Star BBC presenter Graham Norton has said that cancel culture makes it “hard to find Right-wing guests” to come on his BBC talk show, and even if you find one, “the audience probably don’t want to see them”. The presenter, who has hosted his popular late-night chat show since 2007, made the comments in an interview with the Sunday Times. The Telegraph has more.
The 59-year-old Irish presenter said that talking to people we disagree with – or even those who have been “cancelled” – in order to have fair debate, makes for more interesting television.
However, he added that it is not for him to be the “moral arbiter of the world” regarding who can appear on his celebrity chat show and that not inviting celebrities who have been “cancelled” on his show “seems just as bad” as inviting them and laughing along with them.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Norton spoke of the selection process regarding his chat show guests, in light of the BBC’s impartiality policy.
“It’s very hard to find a Right-wing guest and, if you do, the audience probably don’t want to see them,” he said.
So there you have it, folks: BBC audiences don’t want to see “Right-wing” guests. It doesn’t seem to occur to Norton that this is a self-fulfilling policy. It is also a big problem for a national broadcaster that is funded by a compulsory subscription and is supposed to be impartial.
Last month, Norton invited J.K. Rowling on the radio (not BBC radio, note) despite saying the author has “problematic” views on trans issues. Why it’s “problematic” to believe that biological sex defines male and female, and not problematic to believe a man should have access to female spaces merely on his own say-so, Norton does not explain.
He said he invited Rowling on to talk about her writing, but he “wouldn’t have her on to air her views” on the trans controversy, which is nice – and contradicts his claim to want to promote fair debates.
Despite not talking to Rowling about her views on trans issues, he said he imagined that they would disagree.
“So I wouldn’t have her on to air her views,” he said. “But she has the right to still wang on about her crime novel.
“The easiest thing would be to not have her on, but that didn’t seem right. We should talk to people that we disagree with and I would not further any cause by not having her on. She will still sell a gazillion books.
“Also, I got an insight into her when she talked about enjoying the pub brawl aspect of Twitter. I thought: ‘Oh, now I get it – you enjoy this.’”
Norton also oddly claims that cancelling someone doesn’t affect their livelihood, as they “keep working”.
Asked whether he would still invite celebrities on his BBC television show who have been “cancelled”, Norton added: “It all depends. If they really want to come on, we could navigate a way through, but what’s interesting is cancel culture is heavy on culture, but not so much on the cancel. Harvey Weinstein is in jail – he’s cancelled. But everyone else is working away. They have a quiet six months but keep working.”
Hmm, try telling that to all the people who have lost jobs and opportunities for being on the wrong side of the thought police.
Worth reading in full.