Buffy and "pansy" make waves with British censors

BY Advocate.com Editors

September 30 2003 11:00 PM ET

BBC News reports that the lesbian content of the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the use of the word "pansy" on another program both earned rebuke from the British Broadcasting Standards Commission. Buffy drew complaints from some viewers over the Willow-Tara lesbian love story as well as the show's violence--including an attempted rape scene--because the program airs at 6:45 p.m. on BBC2. While the network defended the show, calling the violence "cartoon-like" and explaining that the lesbian storyline had been a long-running one, the BSC countered that the combination of violent sequences, rape, and homosexuality made Buffy stray from its fantasy element.

The BSC also fielded complaints about the use of the word "pansy" as a double entendre during wordplay about gardening on the satirical radio show News Quiz, which airs on BBC's Radio 4. The BBC claimed that the word was only meant to be used as a term for light effeminacy, saying in a statement, "It is not a straightforward term of homophobic insult in the way others might be, and a good deal gentler than most." But the BSC stood behind a listener complaint that the use of the term represented a "negative sexual stereotype."

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