Future of FA anti-homophobia campaign in doubt
It was sad to hear that the Football Association has cancelled this week's launch of its long awaited anti-homophobia video, saying it needs to review its strategy on tackling anti-gay prejudice and how the video fits into its overall campaign.
The cancellation coincides with criticism and unease over the video's use of stridently homophobic language in a bid to expose and shame bigots.
Produced by top award-winning advertising agency, Ogilvy, the video was due to have been launched by the FA at Wembley Stadium this Thursday (11 Feb). The main character, a youngish man, abuses a newspaper seller, tube train passenger and an office worker with anti-gay taunts. The video finishes with him shouting homophobic abuse at a football match. The captions make the point that since homophobia is not acceptable at work, it should not be be acceptable on the terraces either.
The project was proposed by Peter Tatchell over two years ago, as a way of challenging prejudice on the pitch and on the terraces.
Tatchell has branded the the last minute cancellation "a big disappointment" and that it has "thrown the Football Association's commitment to tackling homophobia into disarray".
He points out that the video and strategy were agreed nearly two years ago and the cancellation follows the FA's dissolution of the broad-based Tackling Homophobia Working Group, and its reconstitution with what Tatchell says is a hand-picked, much smaller and less representative number of members. Many relevant LGBT groups are not included.
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