A BBC pilot project aimed at cultivating young filmmakers is under fire after one of its participants called Christians "hypocritical," and quipped on camera that Jesus "turned out alright" despite having two dads.
Ciaran Varley, 28, shared his comments in a video that was published on BBC Raw, a project that describes itself as "an incubator for socially and racially diverse young people who want to develop into filmmakers for the BBC," sharing his thoughts about gay marriage and briefly critiquing the Christian perspective.
"These Christians, you could call them a bit hypocritical, couldn’t you? I mean, don't these guys spend like half the time worshipping a fellow Jesus who, himself, had two dads?" Varley said. "I mean, he turned out alright didn't he?"
He added, "'Don't be gay' didn't even make it into the Ten Commandments."
Watch it here:
Other comments about marijuana and Prime Minister David Cameron have riled politicians who question whether the content on the youth platform, which was launched in February, crosses the line, as it is seen by some as breaching the BBC's rules on bad language and impartiality, the Daily Mail reported.
Concerns also center around the fact that Varley's mother, Cheryl Varley, is the BBC's social mobility executive, though he is reportedly not paid for the content that he produces for BBC Raw; he is, however, a paid assistant content producer for the CBBC, a kids channel, according to the outlet.
Members of British parliament have called for an investigation into the material, with MP Damian Collins — a conservative — proclaiming that this sort of content is not appropriate for the BBC to be involved with.
"I can't understand how this was allowed to happen," he said. "It brings the BBC into disrepute … the BBC needs to explain why money from [its] budget has been used to benefit [family of staff]."
MP Andrew Percy, also a conservative, added, "If [people] want to produce this sort of trash they should do it on their own money and have it aired on a platform not funded by license fee payers."
The central issue is that almost everyone who watches TV in the U.K. must have a license to do so, with the fees that come from purchasing the permit going to fund the BBC; this makes any perception of bias problematic, though it is unclear whether BBC Raw content would show bias, or whether Varley, among others, is simply freely sharing his views on a platform that welcomes everyone's perspective.
A BBC spokesperson told the Daily Mail that the media organization is looking into whether BBC Raw "fully adheres to the BBC’s rigorous editorial standards," noting that people from various backgrounds are free to post "short, personal — and sometimes provocative — films about issues they care about on YouTube."
(H/T: Daily Mail)