BBC re­forms to bring more gay char­ac­ters

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Anita Singh ARTS AND EN­TER­TAIN­MENT ED­I­TOR

THE BBC is go­ing to in­crease the num­ber of LGBT peo­ple ap­pear­ing in its pro­grammes and news out­put as part of new di­ver­sity re­forms.

They will be “in­ci­den­tal” por­tray­als, mean­ing that their sex­u­al­ity is not part of a sto­ry­line or di­rectly rel­e­vant to a news item.

LGBT staff will be en­cour­aged to “bring their whole self to work” and be open about their sex­u­al­ity.

The pro­pos­als are in­cluded in a new re­port based on a sur­vey of LGBT staff at­ti­tudes, which found that many per­ceived the cor­po­ra­tion to have a “het­eronor­ma­tive cul­ture”.

Other rec­om­men­da­tions in­clude the use by staff of non-bi­nary pro­nouns, and a net­work of “straight al­lies”.

James Pur­nell, di­rec­tor of ra­dio and ed­u­ca­tion, said: “One of our big chal­lenges cur­rently is around young au­di­ences. An or­gan­i­sa­tion that ap­pears to have a het­eronor­ma­tive cul­ture is not one that is go­ing to cut ice with them ei­ther as a con­sumer or an em­ployee.”

LGBT staff ac­count for 11 per cent of the BBC work­force.

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