BBC chief tells LGBT employees in Zoom call ‘they should get used to listening to ideas they don’t like’

a BBC The chief told LGBT employees that they would “hear things they personally don’t like” and that they would “have to get used to it”, it is reported.

During a meeting with the corporation’s Pride Network, the broadcaster’s head of news, Fran Unsworth, told employees that they should make it a habit to listen to opinions they disagree with.

This came as he answered questions that ‘contained people should not be exposed to ideas they dislike’ during a Zoom call on Friday.

Ms Unsworth, who is set to step down in January, also told employees that these were stories the corporation told the public and that they ‘couldn’t walk away from the conversation’.

The meeting was also ‘extremely hostile’ to BBC Director General Tim Davey, who spoke of his concerns that LGBT workers were leaving the corporation over its policies during a Zoom call, The Sunday Times Report.

Friday’s meeting came as the BBC announced it had become the latest organization to scrap the program for Diversity Champions of LGBT charity Stonewall.

BBC news chief Fran Unsworth told employees they should get used to listening to opinions they disagree with

Diversity Champions is a program where companies sign up and pay Stonewall for advice on how to create an inclusive environment for LGBT workers.

But it has recently been embroiled in controversy when its chief executive Nancy Kelly claimed that the ‘gender critical’ belief – the belief that a person’s biological gender cannot be changed – was tantamount to anti-Semitism.

A source told The Sunday Times that Ms Unsworth told staff: ‘You will hear things you personally don’t like and things you don’t like – that’s the BBC, and you have to get used to it.’

Another person said: ‘Fran was completely calm but determined about it.

‘She was responding to questions from the network, which meant people should not be exposed to ideas they dislike.’

During the meeting Mr Dewey, formerly the chairman of a gay, lesbian and bisexual working group at the BBC, told staff he would listen to their views and said that making them feel comfortable at work is a priority.

But an employee told her that she was ‘not in a position to decide on the issue, as she is not trans’.

A BBC spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘The BBC has regular staff meetings and this meeting was constructive and useful.’

Last week the BBC confirmed it was withdrawing from Stonewall’s program of diversity champions.

This came in the wake of Ofcom, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and others abandoning the plan.

A BBC spokesperson said: ‘The BBC is fully committed to being an industry-leading employer on LGBTQ+ inclusion. We are proud of our gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans partners and we support them to fulfill their careers at the BBC.

The BBC recently announced that it has become the latest organization to leave the program of LGBT charity Stonewalls Diversity Champions.

The BBC recently announced that it has become the latest organization to leave the program of LGBT charity Stonewalls Diversity Champions.

At least eight major organizations have abandoned Stonewall Group's controversial plan

At least eight major organizations have abandoned Stonewall Group’s controversial plan

The impending departure of the BBC comes after others, including Ofcom's abandoned program

The impending departure of the BBC comes after others, including Ofcom’s abandoned program

Organizations that have so far abandoned the Stonewall plan

Equality and Human Rights Commission

ofstead

Ofcom

cabinet Office

channel 4

health Department

BBC

Ministry of Justice

‘Along with many other UK employers, the BBC has participated in Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, to support our aim of creating a fully inclusive workplace.

‘However, over time our participation in the program has led some to question whether the BBC can be impartial when reporting on public policy debates where Stonewall is taking an active role.

‘After careful consideration, we believe it is time to withdraw from the Diversity Champions program and will no longer participate in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index.

As part of the ‘Diversity Champions’ programme, the BBC has never been required to support Stonewall’s campaigns, nor its policy position.

‘As a broadcaster, we have our own values ​​and editorial standards – these are clearly set out and published in our editorial guidelines. We are also governed by the Royal Charter and the Ofcom Broadcasting Code. Our journalists, as always, continue to report a full range of perspectives on stories.

‘While the BBC will not renew its participation in the Diversity Champions programme, we will continue to work with a number of outside organizations, including Stonewall, on relevant projects to support our LGBTQ+ staff in the future.

Stonewall said it was ‘a shame’ that the BBC had abandoned the plan, saying in a stern statement: ‘Many arguments against trans people today are merely recycled homophobia from the 80s and 90s.

‘We all remember gay people being called predators and that homosexuals were a threat in the single-sex space.

‘This was not true of gays, bi and gay people then, and it is no longer true of trans people either.’

Journalist and former MP Matthew Parris, who co-founded Stonewall in 1989, accused the group this year of “engaging in a trans issue” and “stuck in an extremist stance”.

Last month a BBC source told Vice News: ‘The owners of the BBC feel they cannot allow the organization to be associated with Stonewall in any way, because the BBC needs to be fair on LGBT life.

‘So the current plan is to quietly withdraw from the scheme by not renewing their membership. I am too scared to back down from supporting LGBT workers.’

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