Good Morning Britain has been subject to more than 100 complaints after featuring a ‘gay cure’ therapist.
The show aired a discussion between host Piers Morgan, Liverpool Echo journalist Josh Parry and ‘therapist’ Dr Michael Davidson on this morning’s show.
Viewers were quick to slam the item – asking why a man who claims he can ‘cure’ homosexuality, which is not possible, was given the platform.
Gay conversion therapy: @piersmorgan and @susannareid100 challenge Dr Michael Davidson’s views on homosexuality pic.twitter.com/qZxmLMgZRz
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) September 5, 2017
Stonewall Chief Exec Ruth Hunt wrote: “I’m increasingly thinking that @stonewalluk needs an early morning crew just to respond and counteract early morning ITV sanctioned hate”.
I’m increasingly thinking that @stonewalluk needs an early morning crew just to respond and counteract early morning ITV sanctioned hate.
— Ruth Hunt (@ruth_hunt) September 5, 2017
Peter Ruddick, producer on rival morning show BBC Breakfast said he would “resign” if a programme he worked on booked such a guest.
Yes. Lots of thoughts. Lots and lots of thoughts. The first being if @BBCBreakfast booked him I would resign. https://t.co/tzmqUDIFR4
— Peter Ruddick (@ruddick) September 5, 2017
An Ofcom spokesperson said they had received 103 complaints by 10:30am, barely three hours after the segment aired.
Twitter users were quick to condemn the TV booking.
Chris Darby wrote: “This is not freedom of speech, this is giving a platform to unscientific quackery / a systematic abuser”.
This is not freedom of speech, this is giving a platform to unscientific quackery / a systematic abuser https://t.co/FXo4zJx4Zn
— Chris Darby (@chrisdarby89) September 5, 2017
Frustrated Tweeter Phil Ford wrote: “Thoughts? How about you don’t give this kind of hate the airtime? No doubt Piers will bathe in this like the venom he spouts.”
Thoughts? How about you don’t give this kind of hate the airtime? No doubt Piers will bathe in this like the venom he spouts.
— Phil Ford (@philford) September 5, 2017
Another, Simon Paddy, said: “Sadly I cynically suspect this is so Piers can “shut him down” and get a 54 sec clip shared around so we all forget PM is a dreadful human.”
Sadly I cynically suspect this is so Piers can “shut him down” and get a 54 sec clip shared around so we all forget PM is a dreadful human.
— SimonPaddy (@SimonPaddy) September 5, 2017
During the segment host Piers Morgan laid into the idea that being gay was an invention which could be turned on and off.
Dr. Davidson rebutted the brash TV host as he suggested a “population group are unhappy with homosexuality” – to which Piers pointed out he meant himself.
The 52 year old, who has previously been criticised for his views on non-binary people, began: “You know what we call these people? We call them horrible little bigots in the modern world.
“Bigoted people who talk complete claptrap and, in my view, a malevolent and dangerous part of our society.
“What’s the matter with you? Stop talking for a moment. Stop banging on.”
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“You seem to care very much, you seem to think he wasn’t born gay and now needs to be cured.
“To which I say, shut up you old bigot! Sorry, but this is ridiculous.”
Gay cure therapy has been widely and conclusively debunked by experts – it is not possible to forcefully change a person’s sexuality.
Despite this, the practice remains broadly legal in the UK, with a Liverpool church being exposed as telling gay people they could be ‘cured’ by starvation just weeks ago.
It is banned on the NHS, and any professional who is a member of the General Medical Council found to offer gay cure therapy would be struck off.