Thursday, May 6, 2010

Greek TV Watchdog fines show for interviewing trans woman

The Greek National Council for TV and Radio has fined a programme for interviewing a trans woman and demanded that Tv does not upset and confuse young people by giving coverage to homosexuals and transsexuals, describing them as 'beyond the normal'.

The GreekTransgendered Support Association has attacked the National Council of Radio and Television (NCRT), for its new decision by which it imposes a 20.000 Euro fine on the Star Channel show, "Fotis and Maria Live", which hosted the transsexual writer and actress, Betty Vakalidou.

In that show, Mrs Vakalidou spoke of her work as a writer, referred to her part as an actress in a film and spoke of her personal experience as a transgendered woman, in a dignified manner while, as the NCRT itself recognises: "we note that [Mrs Vakalidou] herself was very discreet and serious and without being provocative in what she said".

According to the rationale of the decision of the NCRT: "one wonders whether the contents of her interview, because she referred to her personal experiences and the reactions of her family and people in general concerning her change of sex and transsexual women, was not hard to conceive and understand for the underage spectators, given that this issue was alien, maybe even unknown to them, or at least to most of them, and for this reason could have influenced them in a negative manner."

Later on we can read that: "... the issue of homosexuality (the sexual preference for individuals of the same sex) and of sex change with or without surgical intervention that was presented by the show being examined constitutes a social issue and a reality that pertains to a small group of people. It constitutes a condition that is beyond the normal and for that reason it sounds strange to a great degree to the underage spectator... The presentation of information about the love life of homosexual individuals or transsexuals, about the sex change procedure and the feelings and experiences of the woman being interviewed, could possibly influence negatively the underage spectators..."

The Greek Trangendered Support Association say that the NCTVR is failing in its duty to promote equal opportunities and is supporting sexism, homophobia and transphobia.

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