BBC needs to exert itself as a “leader”

Paul Gambaccini said the BBC must lead, not follow as a broadcaster

RADIO BROADCASTER and ‘professor of pop’, Paul Gambaccini, has lambasted the BBC for allowing its Radio One and One Xtra radio stations to play records which he described as “inciting people to murder” those who are homosexual – himself included.

He made the comments earlier today as the guest speaker at Coventry Conversations, and revealed how executives at both BBC stations said it was ok to play the records because “offending words had been bleeped out on DJ’s copies”.

“This was hardly a good excuse,” said Gambaccini, “because they were only bleeped out on DJ copies.  Anyone who heard the song and liked it would get the full version.  The BBC is supposed to inform, educate, and entertain, not spread and encourage violence against gays.  They were spreading a message of hate.”

Gambaccini told his audience that contrary to executives’ remarks, the BBC was a leader and not a follower in the media world, as “the commercial stations do that”, before resuming his criticism of Radio One breakfast presenter, Chris Moyles.

At a previous lecture, Gambaccini said Moyles had made “unprofessional” remarks towards gay people, particularly pop singer, Will Young.  “For someone like Chris to throw the word gay around with abandonment, does, I’m afraid, show a sense of irresponsibility.

“Broadcasters have an incredible responsibility, and over the past 15 years, Radio One hasn’t been aware of that or willing to act on it.  I just said that had I been the head of Radio One I would have sacked him for that,” he added.

He also claimed rap music had contributed to the epidemic of black-on-black teenage murders that ensued in London last year, explaining that as a medium, radio was very powerful as many of its listeners relate to and are influenced by what they hear on it.

“It was no surprise,” Gambaccini revealed.  “Everything I ever said on the radio will be remembered by somebody, somewhere.  I know because people tell me how I’ve said something 30 years ago that has changed their lives.

“Impoverished boys yet to grow out of their underprivileged communities have been taught by irresponsible record companies and radio stations that harming other boys and traumatising girls is a way of proving their manhood.

“The same is true of the records we play; they will influence lives.  If you fill a child’s mind with hate, it will know what hate is, and it will remember how to hate,” he said.

Listen to Paul Gambaccini’s recorded lecture

Image courtesy of Jason Craig

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