Tag Archives: cinema

BBC’s response to Sara Cox complaint

Well, the BBC have got back to me fairly quickly, an email arrived in my inbox at 5.30 this morning, full of, well… it made the right noises “we fully appreciate your disappointment”, but I couldn’t help but notice striking similarities to the response sent to PeskyPeople yesterday. Judge for yourself:

Dear Ms Williams,

Reference CAS-885218-413GXD

Thanks for contacting us.

I understand that you were unhappy with comments made on twitter by Sara Cox regarding subtitled films as you found them to be offensive.

We can’t comment on Sara Cox’s messages on her own personal twitter account.

The off-air (non-BBC) activities of our presenters should not undermine the public’s perception of the impartiality, integrity and objectivity of the BBC. We have strict guidelines which state the BBC’s policy in this area and include advice on maintaining impartiality; declaring conflicts of interest; acceptability of outside commitments; political activities; commercial, business and financial interests; personal benefits and commercial advertising.

I do however fully appreciate your disappointment with the comments therefore please be assured that I’ve registered your complaint in our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that’s made available to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, channel controllers and other senior managers.

The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.

Thanks once again for taking the time to contact us.

Kind regards,

Jonathan Dunlop
BBC Complaints
www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

And PeskyPeople’s BBC response here: http://www.peskypeople.co.uk/2011/07/bbc-response-to-complaint-about-dj-sara-coxs-twitter-comments/

The letters may be signed by different people, but I’m not fooled. There is a positive spin on this though, and I hope it’s true; the BBC have been deluged by so many complaints about Sara Cox’s behaviour that they’ve been forced to come up with a standard response in order to cope with the sheer volume of outrage. This would also explain the gap between PeskyPeople’s response and mine – the time it took to wade through the complaints to get to mine. I really, really hope that’s true, so the next time a jumped-up BBC ‘personality’ thinks it’s a good idea to bash access for others, and then insult those others when they object, they might think twice.

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Don’t sugar the pill honey, tell us how you REALLY feel…

…about subtitled cinema. As one of many deaf or HoH people up and down the country, I was amazed by Sara Cox’s comments on twitter regarding a subtitled showing of Bridesmaids that she happened to show up at. Rather than go into it all again, I’m simply going to post the complaint I just sent to the BBC.

Dear BBC,

I am a deaf licence fee payer, and I see no reason why I should be insulted by an employee of the BBC. The fact that it was done by a BBC public figure on a social media website who has nigh on 280,000 followers is bad enough, but the levels of ignorance displayed by Sara “For all you gobshites…” Cox and the support that she garnered from some of her followers in the face of fierce criticism “Don’t worry about it hen, some people go out of their way to be offended” was frankly depressing.

Of course I was offended. If I was hearing, I could walk into the cinema of my choice, at the time of my choice, and watch the film of my choice and enjoy it at my leisure. Instead, as someone who relies completely on subtitles, I have to wait until my local cinema shows a subtitled screening at some random hour on a random day of the week (in my area, usually Tuesdays and Sundays). If I turn up, and the promised subtitles don’t work, it’s an uphill battle to get my money back from the cinema. So to look at twitter and see Sara Cox not only complaining about the subtitles; “If I was wearing my specs, I cd’ve just put a thin strip of gaffer tape across the bottom of the lenses to block out the subs” etc, but asking for half her money back because they were there, was just unbelievable. If they had actually given her any money back for it, I think I would have had a heart attack.

There are an estimated 10 million people in the UK with some form of hearing loss, and yet there are precious few service providers, such as cinemas, who recognise this and act accordingly. So much of cinema is inaccessible to the deaf, and to complain about access for other people struck me as ignorant and selfish. Unfortunately, as some of her followers made clear, such attitudes are commonplace.

I believe that Sara Cox should apologise publicly and make amends by doing something to raise awareness of the unfairness that deaf people have to face every day. Failing that, perhaps make her sit in a cinema with no sound and no subtitles. Maybe then she would fully appreciate why so she upset so many people with her comments.

Yours sincerely

Donna Williams

Whilst it’s not as eloquent as that posted by PeskyPeople: http://www.peskypeople.co.uk/2011/07/my-complaint-to-bbc-about-the-offending-tweets-made-by-dj-sara-cox/ I hope it will get a response, and if Sara Cox is eventually forced to eat humble pie, so much the better.

My prize for best twitter response goes to Charlie Swinbourne for: @sarajcoxsee usually, it’s advertised and when deafies turn up, the subtitles don’t work. Kind of ironic that the reverse pissed you off. charlie_swin

Well said.