Monday, March 23, 2009

Chris Moyles, Will Young & Gay Hatred

Let me be clear. I can't stand Chris Moyles. How anyone can bear listening to him on the radio is beyond me. But OfCom's decision to censure him today for doing a spoof Will Young song on the basis that it was offensive to gays just beggars belief. Full details are HERE. The lyrics he used were not exactly funny - well, they don't read very funny on paper - but to class them as offensive is going it a bit. Here's a sample...
Moyles changed the lyrics of two of Young's songs, Evergreen and Leave Right Now, and sang them in "an effeminate and high pitched voice", according to Ofcom.

The Radio 1 DJ sang the spoof lyrics on his breakfast show on Young's birthday, 20 January. They included the words: "It's my birthday today, gonna wear my new dress tonight. And I smell nice. I've had a show and I've shaved my legs. Going out later, might go to Nobo for dinner. Oooh Will Young here, mmmh. I'm here, it's Will's birthday and as the years go by I get more very gay."

Other spoof lyrics inserted by Moyles included: "When you saw me years ago you didn't know, but now I'm the gayest fella you probably know. Mmm, I like to wear a silly hat, I get camper by the hour, oh would you look at the muck in here. I'm Will Young and I'm gay."

I cannot imagine for one minute Will Young was offended in the slightest, and even if he was, so what? The right to offend still exists. Just. I only mention this because because the Gay Hatred laws are being debated this week, and no doubt someone somewhere will put forward the argument that because Moyles is stereotyping Will Young as a campl gayer, he is inciting hatred in some way. I am against the Gay Hatred law for the same reason I am against the Religious Hatred law. We don't need either. Existing legislation goes quite far enough and we need to be very careful about any further dimunition of our right to free speech.

35 comments:

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Erm, light the blue touch paper and retire..

I have too many complex issues with this.

Chris Moyles is a wanker

Will Young is a shallow pop singer who is out of his depth in a puddle.

The spoof song is clearly crap and crassly predictable.

Hatred is just hatred and I don't want to go down the route of awarding brownie points for how gay the hatred is or how straight it is.

I want a moratorium on the word "offensive" until everyone has stopped being hysterical.

John said...

The right to offend still exists. Just.

Really? I thought that was an arrestable offence these days?

That's why everyone has to be careful how they say every little thing, to make sure someone somewhere isn't offended. Should they be offended however, your only option is to apologise unreservedly and throw yourself at their feet.

Should you do the unthinkable and not apologise however, you will be sent straight to the gallows.

Thanks Labour!

Dennis said...

Mr Weasel, your use of the term "brownie" in this context is not only highly offensive to an oppressed minority but contravenes the European Convention on Yuman Rights.

I have summoned the constabulary. Expect them at the entrance to your burrow within the hour. As your friend, I suggest you do not compound your crimes by resisting arrest.

Dennis, LLD

robnewman said...

Of course, any prosecutor would have to prove that Moyles had *intended* to incite violence against Will Young (or indeed any gay person) in order for him to be caught by the new offence (same as for the religious hatred laws).

The wider point is that this is a matter of cultural norms which deem it acceptable to stereotype all gay people as camp and effeminate, and to deploy the very term "gay" as an insult, which I think Moyles has been caught out doing on air before. It's the same attitude that leads to bullying of kids in school, whether they're gay or simply "suspected" of being gay.

So while Moyles may simply be a laddish bigmouth, there is a wider societal attitude to be tackled here.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Dennis. I am sorry. I utterly and without reservation withdraw the word "Brownie" from the above comment.

Some of my best friends are Brownies.




I'll get me coat.

John said...

@Dennis

The police won't be interested in that! They are FAR too busy investigating far more serious crimes like burglary's and assau... ahahahahahahahahah!

Sorry i've just died laughing.

Simon Gardner said...

“The right to offend still exists.”

Er no. It doesn’t. And in particular it hasn't existed in Britain since Parliament passed the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006.

There were strong warnings that it abolished the right to offend at the time.

nought.point.zero said...

