harm, including by suggesting that excellence in multiple career paths was uniquely associated with one gender.

 

 

BBC denial...

The BBC respond to complaints about Have I Got News for You


Link Here6th January 2020
Full story: Have I Got News For You...News comedyquiz winds up the easily offended

Have I Got News For You,
BBC One, 20 December 2019

Presenter Charlie Brooker joked about allegations of anti-Semitism:

According to many commentators the Labour Party is on a state of denial...but at least it's not about the Holocaust

The BBC responded to complaints:

We've received complaints from people who were offended by Charlie Brooker's joke which referenced the Holocaust.

Our response

HIGNFY looks at the biggest news stories each week and in this episode that included the General Election. Charlie Brooker's comment was a reference to the allegations of anti-Semitism which have plagued the Labour party since 2016. It was in no way directed at victims of the Holocaust or their families, however, we have noted that some people felt it was inappropriate.


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