The BBC has chosen to defend some transphobic comments made by a gay comedian whose show they sponsor. In this clip where he’s talking about Thomas Beatie, he says: “If he hasn’t had genital surgery surely that just makes him a lesbian” and “that thing is still a woman”.
Here’s an excerpt from the response to Selina’s complaint:
I understand that you were unhappy because you felt that the presenter made offensive comments about Thomas Beatie.
I can assure you that no offence was intended. ‘The Graham Norton Show’ features trademark Norton comedy monologues, celebrity chat, eccentric stories and characters, and home-grown weirdness from the great British viewing public. The show provides him with a comedy vehicle to extract humour from people and events that interest him and his audience.
We try to ensure that post-watershed, anarchic comedy series are well signposted. As the BBC is a public service financed by the licence fee it must provide programmes which cater for the whole range of tastes in humour. We believe that there is no single set of standards in this area on which the whole of society can agree, and it is inevitable that programmes which are acceptable to some will occasionally strike others as distasteful. The only realistic and fair approach for us is to ensure that the range of comedy is broad enough for all viewers to feel that they are catered for at least some of the time.
There are so many things wrong with that response that I can’t even begin to address them. All I can think is, “WTF? Why is it that the dehumanization of a person/group of people is still considered funny?”