Iain you weren't joking when you said the lyrics don't read very funny on paper. Jesus, I can't believe the lack of talent it takes to pick up £600k from the Beeb these days.

Sue said...

Will they lock me up for playing Widow Twankey?

I think it's all getting a little out of proportion now.

Unsworth said...

The BBC - the public service broacaster with a finger on the pulse of the nation.

And with another finger inserted firmly in its sphincter.

RobertEve said...

Well said Iain

Ian said...

Yet another case of the double ended stereotype. Chris Moyles casts all gay people as effeminate with high pitched voices. Someone else at Ofcom casts all gay people as being offended by this description.

Both are using a stereotype of gay people, and possibly Ofcom's is even worse because it feels that gay people are not able to speak out for themselves when someone is offensive.

We see this all the time. Consider all the times someone has been accused of being offensive to Muslims. Then consider how many times you've actually heard a muslim coming out and saying they were offended. The second considerably lower than the first?

Old Holborn said...

The right to offend still exists. Just.


Too right. Well said you fat poof

Newmania said...

I am so glad to find another person mystified at the celebrity of Moyles .
Its not very funny and not very nice but you are right , so what.

Thatsnews said...

Could we not have a Moyles' Hatred Law that made it mandatory to hate Chris Moyles?

Or do so many people hate him already that there's no need for such a law?

basementcat said...

As a fellow gayer, I can quite catagorically say that I thought the song lyrics were crap (and I'm sure the choreography sucked, natch), but I found it about as offensive as a shot of Jaegermeister. Not to my taste, but hardly going to make me choke.

The schoolyard deployment of the word 'gay' to also mean 'pony' used to bug me, now I don't care. I see them as being contextually different uses of the same word with different meanings. Don't bother me squat.

Using stereotypes can be acceptable, and are a useful tool to remove a sketch from reality on the basis that they are an extreme, and therefore less believeable.

I would like to propose a new 'Get a Grip Act (2009)' whereby when someone is offended and considers sueing/prosecuting on the basis that someone hurt their terribly delicate feelings, they are politely told to 'man up' (not woman up, that panders to PC), get a grip, and stop being such a bunch of fairies. Ahem.

Freedom of Speech should include the right to offend and be offended. This is mollycoddling.

strapworld said...

Iain,

Last Monday evening, on BBC2 at 10pm a new comedian, to me, STEWART LEE started a series.

He was quite brilliant. He did a terrific 'zorro' job on Chris Moyles book...

If you ever get the chance to view it again it was everything those, like me, that cannot abide the Moyles, will love.

Steward Lee is on again this evening talking about television.
Highly recommended.

Desperate Dan said...

I think there should be a law preventing anyone making jokes about women or mothers-in-law. Perhaps the equality opportunities commission could sort it out.

Boggo said...

I've never come across Chris Moyles, but your reaction, Iain, is very encouraging. The proposed new law is worthless nonsense, like most of what this panic stricken government is rushing into at the moment.

trevorsden said...

If Moyles had been censured for being a useless overpaid no talent turd I could understand it.

Roger Thornhill said...

Moyles has it easy. Not only will he not suffer much, he has the resources and the brass neck to defend himself.

He is being used to scare the populace - pour encourager les autres, as it were.

titus-aduxas said...

Hang on, how can he be pilloried for telling the truth? Will Young is camp, effeminate and sings with a high pitched voice.

mutleythedog said...

I find it all very childish but I certainly don't want any more speech laws.. did you know you can go to prison for holding extreme opinions in this country? That has to be wrong...

Paul Canning said...

Iain, I am inclined to agree with you on the law issue (and your reasons). But just allow me the joy of hearing of Moyles - and the BBC - being slapped on the treatment of gays issue.

GT has an excellent article this month about the shoddy treatment of gays by the BBC. That idea may be counter-intuitive to many conservatives, but don't you remember what it was like growing up with just John Inman and Quentin Crisp as representations?

This stuff is not irrelevant to today's gay kids.

anonaLon said...

