The BBC announced on Wednesday that it will be leaving the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme in an effort to remain impartial.
This workplace equality scheme is run by the charity, Stonewall, in an effort to create more inclusivity and support for LGBTQ+ employers in the office.
A statement released by the BBC press office said: “Along with many other employers, the BBC has participated in Stonewall’s Diversity Champions Programme to support our objective to create a fully inclusive workplace. However, over time our participation in the Programme has led some to question whether the BBC can be impartial when reporting on public policy debates where Stonewall is taking an active role.”
Stonewall responded to the announcement stating that it is a shame that the BBC has come to this decision but that they will continue to engage with the news organisation to support LGBTQ+ employees and provide representation for the community.
“…It is shocking that organisations are being pressured into rolling back support for LGBTQ+ employees,” Stonewall said in its statement. “Inclusion matters. We depend on work for our livelihoods. Many spend more time at work than anywhere else. LGBTQ+ people deserve to feel safe and respected at work, and the human impact of these attacks can’t be underestimated.”
Several users on the internet are claiming that this news comes as a response to recent backlash at the BBC for releasing an article in late October that implied that transgender women are predators and that they pressure cisgender lesbians into having sexual relations with them.
The BBC received 4,819 complaints at the time to take down the article as it could lead to dangerous hate crimes against trans women and for giving a platform to Lily Cade, who they eventually removed from the article, a transphobic porn performer that has publicly called for trans women to be lynched and executed.
A leaked recording of a discussion that occurred with LGBTQ+ employees at the BBC on Monday, revealed by VICE World News, has also shown that several members of staff have quit in response to the backlash of the article.
“My trans and LGBT friends have lost confidence in the BBC – I’m losing confidence in the BBC – and I’m considering whether my place should be in this organisation,” said one of the members in the video.
LGBTQ+ people on Twitter have also come forward in the wake of the Stonewall announcement to say that the BBC’s decision to remain “impartial” can be detrimental to their rights and ignite fear and hate in people against their community.
Let us know what you think, is it okay for public organisations to remain impartial regarding a human rights issue or will the consequences of that decision be detrimental? Leave your response in the comments below!