Quebec gay-rights organization files complaint over Olympic homophobic comments on TV

Just as the Olympics' first-ever PRIDE House is launching the first of two film events addressing homophobia in sport tonight in Vancouver, a Quebec gay-rights group has filed a complaint with the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council regarding homophobic comments made on air about American figure skater Johnny Weir.

Le Conseil québécois des gaies et lesbiennes (Quebec Council of Gays and Lesbians) is requesting an apology from Réseau des sports (RDS, the French-language version of Canada's English-language TSN) sportscasters Claude Mailhot and Alain Goldberg for comments they made about Weir during televised coverage of last week's men's figure skating competition in Vancouver.

Goldberg remarked that Weir should take a gender test, and Mailhot replied that Weir should be competing against the women.

Both Goldberg and Mailhot apologized, but CQGL insists that the apology is not enough as they only apologized for comments they made about Weir's outfit. The advocacy organization filed a complaint on Monday (February 22).

Two Australian commentators from Channel Nine, Eddie McGuire and Mick Molloy, received criticism last week for making Brokeback Mountain jokes about Western-style outfits worn by male competitors and the sexuality of Weir.

Comments

19 Comments

Helen Jefferson Lenskyj

Feb 23, 2010 at 2:44pm

The fact that the "Pride House" is an Olympic first in 2010 tells us something about homophobia and sport. Imagine the response if any other minority group felt the need to establish a Pride House for reasons of validation and safety.

Birdy

Feb 23, 2010 at 3:01pm

Obviously the comments were totally out of line.
My question is this:

If we outlaw being mean, and saying hurtful things...
Wouldn't being nice lose all it's meaning and value?

suck it up, buttercup

Feb 23, 2010 at 5:05pm

so no one should be allowed to comment when a male wears a ridiculously effeminite outfit?? what a bunch of pansies.

14 9Rating: +5

madant

Feb 23, 2010 at 6:15pm

While we value free speech, ignorant comments like that should not go unchallenged. When a female performer wears a masculine outfit, no one blinks an eye. (ie K.D. Lang who gave a phenomenal performance at the opening ceremony; I don't believe any derogatory comments were made about her choice of dress). Artists should be respected for their choice of style, no matter what their sexual orientation is.

Steve from Detroit

Feb 23, 2010 at 7:41pm

Goldberg and Maihot's comments are totally uncalled for, most unprofessional, typical insecure 'hetero-dude' homophobia slurs. Saying this at the Olympics!?!?

Both of these announcers should be fired, just like Howard Cosell was fired and lost his sports announcing career as he said live on national broadcast TV "look at that little monkey run!" about a black football player Alvin Garrett.

Way to go Quebec Pride Counsel. Fire Mailhot and Goldberg!

Birdy

Feb 23, 2010 at 8:14pm

Yes challenged with words, thoughts, ideas and education, not bureaucracy, courts and lawyers.

emil

Feb 23, 2010 at 8:19pm

that one about k d lang and no comments..Are you kidding She looked like a Wayne Newton in that get up. And whats with the bare feet my that is really classy!!!! NOT!!! This political correctness is way past the point of being funny.

greggron

Feb 23, 2010 at 11:53pm

RDS - a publicly funded broadcaster has no right to ridicule the people that help fund it. Fire those two idiots now. Let's see them ridicule blacks, asians , or jews and see the reaction. But they don't have the gonads. Some homophobes still see gays as an easy target..the last target they can openly attack. They are sorely mistaken.

glen p robbins

Feb 24, 2010 at 7:52am

Stick to commenting on performance -- this is a simple exercise in professional discipline.

irresponsible sportscasters

Feb 24, 2010 at 8:23am

There's nothing wrong with commenting about whether you may find a person handsome or pretty but it's clear that if it is insulting based on gender / sexual orientation and your preconceptions of what a man of woman should look like or behave like - you're a bigot.

There is a long clear history of violence towards people that do not fit accepted gender norms. Continuing to attack people because of their sexual orientation normalizes this violence.

That said if you find someones attempt at being pretty comes off as trashy or handsome as douchy - please let us know!