Soaps lobbied for liberal storylines

Tue, 9 Sep 2008

Popular TV programmes like EastEnders and Coronation Street are being actively lobbied to push a politically-correct view of modern Britain.

Following last week’s news that Cambridge University tried to get sympathetic plotlines into mainstream soaps, other lobbying efforts have come to light in an article published by the Guardian.

Stonewall, the homosexual lobby group, boasted about getting a character from Hollyoaks to wear a homosexual campaign T-shirt.

“One of our key priorities is to promote fair coverage of lesbian and gay people in the media and we work with programme makers to reflect this,” said Gary Nunn, a communications officer at Stonewall.

“A recent example of this is our work with Hollyoaks where the character Kris Fisher wore a T-shirt with our campaign slogan: ‘Some people are gay. Get over it!’.

“The character John Paul McQueen is displaying the poster of the campaign’s slogan in his bedroom on the soap.

“The actor who plays him, James Sutton, is wearing the t-shirt for a feature we did with this month’s edition of Attitude magazine.”

Recent storylines in Coronation Street have included Todd being engaged to Sarah but realising he’s gay, Sarah’s teenage pregnancy and Tina’s abortion.

“We are often approached by charities or organisations with requests to incorporate their campaigns or issues into the show,” says Alison Sinclair, publicity manager for Coronation Street.

Even the Government gets in on the act. With Sarah’s teenage pregnancy storyline, for instance, the show worked with the Government on the issue – and the relevant ministry was able to provide case studies for magazines or newspapers eager to follow up the issue.

Christians, however, are often unfairly represented in the media. In 2002 a Roman Catholic group campaigned against prejudiced representations of churchgoers in the soaps, who are depicted as objects of ridicule, moral hypocrites or cultish brain-washers.

The group said that the religious beliefs of characters, such as EastEnders’ Dot Cotton and Mrs Mack from High Road, are repeatedly made fun of.

In other soaps, such as Brookside, religious characters were only introduced into shocking storylines. For example, the character Margaret Clemence, a nanny, ran off with Father Derek O’Farrell, a Roman Catholic priest.

In another plot, a resident of the close, Simon, set up a shady religious cult which recruited regular characters Katie Rogers and Terry Sullivan.

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