Radio 4 presenter’s statement that JK Rowling had ‘very unpopular opinion’ on gender issues is ruled ‘misleading’ by the BBC
- The BBC upheld an accuracy complaint over JK Rowling’s transgender views
- Tom Sutcliffe was rapped for saying JK Rowling’s gender views were ‘unpopular’
- The arts journalist was complained about 584 times to the BBC’s complaints unit
The BBC has criticised an arts reporter who made a ‘misleading’ comment on JK Rowling’s views on gender identity.
Tom Sutcliffe made the statement on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row programme on March 24 that JK Rowling’s critical view on whether transgender women are women is ‘very unpopular’.
The journalist was complained about 584 times and the BBC’s complaints unit said there is no evidence that Rowling’s view is in a minority.
Tom Sutcliffe made the statement on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row programme on March 24 that JK Rowling’s critical view on whether transgender women are women is ‘very unpopular’
The Executive Complaints Unit (ECU) said the wording was ‘potentially misleading’ but did not uphold complaints about the programme comparing Rowling’s view to that of Hitler and Eric Gill.
Complaints said it was ‘offensive and harmful’ to compare these figures to Rowling.
It did not find that Sutcliffe breached impartiality rules because he later acknowledged that Rowling’s view was shared by many.
He was interviewing Erich Hatala Matthes about cancel culture at the time.
Rowling features in a book that Matthes wrote about the phenomenon.
Attorney General Suella Braverman has praised JK Rowling for her views on the transgender issues as she says schools should not have to pander to pupils who see themselves in a different birth gender.
The Tory minister said the Harry Potter author was a ‘heroine’ for campaigning for female only spaces for those born women and added that schools should be able to treat all children by their birth gender.
She said schools should not address trans pupils by their chosen pronouns or permit them to wear a school uniform of a different gender.
And she added that since those aged under 18 cannot legally change their gender, schools are entitled to treat all children by their birth gender.
The Attorney General also told The Times that Rowling, who has come under fierce criticism for her views on gender, is ‘very brave, very courageous’ and she is on ‘her side’ on the trans issue.
The Executive Complaints Unit (ECU) said the wording was ‘potentially misleading’ but did not uphold complaints about the programme comparing Rowling’s view to that of Hitler and Eric Gill
It comes as fresh Labour infighting broke out over trans issues as the party chair contradicted a fellow MP on whether ‘some women were born with penises’.
In an interview, frontbencher Anneliese Dodds was challenged over whether she agreed with Stella Creasy.
‘Well, no, I don’t agree with her. Biological females obviously aren’t, of course there are also trans-women who have made the transition in their gender but sex is not the same as gender,’ she told Sky News’ Ridge on Sunday.
‘But I would say that obviously I have a huge amount of respect for my colleague, Stella Creasey, she has done a huge amount of campaigning for women but on that issue around biology, I do have a different opinion.’