Sunshine Radio in breach for Sam Smith comments

British station Sunshine Radio has been found in breach of the Broadcasting Code after comments were made about Sam Smith on the breakfast show.

Presenter Paul Ellery, who has since resigned from the station, made a comment about Smith after coming out as non-binary. Ofcom began an investigation after one person complained.

Sunshine described the program as a live, unscripted “one-man show” and stated that there was no production team or “backroom staff” involved in its broadcast.

The licensee said that the comment about Smith’s gender was part of a “throw-away short link” and was not intended to offend listeners.

However, it added that after reviewing the program, the presenter’s view was that his comment was “misjudged” and had the potential to have caused offence.

Sunshine said Ellery would not have deliberately sought to offend the LGBT community. It added that Ellery had undertaken compliance and legal training and daily review meetings.

Ofcom, however, said the comments had the potential to cause offence as they sought to ridicule
Smith’s non-binary status.

In addition, by referring to Smith using the incorrect pronoun, the presenter appeared to ignore and undermine Smith’s publicly stated gender identity.

The regulator added that, although brief, the comments were not justified by the context in which they were broadcast, which may have limited the potential for offence to some extent.

“The tone of the presenter’s comments was mocking, dismissive and flippant towards Sam Smith’s announcement that they were identifying as non-binary,” Ofcom added

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John Redman
12 May 2020 - 11:32 pm

It is worrying that Ofcom responds to complaints from a cult. Sam Smith declaring he is neither male nor female is as ridiculous as if Smith declared he is an elephant and should be addressed as such. A simple DNA test would prove which of the two human sexes Smith belongs to. If Ofcom does not know the difference between male and female humans then the British education system is in ruins. Paul Ellery had every right to ridicule what appears to be a cult statement by Smith. Ofcom should have the skills to identify a cult by its use of crackpot science and deliberate slang for medical terms. If Sam Smith truly believes he is non-binary he has my sympathy because he is probably suffering from gender dysphoria. This medical condition is well known to the NHS. For Ofcom there is no protection in Section 7 (1) of the Equality Act 2010. There is no process to “reassign” or “change” a person’s sex. There never has been, nor will there ever be such a process. Ofcom should have the in-house skills to know that. I will donate £20 to Paul Ellery’s fund to sue Ofcom.

13 May 2020 - 2:23 pm

John, go back to the 50’s mate

13 May 2020 - 9:20 pm

Why do people get so hung up on what other people are doing?

You just some weak complaining about things like that.


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