BBC rejects Springer complaints
The BBC Governors’ Programme Complaints Committee has decided not to uphold complaints made against JS:TO.
The full report is available on the BBC website.
The decision was made by a majority of 4 to 1, and can be summarised as follows:
- the offence – particularly the offence to religious beliefs – caused to sizeable numbers of people should not be underestimated or taken lightly
- reasonable and comprehensive attempts were made to minimise offence through appropriate scheduling, clear warnings, and the use of other programmes prior to the broadcast to set the piece in context
- the BBC is committed to freedom of expression, and has a duty to innovate, to reflect new and challenging ideas, and to make available to its audiences work of outstanding artistic significance
- in all the circumstances, the outstanding artistic significance of the programme outweighed the offence which it caused to some viewers and so the broadcasting of the programme was justified.
The only member of the Committee to disagree with the decision not to uphold complaints was Angela Sarkis, a former Vice-President of the African Caribbean Evangelical Alliance.
Stephen Green has called it “a black day for British broadcasting”.