ITV’s new prime time drama Butterfly – the fictional story of a boy with gender dysphoria – has been branded “one-sided” by parents of transgender children.
Starring Anna Friel as mum Vicky, and Callum Booth-Ford as Max, the three-part mini-series relied heavily on advice from transgender activist group Mermaids.
CEO Susie Green served as a consultant for the programme. She evaded UK restrictions by taking her 16-year-old son to Thailand for full sex-change surgery.
Transgender Trend, which represents concerned parents of transgender children, hit out at ITV over the programme, branding it “an advert for trans activist groups like Mermaids”.
Spokeswoman Stephanie Davies-Arai said: “ITV made no effort to speak to any of the hundreds of parents in my group who believe they are doing the right thing by not validating their child’s desire to be the opposite sex.”
The NHS’s Gender Identity Disorder Service (GIDS), called a scene in which Max attempts suicide “not helpful”.
In promoting the programme, actress Friel repeated claims by Mermaids CEO Green that half of trans young people attempt suicide.
Green told MPs three years ago that GIDS was “a service where there is a 48 per cent suicide attempt risk”.
Figures released by GIDS however, show that the real percentage is only around 0.14 per cent.
Telegraph columnist Allison Pearson also criticised the drama for its bias.
“The characters who question Max’s choice to become Maxine, and to go to school wearing a skirt, are pantomime villains.”
She added that girls who like “stomping about in dungarees and playing with cars, rather than dolls (as my sister did), are increasingly said to ‘identify as male’.”
“Labelling children as transgender when they may simply fancy being a train driver one day and Princess Eugenie the next is wrong and dangerous.”
Pearson was scathing over the suicide scene.
“’See, if you don’t agree to our demands, more kids will top themselves!’ is little more than moral blackmail.
“But, hey, factual inaccuracies must not be allowed to get in the way of the trans bandwagon, which mows down dissent like Boudicca’s chariot.”