Language and mores change over the years and what was acceptable in the past is no longer acceptable now. That’s not to say that the likes of the current round of sex cases from forty years ago being dredged up by the police are innocent, but, at the time it was an accepted attitude for the ‘glitterati’ to behave with their adoring fans. Being basically mobbed by fans and taking advantage of them or your position whilst not exactly accepted, was ignored as just one of those things. people didn’t complain unless it was gross or extreme and there were so many blind eyes around that I’m surprised we weren’t walking into lampposts far more often.
Yet even now, people try to apply the morals and rules of today on what was said or done in the past and as ever in a politically correct society, breach the rules of today by broadcasting something said over eighty years ago can have consequences…
The BBC was facing criticsm last night after it forced a radio presenter to resign after he unwittingly played a song containing a deeply offensive racist slur.
David Lowe, a veteran radio broadcaster, played a song on his show which, unbeknown to him, contained a phrase using the N-word.
When a listener complained Mr Lowe offered either to apologise on air or resign. His BBC managers initially said he would have to resign, but after the affair threatened to become public the corporation underwent a sudden about turn and has now stated he can have his job back.
However the broadcaster said he had been left so stressed by the BBC’s attitude that he no longer feels well enough to continue working.
No, they didn’t sack him, they were prepared to accept his resignation, but the whole procedure seems to have left the guy with a stress related incident for playing something that was originally recorded in 1932. One person complained saying they were deeply offended and the whole politically correct procedure goes into overdrive and leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. A quiet word of don’t play that again would have sufficed, instead it took the fact that the matter was about to become public to make the BBC do an about face and tell the guy that he didn’t need to resign when they’d been more than willing to let him and brush the matter under the politically correct carpet.
We should never judge the past by modern standards, they thought differently, acted differently and what might have been acceptable then for all it is not acceptable now needs to be appreciated in context (and vice versa)
I believe Mr Lowe made an honest mistake, yet paid the price for a heavy handed enquiry into his actions. He didn’t even need to apologise, though it might have mollified the horrified listener (though I suspect they are permanently horrified at anything politically incorrect) The record is as it is and considering what modern rap artists scream out when singing is rather mild. Still we can’t have ‘ol whitey’ getting away with the N word now can we?
It’s clearly reserved for the N people themselves…