Category Archives: transphobia

Worrying insight into prejudice in Northern Ireland

The Equalities Commission Northern Ireland’s report Do You Mean Me? published today has some startling findings of hardening of negative attitudes here in Northern Ireland, whether that be race, disability or sexual orientation over the last 6 years.

Taken from Equality Commission Northern Ireland report   Do You Mean Me? (2012)

The key headline figures for the LGBT community make scarey reading.

The report found that 27% would mind a gay, lesbian or bisexual person living next door, compared to 14% in 2005, while 42% unhappy about them becoming an in-law, a rise of 13 percentage points over the last six years.

Around a third of people (35%) would mind a transgender person as a work colleague, rising to 40% as a neighbour and 53% as an in-law. This is the first time a major survey in Northern Ireland has considered attitudes towards transgender persons.

Comparing the transgender hostility to the traveling community, where the worst racial negativity was directed, which saw 27% mind having someone from that community as a work colleague 54% as a neighbour and 55% as an in-law, means that Trans are one of the most negatively perceived groups in Northern Ireland, while the Lesbian, gay and bisexuals score worse than migrant workers in all areas except the work place.

You can see that the perception of people from different religion once the be all and end all of Northern Ireland prejudice is down at the bottom along with learning or physical disability there is room for a lot more work on creating a safe shared future for other groups. The emphasis on sectarianism based on religion has it seems had a result, but the other equality groups have been left behind.

We need an attitude change from our political leaders, many of whom are scathing about LGBT people. This has rubbed off on the rest of Northern Ireland society it is not good enough for those at the forefront of public life to keep ignoring these feelings of unease. As the commissions chief executive Michael Wardlow says:

“This is a worrying insight into the population’s psyche and proves that much work remains to be done to break down barriers in our mindsets to create a fairer and more equal society for everyone in Northern Ireland.”

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Paddy Power lose their leg to stand on as advert pulled

Remember the defense used by Paddy Power about why they wished to continue showing the Transphobic advert for Cheltenham:

Several members of the UK transgender community are cast in the ad, and it was also cleared by Clearcast [which pre-vets TV ads] before airing. This ad is simply a bit of mild-mannered fun in the runup to the Cheltenham festival.

Well Clearcast have now issued the following statement:

Last week we approved a tv ad for Paddy Power featuring references to transgendered people. When making our decision to approve the ad, we took into account the fact that the advertiser had sought a view from the Beaumont Society (a body run by and for those who cross dress or are transsexual) which did not find the script idea offensive.

However following a number of complaints over the last few days, it appears that the ad has caused offence and in consultation with broadcasters, it has been decided that the ad should no longer run on their TV or VoD services in its current format. We regret offence that may have been caused.

So where does Paddy Power stand now? Well they have issued the following statement:

Paddy Power’s Ladies Day commercial has been pulled from TV.

The decision to suspend the clip wasn’t made by us – it was done by the British TV advertising regulator along with television broadcasters.

This is especially frustrating given the commercial was already pre-approved by British television advertising clearance body Clearcast, just one week ago, who then considered the humour in the advert, while not to everyone’s taste, fell short of causing offence.

The Beaumont Society said there was “nothing untoward with the advert concept” and felt it was not inappropriate since “the entire campaign would be a tongue-in-cheek look at the Ladies Day race meeting where these days a large number of cross dresser’s make a day of it”.

Furthermore, Paddy Power cast members of the trans-community in the various transgender roles in the commercial.

Given the attention and diligence we demonstrated throughout the development of this commercial, we are very disappointed by today’s decision.

So Paddy Power are frustrated and disappointed that they can no longer show this ad, that the decision on decency wasn’t made by them but by bodies outside their control.

Having one group, and one that many in the transgender community are sceptical of, agree with your point of view may not reflect the other groups dealing with Transgender issues who have disagreed with your stance, that much is clear. Paddy Power unlike Clearcast have not shown any remorse for the offence they have caused to others, but rather go on to boast about the number of YouTube views they have received of the ad.

The ad has been removed for the screens though no doubt will still be available of Paddy Power’s YouTube channel. Hopefully in future advertisers will think how to positively include transgender people in their adverts.

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ESPN Pull Plug on Paddy Power’s Transphobic Ad

Broadcasters are taking mixed approach to Paddy Power’s Transphobic ad, which is currently under referral by the Advertising Standard Authority.

Here is the current state of play.

ESPN have pulled the ad saying:

“We’ve reviewed the commercial in question, and have made an internal editorial decision that it will not run on ESPN.”

Channel 4 home of terrestrial racing coverage in the UK will run it they say that while they as a channel have a duty to make sure that all ads meet the advertising code, they will:

 “leave it up to our viewers to make their own judgment about the adverts they have seen”.

This from the channel that showed the issues of transgender individuals in My Transexual Summer in recent months!

BSkyB will also continue to show it, they have said:

 “Prior to transmission all advertising is checked by Clearcast, an independent body dedicated to applying the ASA rules and regulations on advertising. If, retrospectively, any ad is thought unsuitable for broadcast, the ASA can step in. When they do so, we always comply with the judgments they make.”

Clearcast clearance was also the excuse that Paddy Power gave in their statement on this issue:

“Several members of the UK transgender community are cast in the ad, and it was also cleared by Clearcast [which pre-vets TV ads] before airing. This ad is simply a bit of mild-mannered fun in the runup to the Cheltenham festival.”

I wonder how many members of the Clearcast clearance panel have ever heard a transgender woman talk to them one on one about the fears that they have of being publicly outed in the way that the advert wants to call a game to liven up Cheltenham Ladies Day? How many of them have seen the fear and trembling of a transgender women talking about an instance where someone has been threatening toward her when they guessed or discovered their birth identity.

