Around five employees have quit the BBC recently due to the network’s transphobic work environment.

According to Vice, in a zoom meeting held on November 8, the BBC Pride network, a group made up of LGBTQI BBC staff members, it was revealed that current employees were frustrated with recent decisions made by the network.

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“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,” Vice reported one BBC staff member as saying during the meeting.

BBC Quits Stonewall Diversity Scheme

This comes as BBC said it was quitting the Stonewall diversity scheme, a program designed to give employees training on LGBTQI inclusion, in order to remain impartial.

“We are proud of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans colleagues and we support them to have fulfilling careers at the BBC,” a BBC spokesperson said.

“Along with many other UK 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. Being a part of the Diversity Champions Programme has never required the BBC to support the campaigns of Stonewall, nor its policy positions.”

The network also published an article with the headline ‘We’re being pressured into sex by some trans women’ which quoted a women describing trans women as “vile, weak and disgusting”.

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It  included transphobic quotes from porn star Lily Cade who has been accused of sexual misconduct and published transphobic posts on her blog including one that called for the lynching of notable trans women. The porn star has since removed her post.  

Open Letter Seeks Apology

An open letter calling for the corporation to apologise for the article and remove it from its website, was signed by 20,000 people.

The BBC did heavily edit the article and removed Cade as a source from the piece, however they have refused to remove it from their website, once again claiming impartiality. 

“We have updated this article, published last week, to remove a contribution from one individual in light of comments she has published on blog posts in recent days, which we have been able to verify. We acknowledge that an admission of inappropriate behaviour by the same contributor should have been included in the original article.”

The article was a key topic of discussion during the BBC pride network meeting with one employee saying they knew someone who walked out after it was published.

LGBTQI Employees Express Frustration

“I know someone that walked out the other day over the article. I know someone else that left a couple of months ago. I know about eight trans people that left the organisation in the past 12 months because they don’t believe that the BBC is impartial anymore.”

The zoom meeting lasted 90 minutes allowing for all those in attendance to express their frustrations.  

​​“It’s been a really disappointing and frustrating few months, which started with the Ben Hunte piece about potentially dropping the Stonewall programme, then the Nolan podcast, and now the article,” one employee said.

“We really need to start looking internally at ourselves as the BBC, and ask a very simple question – what the fuck are we doing,” said another atendee. 

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

 

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