Thursday, July 7, 2011

British Critic Slams Soaps For Gay 'Propaganda'

British critic Brian Sewell has taken to The Daily Mail to decry LGBT characters on the popular soaps CORONATION STREET and EASTENDERS. Read an excerpt below:

Coronation Street has a gay scriptwriter, Damon Rochefort. Fine. Nothing wrong with that. Indeed, its very first writer, its inventor in 1959, Tony Warren, was gay and open about it when homosexuality was still illegal and the penalties dire — and had a tough time with homophobia.

But the pendulum has swung to the other extreme, and where once we had no gaiety at all, we now, perhaps, have rather too much.

Among the main cast, we have lesbian teenagers Sophie Webster and her girlfriend Sian Powers — whose relationship was revealed when they were caught in flagrante by Sophie’s mum Sally.

There’s also homosexual Sean Tully, the part-time barman in the Rovers Return, who is set to tie the knot with boyfriend Marcus Dent later this year in what will be the show’s first civil partnership.

And middle-aged cross-dresser Marc Selby, who was involved in a love triangle with hairdresser Audrey Roberts and her glamorous friend Claudia Colby. And factory worker Hayley Cropper, who became the first transsexual in a British soap when she appeared on screens in 1998.

There are also countless peripheral gay characters. Ted Paige, the father of long-suffering Gail Platt, revealed he was gay, while Ken Barlow’s long-lost grandson James, who appeared in the show last year, also turned out to be homosexual — much to the distress of James’s homophobic father Lawrence.

Clean-cut Todd Grimshaw, who cheated on his pregnant girlfriend Sarah Platt with a man in one of the soap’s most watched storylines, also pops up from time to time.
When confronted with this, the sane man may feel his nose is being rubbed in it.

There’s too much, not only of gay men — who are estimated to make up just 6 per cent of the population, but who dominate the storylines in the soap — but also of lesbians, bisexuals, the trans-gender community, cross-dressers and everyone else with some sexual quirk or fetish.

It is not just Coronation Street — EastEnders is at it, too, with, last month, boys in bed together, apparently naked.

The dear old egalitarian BBC protested that its policy is to portray gay and hetero- sexual relationships in exactly the same way, both equally suitable for pre-watershed viewing. But are they equally suitable?

Are soaps, watched by pre-pubescent children — who may still have some tattered remnant of innocence that we should cherish — really a proper platform for sexual propaganda and special pleading?

What are your thoughts on Sewell's column?


  1. He is a long series of vulgar words that I'm going to try to be classy enough to refrain from saying.

  2. This makes me want to check out the British soaps.

  3. Ah, I love the smell of bigotry in the morning!

    So, I wonder how this critic feels about Brit soaps casting non-white actors? Does he feel the "sane man" would have issues with them?

    Let's be real. Racism and homophobia are very real in Britain. People are still killed for being brown or not-straight.