December 18, 2009

Icon103 complaints for BBC website headline

A BBC website story with the headline Should Homosexuals Face Execution? has triggered 103 complaints in less than 24 hours.

Peter Horrocks, director of the BBC World Service, has apologised for any offence caused by the headline. Horrocks said that the the headline, intended to prompt discussion about anti-gay legislation in Uganda was β€œin hindsight, too stark.”

“We apologise for any offence it caused. It’s important that this does not detract from what is an crucial debate for Africans and the international community,” said Horrocks.

“The programme was a legitimate and responsible attempt to support a challenging discussion about proposed legislation that advocates the death penalty for those who undertake certain homosexual activities in Uganda – an important issue where the BBC can provide a platform for debate that otherwise would not exist across the continent and beyond.”

The story has attracted over 600 comments, two thirds of which have not been approved by moderators.

One comment which published and then removed was from ‘Chris’ from Guildford, UK, who wrote “Totally agree. Ought to be imposed in the UK too, asap. Bring back some respectable family values. Why do we have to suffer ‘gay pride’ festivals? Would I be allowed to organise a ‘straight pride’ festival? No, thought as much!!”

The BBC has now changed the headline of the article to ‘Should Uganda debate gay execution?’.

1 Response to 103 complaints for BBC website headline

  1. pops says:

    not surprised that guy was from guildford! i grew up there..horrible place if you are even remotely “different” or even dare have a personality. i was regularly hurled homophobic abuse throughout my adolescence…i’m not even gay! i just didn’t dress like everyone else…

Milly Shaw



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