Six months after the BBC promoted news “presenter” — British for anchor — Evan Davis to host of the U.K. television network’s flagship current affairs program, Newsnight, he's talking about his sexuality and the dangers facing gays.
In an interview with Attitude magazine, Davis also discussed politics and Russell Brand’s call for a British revolution. But the remarks making headlines involve his statements that gays and lesbians are more likely to engage in destructive behavior because they don’t have the “discipline” of straight people who raise children.
“I suspect that some of the things that discipline straight men and women, and stop them partying too hard or succumbing to drugs, are conventions of family or children, and also the limitations of money when you have children, Davis said. “Gay people don’t necessarily face that constraint or disciplining factor, so it’s just easier for gay people to succumb. The gay community has less discipline, because it doesn’t have kids to go home to, and slightly more disposable income, and then add to that that when these things catch on they tend to have a momentum.”
Speaking in general terms — and ignoring the number of gay couples who adopt or raise their own children — the 52-year-old broadcaster compared gay drug use to a spreading disease: “Once gay people start taking drugs, they’ll take more drugs because it’s socially infectious and one person will take them, then another. I just think it’s something gay people have to watch out for.”
While open about his sexuality, Davis revealed that in his teenage years, he was “tortured” by the discovery of his attraction to men. "What I would like 16-year-olds sitting in school to think is that it’s not a very big deal,” he says.
Davis also discussed his October 2014 interview with Russell Brand, in which he locked horns with the British comedian over his call for a revolution. The Independent reported the outspoken and unashamedly opinionated Brand described Davis as having “an insidious questioning style” and being “a bit rude.”
Davis said Brand and other independents “know all the things that go wrong with this system, but they haven’t got the foresight to know all the things that could go wrong with the counter-system that they’re building in their head.” That fiery exchange in which each man talked over the other has since gone viral.