No Offense!

BBC’s New 5-Minute Gay Delay


The BBC’s (self-imposed?) punishment for Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles’ not-so-flattering portrayal of gay pop singer Will Young? A five-minute “gay delay.”

Ofcom (England’s version of the FCC) said listeners to the January broadcast could have thought it condoned “negative stereotypes based on sexual orientation,” the BBC reported.

Eight people complained after Moyles used a high-pitched, effeminate voice to parody the star, who is openly gay. Ofcom said both the tone and content of what Moyles said had the “potential to cause considerable offence”. Ofcom said it had taken into account the fact that Moyles’s show is known for its irreverent style and studio banter. On this occasion, however, it ruled that the material had gone beyond what was acceptable and had not been justified by its context.

To make sure it doesn’t happen again, the BBC will institute a five minute delay between what happens live and when it hits TV or radio. Indeed, they’ll even have a “gay czar” to monitor whether a joke is homophobic or just funny. BECAUSE THAT’S NOT ASKING FOR TROUBLE.

Also asking for trouble: The BBC actually calling this “the gay delay.”

Says a spokesperson: “We are very pleased with the new gay delay system and are confident it will help avoid any offence to the LGBT community while allowing our presenters the freedom to entertain at the same time. The system will be trialled first on programmes such as The Chris Moyles Show and anything with Jeremy Clarkson in it.”

UPDATE: Yup, we got hosed. April Fool’s!