Statement on Homophobic TV Story on GDS TV

The media plays a special role in overcoming stereotypes and increasing public awareness. Therefore, the 23 April TV story of the GDS TV program "Flat 18", aimed at encouraging homophobic attitudes and discriminatory actions, causes concern.

The author of the story, saturated with homophobic attitudes and expressions, did not refrain from using hate speech himself. The content of the story clearly showed biased approach to the issue, whereas the media can make a positive contribution to the establishment of values ​​that condition respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country.

Freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right, but it should be noted that given the current discriminatory attitudes towards LGBT persons, reporting on this issue requires special care in order to avoid strengthening of stereotypes and encouragement of violence.

Pursuant to Article 7 of the Charter of Journalism - "Journalists should be aware of the risk of promoting discrimination by the media; therefore, they must do everything to prevent any kind of discrimination on race, gender, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin or any other grounds", while Article 10 states that "Journalists must respect people’s private life and should not to interfere with their privacy, if there is no particular public interest."

The author of the story openly expressed hatred towards LGBT people, reminded the respondents their statements containing hate speech and called on them to make similar statements again. In addition, during the TV story, the author referred to LGBT people by using a wrong term - "the same-sex people".

The Public Defender considers that a similar TV story promotes negative stereotypical attitudes towards LGBT people and strengthens restrictions on their rights on discriminatory grounds.

Particularly alarming is the fact that the GDS TV company invited the author of the story the work for the company after he made homophobic statements.

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