Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Jerry Springer causes trouble for the BBC

I know that I'm rather late on this one, but the protests over the BBC screening of Jerry Springer: The Opera have left me sickened and depressed. Firstly, the number of swearwords was got at by a tortuous calculation (registration required). Secondly, the religious folk seem to forget that a) there is no right not to be offended in this country, b) that others have the right to watch the opera and c) the existence of the Off button. And before anyone says that I should be expressing these concerns to the BBC rather than here, I already have done. I sent my email of support to the BBC the day that I found out about the whole affair.

What also worried me here is the suggestion that obsolete blasphemy laws could be used to prosecute the BBC. This cannot be allowed to happen. It would be a disaster for freedom of speech and undo decades of work to make this country a more tolerant place to live.

There seems to be a rather worrying trend towards militantism by those wanting to "protect us from ourselves", given the recent protests that forced the Birmingham Repertory Theatre to cancel a play that some claimed was offensive to Sikhs. I deplore the fact that that play had to be cancelled due to the loutish behaviour employed by a bunch of religious nuts.

I support the BBC

PS: I was fortunate enough to see Jerry Springer: The Opera during its run at the Edinburgh Festival a few years ago, and it was uniformly excellent.

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