News: Complaints Over Have I Got News for You

The BBC has received 234 complaints over a recent edition of Have I Got New for You. This is the highest number of complaints over any programme in the last fortnight.

When Jo Brand hosted the show she spoke out about people not taking claims of sexual harassment seriously. The line-up was an all-male one – alongside Ian Hislop and Paul Merton the guests were journalist Quentin Letts and comedian Miles Jupp.

When Ian Hislop suggested that MPs' alleged behaviour in Westminster was not “high-level crime”, Brand replied: “If I can just say, as the only representative of the female gender here today – I know it’s not high-level, but it doesn’t have to be high-level for women to feel under siege in somewhere like the House of Commons. Actually, for women if you’re constantly being harassed, even in a small way, that builds up and that wears you down.”

The BBC said: “Guests are booked in advance, rather than for particular topics, and we try very hard to book guests from all areas of the political spectrum. This means there will sometimes be panel members with views that the audience and others on the show may disagree with. We do not necessarily share or endorse the views of the panellists and their material doesn’t reflect the opinions of the BBC. The host is also there to chair the show and to add perspective and balance when needs be – as we saw when Jo Brand made her points so eloquently in taking panel members to task in this edition."

“While most viewers know what to expect from the programme, it doesn’t set out to deliberately offend viewers. Its purpose is to be entertaining and to maintain the standards the show has set over the last 27 years. That said, we accept that tastes vary enormously and that some viewers might have a different point of view.”

Under new rules the BBC has to reveal any programmes that received more than 100 complaints in a two-week period. 

More here.



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