Well done to ESPN on coming to their own conclusion on seeing the public reaction to this advert and shame on BSkyB and Channel 4 for not realising that the public have already spoken.

Update both BSkyB and Channel 4 subsequently reversed their decision and along with Clearcast decided to not screen the ad any further. This led to the total withdrawal of the ad on Thursday.

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Paddy Power still haven’t got it on Transgender issues

I’ve just read on Pink News that Paddy Power are actually taking their (in their words) “mild-mannered”, “harmless fun” from their transphobic advert for real to Cheltenham Ladies Day!

According to the article they will be ‘planting’ trans women in the crowd and encouraging race goers to play the sick ‘game’ from their advertising campaign for real.

At Lib Dem conference last Autumn LGBT+ Lib Dems NI Coordinator Stephen Glenn spoke about a number of reasons that the accreditation system for conference was unfair. One of the reasons stated was that some of the transgender members had refused to go through additional police checks for the fear of being accidentally outed to employers and others as a result of the process.

Yes Paddy Power, most transgendered people, especially women, often live in fear of somebody finding out they are trans and taking offense, being offensive or worse. Yet you are going to take that real fear and play games with it. Indeed many of them have experienced adverse effects. Many as a result of the constant specualtion, often behind their backs but often all to obvious, become reclusive scared to go out, even to the corner shop for supplies. It is no game for them.

Cheltenham may be a national hunt meeting but it it isn’t right to hunt transgender women for sport. We have a ban against such things, it is call the Equality Act 2010Section 26 says:

26Harassment

(1)A person (A) harasses another (B) if—

(a)A engages in unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, and

(b)the conduct has the purpose or effect of—

(i)violating B’s dignity, or

(ii)creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for B.

What if a transgender woman attending Cheltenham, who is not one of your plantees, gets hassle and grief all through Ladies Day, is that offensive, is that a game? What if a CIS woman gets “outed” incorrectly as a man, or as you advert says “a stallion”, is that going to be mild-mannered and harmless fun?

I don’t think so. Nor should Paddy Power.

Paddy Power have said “[They] don’t believe it [the ad] is offensive in any way” and indeed that “[They]’re quite proud of the ad.” I’ve seen a comment that says it all.

“What right does a CIS person have to tell a trans person what they might find offensive. Or that what a Trans person has found offensive can’t possible be so, isn’t that lack of listening just as offensive?”

Paddy Power the founder of the chain has told the Daily Mail:

‘I’m really surprised that it has had some negative responses but overall it has had a mixed reaction.

‘It won’t be pulled because we then run the risk of taking ourselves too seriously or pandering to political correctness.

‘We are surprised with some of the reaction because members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community helped us put the ad together and were featured in it.

‘It is not meant to cause offence.

‘This was checked by Clearcast (which vets adverts) so it wasn’t as if it was a guerrilla style attempt to offend – it is meant to get people talking.’

I’m sorry Paddy if being respectful and obeying the law is pandering to political correctness. Actually no I have no reason to be sorry about that, but Paddy you do.

I have a cunning plan for Ladies Day. Let’s have some harmless fun

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Paddy Power in transphobia ad shocker

They say that the Cheltenham Festival of racing is one of Ireland’s finest hours every year. Even if the Irish are losing money hand over fist at the trackside bookies.

However, Ireland’s largest and most successful bookmakers Paddy Power have brought shame on themselves with their current advert leading up to Ireland’s biggest betting week for their mobile app.

In the ad they say that they are “going to make Ladies Day even more exciting by adding some beautiful transgendered ladies: Spot the Stallions from the Mares.”  They then proceed in an inane guessing game as to whether ladies are men or ladies. There is even a clip at one point where a women walks out of the gents as the voice over says “dog, err man”.

To use the subject of transgender is such a degrading and mocking way is a clear cut case of transphobia. I suspect that most of the actors were actually drag artists and not transgendered people at all.

What is worse is that the advert appeared during Sky Sports very popular Soccer Saturday not just once but three times. So while we have the UK government running a campaign to wipe out transphobia in sport we have the nations number one sports channel showing such an advert.

We should be beyond mocking people’s differences in 2012, but sadly Paddy Power and Sky Sports once again show that in the macho world of sport that is not necessarily the case.

TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland)

Read also the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) have also written about their call on Paddy Power to remove this advert.

Update The Cheltenham Festival have picked up on outrage that many people have made about the advert. However, instead of distancing themselves from the advert which uses their event as the premise they say:

“Watch their Ladies Day Ad below. Some people might find it offensive. Some people thought it was just a bit of a laugh. What do you think? Let us know in the comments!”

I’m glad to report that the comments they are getting are largely coming out on the offensive side.

Update 2 – 20 Feb 11:20 This blog post as well as the comments LGBT+ Lib Dems NI Coordinator Stephen Glenn posted on the Cheltenham Festival website have both appeared in The Guardian today. 13:20 And now also in Pink News. 19:25 Even the Daily Mail are quoting from the above at length.

Update 3  In the comments below we have been forwarded the standard response that Paddy Power Customer Service have been issuing in response to complaints it reads:

Thank you for contacting Paddy Power Customer Support.

Paddy Power has a long-held reputation of breaking the mould and doing things that are new and innovative for our customers and viewers. Our aim though is always to entertain, never to offend, and we apologise for any upset caused.

Sadly if Paddy Power, their advertising executives, anyone who has run these ads or the Cheltenham Festival, feel that this ad poking fun at Transgendered women or playing a game of spot the CIS or Trans woman is new or innovative they really should wake up to the 21st Century.

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