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George Michael Slams Gay Storyline, BBC Responds

George Michael Slams Gay Storyline, BBC Responds

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Pop star George Michael has criticized a gay storyline in the popular U.K. series EastEnders as insulting to gay people and terrifying to gay children, prompting a rebuttal from the BBC.

Following an episode of the long-running British drama in which Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) went to the home of Christian Clarke (John Partridge) carrying a baseball bat after he was falsely accused of molesting Phil's schoolboy son Ben (Joshua Pascoe), the 48-year-old Michael became indignant about the impact the series could have on London's gay community and children dealing with their sexual orientation.

In a series of tweets that began after the episode aired Thursday, Michael wrote, "Ok people, shock announcement coming up. It's official. George Michael has had enough of EastEnders. ARE THEY FUCKING KIDDING! Gay people deserve better than the BBC's pathetic attempts to 'represent' us."

He continued,"Message to gay kids in Britain. The East end of London is one of the best places on earth to be a modern gay man or couple. The relationship between Sayed [Editor's note: actually spelled Syed, played by Marc Elliott] and Christian is the most insulting piece of bullshit on British television right now. Insulting to the gay community, insulting to the Muslim community, and in the meantime, terrifying every gay child that is struggling to come to terms with their sexuality , and the prospect of coming out to their family, whatever their religion. So far, Christian has been beaten up 3 times that I can remember, and is now accused of child molestation. Sayed has been disowned and ... is now mistreating his partner shamelessly, presumably because he is now a confused bisexual after all. Total fucking bullshit. Life in London is a wonderful thing for so many gay and lesbian people these days, and I know that there are gay people involved in the writing of the show, but they really need to rethink their approach to gay 'issues.' They are scaring the shit out of children everywhere for the sake of drama, and it doesn't seem to have occurred to them. I think that soaps are HUGELY influential in modern Britain. They should reflect sexuality in just the same terms that they reflect race and integration. Positively. And without stereotypes. In this respect, they are failing us all spectacularly."

A BBC spokesperson released the following statement: "EastEnders reflects a wide range of issues. All soap characters face their own trials and tribulations in order to create drama, however EastEnders viewers will know that this is a story about Phil Mitchell who while struggling with his own relationship with his son, will do anything to protect him."

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