Thursday, 26 March 2009

Taking Offence

I wasn't going to say anything but then I made the mistake of watching.

What I saw was the incredibly transphobic episode of an alleged sitcom called Moving Wallpaper. Although it never stops the average Daily Mail reader I thought I would view the offending show before passing comment, this has the rather unfortunate necessity of visiting the once proud commercial broadcasters site and watching again.

The more depressing thing is that ITV does have a good record portraying homosexuals, bisexuals and transgendered peoples over the years. In Coronation Street, other dramas like Bob And Rose, reality and documentaries. Compared to other broadcasters who might veer onto the sensationalist which has a EPG attention grabbing title or a dull and worthy documentary which paints us as just pathetic victims.

I was not around for the supposed bad old days where the comedy non-white was a fixture in many comedies (there are exceptions where race was tackled well like Rising Damp and Porridge). However the 80's sitcom gay is well remembered, crude, lazy, stereotypical, without any dimension and offensive.

It starts off buttock clinchingly bad with a reference to surgery leading to a shot of a pair of scissors, references to "sausage factory" with funny sitcom music which replaces the canned laughter which tells you that was supposed to be a joke. The character is deliberately set up to be a unlikeable character which the writers attempt to make it OK to mock her and her transsexuality.

The joke was on her, not on the bigoted or ignorant jokers and gave them the impression that it was fine to be prejudiced and discriminate against transgendered women (and by possible extension trans men) in the workplace as well as wider society.

Comedies can be edgy and original but this was nothing of the sort.


  1. I didn't see it, but it doesn't sound very good. While I appreciate someone has to be the butt of the joke at some point, I think there are some jokes you have to be very careful with.

    Not just because you can upset someone, but often the 'upsetting joke' just isn't funny. I mean going back to the race taunts from the 70s up to the modern day catchphrase repition of Little Britain's grotesques.

    I loved the link on the subject of race through British comedy. I remember the Desmonds TV show very fondly.

  2. I'm glad it seems to be unavailable here otherwise we'd have even more who think it their right to abuse others to make themselves feel better!


  3. @Lynn Yes I remember Desmonds as well, you probably do not want to see it it was that offensive.

    @Alan Your so right.

  4. I watched that episode and there is a facebook page to express anger about it.
    It used every anti trans comment in this episode, i was so angry after I watched it


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