A BBC-commissioned report has claimed that the BBC 'should be
more creative and bolder' in its depiction of LGBT people. It also
states that LGBT people are 'still relatively invisible' across all
media, and still very much stereotyped; especially lesbians and
When they were represented, the report said: "This
representation still needs to reflect the diversity of LGB people
and to avoid stereotypes."
There was praise for LGB presenters such as Clare Balding, Radio
1's Nick Grimshaw, and The Great British Bake-Off's Sue
However, the BBC took criticism for BB3's Lip Service. The
actors trade union Equity said: "Lip Service is written by a
lesbian/bisexual woman. This makes a huge difference. However, the
episodes were directed by men and the majority of the lesbian
characters were played by heterosexual actors and this clearly
impacts on the quality and integrity of the representation. Some of
it was laughable."
Andy Wasley, from Stonewall, has said that the LGB community are
still holding the short straw in the UK media. "Gay people
contribute £216 million in licence fee payments to the BBC so we
should expect our lives and concerns to be represented fairly. The
BBC's new study shows there's still work to be done, despite some
Pulse, an independent audience reaction panel will now monitor
audience feelings on the representations of LGB people on TV to
help broadcasters meet expectations.
The report also called for more gay presenters on children's
shows such as Big Brother's Brian Dowling on SMTV Live. It said it
was important to help gay children by "incorporating representation
within programming for children who are going through their
In comedy, it was ruled that LGB people being the butt of a joke
was the 'biggest risk' unless the comedians themselves were
A survey drawn upon in the report stated that more than one in
ten people said that they felt uncomfortable with depictions of
gay, lesbians and bisexual people on TV.
However, acting director general Tim Davie, chair of the BBC
working group, said: "The BBC has a fundamental obligation to serve
all its audiences. In fact, it's one of the BBC's public purposes
to reflect the diversity of UK life."
Image: Out lesbian actor Heather Peace, photographed for
DIVA, by Lezli+Rose