There follows a letter to the BBC Director-General Tim Davie asking why the BBC appears to be in breach of its Charter obligation to report accurately, fairly and impartially on matters of religious controversy – and why it only breaches this obligation in respect of one religious group. It is written by the same author who wrote for the Daily Sceptic last month about the BBC’s supine coverage of the Nupur Sharma Mohammed furore in India.
Dear Mr. Davie,
I am writing to ask that the BBC clearly explains its unspoken, unwritten editorial policies on covering stories about angry religious people responding to unwelcome depictions of – or references to – their revered religious figures.
Back in 2011, the BBC published an article about vandalism to the controversial artwork ‘Piss Christ’ (i.e., a photograph of a plastic crucified Jesus submerged in a tank of the artist’s piss). The article explained that there had been a large protest of angry Christians outside the museum housing the artwork and that a museum worker had received death threats and had asked for police protection.
Notwithstanding this, the BBC’s article (quite rightly) featured a photograph of the image so that audiences knew exactly what all the fuss was about. In other words, the BBC did not let the ‘feelings’ of easily-offended Christians get in the way of its Charter obligation to report accurately, fairly and impartially.
Today, the BBC has published an article with the headline, “Outrage over smoking Hindu goddess poster.”
In its article, the BBC explains that a film poster of a Hindu goddess with a fag in her gob published by an Indian filmmaker “has generated hundreds of responses from angry Hindus, who have accused her of offending their religious sentiments”.