Ofcom

“A Real Shift in Public Discourse”: The Biggins Furore Shows Things Are Getting Better

Christopher Biggins’ biphobic remarks have been ruled acceptable by Ofcom. That’s not great news, but there is a sunny side to this situation, says Dr Helen Bowes-Catton of BiUK.

It’s not fashionable to admit it, but this whole Biggins-Big-Brother-biphobia saga really cheers me up- and not just because it’s so delightfully alliterative. I know that’s an odd thing to say, but bear with me and I’ll explain.

Now don’t get me wrong, I was really disappointed that Ofcom, responding to complaints about Biggins’ biphobic remarks on Celebrity Big Brother, incomprehensibly decided that, actually it was ok to be offensive about bisexuals on national TV. Like a lot of people, I found myself speculating wryly about the likelihood of a contestant getting away with similar remarks about lesbians or gay men. But on balance, the way this whole thing has played out seems to me to offer more reasons… Continue reading

Ofcom Rules on Biggins Big Brother Bigotry

christopher bigotOfcom has today ruled that the biphobic comments made by Christopher Biggins and broadcast on Channel Five’s Big Brother did not breach the regulators rules.

The incident, which saw Biggins booted off the show in August of this year, was investigated after Ofcom received 44 complaints.

Stalwart Pantomime Dame Biggins had said,  “The worst type though is, I’m afraid to say, the bisexuals… what it is is people not wanting to admit they are gay.”

Ofcom said: “We investigated whether a discussion between Christopher Biggins and Renee Graziano about the sexual orientation of bisexual people was offensive.

“We accepted that these remarks made in Celebrity Big Brother were capable of causing offence, but they were likely to be within the audience’s expectations of this programme.”

 

 

Ofcom to Investigate Christopher Biggins Biphobic Big Brother Comments

christopher bigotAfter receiving 20 complaints, the television watchdog Ofcom has opened an investigation into the anti-bisexual comments made by pantomime actor Christopher Biggins this summer.

The complaints are believed to have been made under Section Three of the Broadcasting Code(.pdf) which states that, “Material which contains abusive or derogatory treatment of individuals, groups, religions or communities, must not be included in television and radio services except where it is justified by the context”.

“We’re investigating whether a contestant’s comments about bisexual people were offensive and breached generally accepted standards,” a spokesperson said. The initial investigation is expected to be completed within 15 days.

Should the complaints be upheld, Channel Five are unlikely to face any sanctions.