BBC article claiming cis lesbians ‘pressured into sex by trans women’ found to be misleading

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06/01/2022

A story by the BBC claiming cis lesbians are being “pressured into sex” by trans women fell below the broadcaster’s editorial standards, the company’s complaints team has found. The story, written by BBC News journalist Caroline Lowbridge, drew stiff criticism among LGBTQ+ campaign groups and even cis women. The publication of the dangerous story on 26 October 2021 led to protests outside BBC offices in several cities and queer staff resigning in droves. Many saw it as the latest in a legacy of anti-trans coverage from the BBC. The BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit (ECU) said Tuesday (31 May) that following a “significant number of complaints” about the story, the department’s head launched a review. In a lengthy reply, the ECU said that the article, “though a legitimate piece of journalism overall, fell below the BBC’s standards of accuracy”.  Partly upholding the complaints, the ECU poked holes into the article when it came to accuracy. Its headline, “We’re being pressured into sex by some trans women,” for example, was found to be misleading.

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