Iain,

You f***ing poof!

(You did say we had the right to use insult!)

Regards.....

The Grim Reaper said...

The Government should withdraw this legislation at once. I can see this being a proposal which won't go down well (no pun intended) with its supporters, so I have a compromise. New Labour should instead introduce a law which protects our right to insult and demean people that everybody hates - such as Dolly Draper.

It'll be the most popular piece of legislation ever introduced.

Conand said...

For me Will Young is like Roy Hattersley*.
I find him intelligent, funny and likable but I'm not a fan of his music. Similarly I'm not a fan of Hattersley's politics but I find he shares the qualities above.



On Iain's main point, I also don't think Will Young will be really offended. The gag seems a bit childish really.
What Chris, you've found a gay pop star!? Well I never, who'd have thought? cor blimey. I guess you'll be telling me you've found a lefty actor/actress next!


*I know! Mr Young will be so flattered.

Diana said...

How about a little "live and let live"? Chris Moyles is stupid. How would he like it if a member of his family was the butt of a little "joke" like this? In my opinion most gay people just want to be left alone to live their lives in peace. I notice that most of these offensive remarks are made by men. Women don't usually seem to see the point of this harrassment of gays. I don't see the joke my self!

FAIRFACTS MEDIA said...

So Chris Moyles is employed by the same BBC which was so unhappy about Carol Thatcher and her off camera comments a few weeks back concerning the gollywog like appearence of a tennis player?

Am I alone in detecting some inconsistency here with Aunty?

Jess The Dog said...

Whole thing is daft. Chris Moyles makes me want to vomit.

We live in a post-gay era now anyway. I was in a meeting today and we were talking about town planning, and why a major city didn't have a "gay district". No nudges, winks or sniggers - one of my colleagues there was gay but my brain didn't even make the connection.

As a married man with kids though, I do look back over 20 years at schoolyard abuse and the use of the terms "gay" and other nastier terms, and wonder how many people who may have been coming to terms with their own feelings actually suffered quite a bit of hurt.

Homosexuality and humour have an ongoing relationship (ooer) going back many decades and beyond - how can Graham Norton be so funny when being so crude when, if Jonathan Ross tried it, he would just be a sleazy prick.

Old Holborn said...

Anonalong said

"Iain,

You f***ing poof!"


Tsk.

1. If you are going to try to "offend" Iain, just call Thatcher mad.

2. Iain is not a f***ing Poof. He is now middle aged and just a fat poof.

Regards

Simon Gardner said...

Old Holborn said... “If you are going to try to "offend" Iain, just call Thatcher mad.”

Completely bonkers. Has been since about 6-8 years as PM. Round the twist.

CC said...

What no one has mentioned is (as a fan, yes I know I am not as grown up as you lot) anyone who listens to Chris Moyles will know that he and Will Young are in fact good friends.

Will has frequently been on his show and can give as good as he takes (so to speak). Plus Chris did a piece on his parody songs last week where he explains that he has to use the public instrumentals to record them so if the song changes pitch then he has to follow it. He then demonstrated by playing one of his songs where he was forced to change pitch to the point where it sounded really painful.

This reminds me of the time Halle Berry tried to call him a racist and he basically told her to fuck off. Much respect to him for standing up to the professionally offended.

Alana said...

Moyles sums up just about everything which is wrong with this country.

Fat, angry, unhappy man, unhappy with himself and projecting it onto other people (and many British listerners seem to identify with him).

I hate to compare us with America as I know many Brits feel we are above them, but at least there you actually have to have talent/be entertaining to be famous and they actual build people up without the need to tear them down.

(Btw, I'm not so much referring to this Young gag here - it was crass, stupid and tasteless but unfortuanately in the world, such things happen - Moyles is a schoolyard bully - don't complain - STOP LISTENING!)

Dazy said...

I have read that hate speech laws supposedly to balance individual rights with the public good. I personally think that there are some things that are so alarming that the only way we can deal with it, without total depression, is with satire and humor.