Newswatch this week continued to focus on language, also discussing whether BBC News should ever call Belarus's Alexander Lukashenko 'President Lukashenko', given that our government - among many others - refuses to recognise his 're-election' last year, before moving onto the main issue of our times [it seems]: yes, inappropriate language about gender identity.
Samira Ahmed: Closer to home, on Monday, the News at Six reported that The Brits, the biggest award ceremony in British music, was scrapping separate categories for men and women. Here's Sophie Rayworth:
Sophie Rayworth: It will no longer give out prizes for Best Male or Best Female but instead choose one Artist of the Year. The Brit Award-winning singer Sam Smith who identifies as non- binary has campaigned for the change. He says he felt unable to enter last year because of the gender-based nature of the categories.
Samira Ahmed: That use of the pronoun "he" in relation to Sam Smith who has asked to be referred to as 'they' or 'them' rather than 'he' or 'him' infuriated some members of the audience, including Grace Davies:
Grace Davies: BBC News referring to Sam Smith using he/him pronouns in the SAME SENTENCE as talking about him being non-binary has got to be the biggest eye roll of the year.
Samira Ahmed: And George Aylett wrote:.
George Aylett: It's not faux outrage, misgendering does a lot of damage o people. The BBC knew Sam Smith's pronoun and still misgendered them.
Samira Ahmed: Well, BBC News told us:
BBC News: In a report about the BRIT award's removal of male and female categoroes, we regret that we inadvertently referred to Sam Smith using the incorrect pronouns, and will ensure we address them properly in future reports.
If you recognise the name George Aylett by the way, he/him is a Corbynista who ran for parliament in 2019. [He lost].
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