muckraking

Gareth Thomas Needed Hidden Cameras to Expose Homophobia?

Going undercover! To hunt out homophobia! As if you need hidden cameras to find bigots in the world, but that’s the route taken by ITV’s Afraid to be Gay special, with Gareth Thomas hosting.

“Filmed by a crew, onlookers appear on camera to voice their disapproval, but generally with a degree of good humour and tolerance,” says the teaser. “Then Assistant Producer Harriet Gill carries a concealed camera in her handbag. Taunts of ‘Batty boy’ and ‘Queer’ begin to fly. Everyone is alert to the possibility of violence.”

It’s like Dateline‘s “To Catch a Predator,” but with fag haters! Are the police waiting ’round the corner to pounce on these guys?

Hey, not to belittle the important practice of exposing and chronicling homophobia on both an institutional and individual level, and this is a worthwhile segment, but let’s not kid ourselves. We don’t need, as this show pretends, investigative journalists to run around taping homophobes in their natural environment. As Thomas says himself, they’re at his rugby games, heckling him from the stands. They aren’t hiding in plain sight; they are parading around in plain sight.