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BBC backs out from LGBTQ diversity program to avoid “bias”

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BBC and Stonewall

BBC backs out from LGBTQ diversity program to avoid “bias”

The British news outlet BBC has withdrawn from an LGBTQ diversity program run by Stonewall to avoid being seen as “biased.”

BBC used to participate in the Stonewall-run Diversity Champions Programme to ensure LGBTQ staff are supported at their jobs.

BBC doesn’t want it’s impartiality questioned

In a statement, the national news broadcaster said their decision to cut ties with UK’s largest LGBTQ-rights charity group is to ensure they appear impartial.

Speaking to Business Insider, the news outlet said their engagement with Stonewall “led some to question whether the BBC can be impartial when reporting on public policy debates where Stonewall is taking an active role.”

However, they added that they are “”fully committed to being an industry-leading employer on LGBTQ+ inclusion.”

They added, “Being a part of the Diversity Champions Programme has never required the BBC to support the campaigns of Stonewall, nor its policy positions.”

Meanwhile, BBC Director of Nations Rhodri Talfan Davies told the Independent that public trust that they can approach “very complex areas” with complete impartiality is “the absolute bedrock” of its decision-making.

BBC criticized for giving anti-LGBtQ hatred platform

However, the news outlet has also increasingly criticized because of actions against the LGBTQ community.

Recently, they published an article targeting transgender women and framed the transgender community in a negative light, not even interviewing a single transgender women in the report.

Likewise, Pink News reported that the BBC’s Arabic news site aired homophobic slurs in January 2020, with BBC only apologizing in 2021.

VICE World News was the first to report about the impending policy change.

Insiders at the news outlet reportedly told VICE that they were “super scared” by the implications of the withdrawal.

Stonewall: LGBTQ people suffering from support rollback

Davies said this decision may have caused “tension and discomfort” for some LGBTQ employees, but he added, “we are utterly committed to creating a working environment that is inclusive, where people feel valued and respected.”

Reacting to the withdrawal, Stonewall told Business Insider that while it’s a shame BBC had withdrawn from their programme, “organisations come and go depending on what’s best for their inclusion journey,” they said.

“We will continue to engage with the BBC on a number of fronts to champion support for LGBTQ+ colleagues and to represent our communities through their reporting,” Stonewall said.

However, they also said that, “It is shocking that organisations are being pressured into rolling back support for LGBTQ+ employees.”

“Ultimately, it is LGBTQ+ people who suffer,” they pointed out.

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