Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sex Talk On Gardening Show Gets Too Racy

A caller on the Radio 4 show Gardeners' Question Time asked advice on the Rhodochiton Volubilis, which he said was "commonly known as the BMW, the black man's willy".

Panelists were heard giggling their way through a discussion about the plant, which was broadcast from Chilcompton Gardening Club in Somerset.

Some listeners failed to see the funny side complaining of racist stereotyping and vulgarity by the broadcaster, adding it was unsuitable for children. Who as we all know love to listen to old people talking about leaf rust.

This led to the BBC making an embarrassing apology after the debate. Now the corporation has sparked claims it has pandered to the "politically correct brigade" by apologising.

They say the phrase is a commonly known term for the plant, due to its appearance, and therefore is acceptable to use.

Conservative MP Philip Davies, who sits on the culture, media and sport select committee, has hit out at the BBC's decision to apologise.

He said: "I suspect the people who've complained are probably white, middle-class, sandal-wearing do-gooders with too much time on their hands.

"There are far too many people that are far too easily offended by things that are not intended to upset or are in fact not offensive.

If we carry on like this, people will be scared of saying anything in case some zealot finds it offensive, we should whip the hippy buggers to keep them in their place. "

"I don't think the BBC should have apologised - they are far too easily influenced by the PC brigade."

The show's producer defended the discussion, which featured on the show , saying that innuendo had "been a big meaty part of Radio 4 for decades and the listeners that complained should take a long hard look at themselves ".

During the show the panelists made a series of jokes about the name of the plant.

Gardening author Bob Flowerdew admitted he had "only ever seen one close up and not that size or colour".

Horticulturalist Anne Swithinbank said: "I've seen plenty in my time ... They don't really like the cold, as you can imagine. They shrivel up and look very unhappy."

But their humorous treatment of the subject was branded inappropriate by some of the programme's listeners.

Radio 4 management has admitted it should not have been broadcast, saying it regretted its decision to do so.

It added: "Potential for racial offence is not always an easy thing to gauge. In this case, there was nothing derogatory of black people in the language used. "

"There is no evidence that any of the participants were exploiting, or even had in mind, the 'outdated and patronising stereotype' about black males to which the complainant refers."
"Nevertheless, it is clear that some listeners did infer a derogatory intention in the words used, and did feel offended. We regret this.

With hindsight, we believe it would have been preferable to omit the item from the programme, because of the risk that it could be misconstrued in this way."

Their view was backed up by the BBC's Editorial Complaints Unit which upheld the complaints saying the show had been potentially offensive.

The plant will now be referred to as "Person of colour's penis."

Willy Johnson of the black defamation league said: " We oppose any type of negative stereo typing but really don't mind the myth about the black man having a huge penis. We get all sorts of ass from women just curious to find out."

The show's producer Trevor Taylor also defended his decision to air the segment, saying it was "entertaining" and besides what black people are going to be listening to a gardening show on Radio 4?


Preposterous Ponderings said...

Sex talk is the only thing that would make me tune into a gardening show!

darkman said...

Its all just a laugh.

Big Willy Carson said...

Are they going to rename the whore's tit flower too?

Zoe said...

we have a weed here know as doggy dick...i wonder what peta would say?