A Northern Ireland politician has been called a “bigoted old dinosaur” after claiming gay people should not be shown on TV before 9pm.
Jim Wells (pictured) is a politician for Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and has a history of homophobic comments.
He made the new claim on UK breakfast show Good Morning Britain. Wells said he would not watch BBC show Strictly Come Dancing in case he saw same-sex pairs dancing together on the show.
“The show is wonderful family viewing and [the decision to allow same-sex couples] will change that considerably. You’ve had a busy week, you sit down with the family and you watch pure entertainment,” he said.
“The last thing you want is to be challenged or to be asked deep intellectual questions.”
When asked what the “challenge” was, he continued: “What’s challenging is if you have the family, young children with you.
“They’ll be asking why are the two men or two women dancing together?”
Host Piers Morgan then asked him what time he thinks that gay couples should be allowed on TV.
“Exactly the same time as the BBC thought two years ago, 9pm,” Wells replied.
Piers and Susanna challenge former DUP Health Minister Jim Wells, who says he will refuse to watch Strictly Come Dancing in case he sees same-sex couples dancing.@piersmorgan | @susannareid100 | #GMB pic.twitter.com/Wc7lYLsIba
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) September 3, 2019
Piers Morgan calls Northern Ireland politician Jim Wells ‘bigoted old dinosaur’
Host Susanna Reid also jumped in, asking: “Have you ever seen children dancing? They dance together, girls dance together, boys dance together. There’s nothing challenging about it.
“Your concern is about seeing gay couples. It’s not about children. The BBC is trying to reflect society.”
Morgan continued, telling Wells: “I think you’re just an old bigoted dinosaur. You feel challenged because you don’t like the idea of scary gay people around you.
“I’m not insulting you, I’m insulting your bigotry, which is irrational, inconsistent, makes no sense whatsoever.”
Morgan continued: “Most people who have this weirdly anti-gay sentiment at some stage in their life have had a ‘feeling’. Are you gay?”
In response, Wells said: “Absolutely not, I am a happily married man of 36 years with three children and four grandchildren.”
The BBC said in a statement Strictly Come Dancing is an “inclusive show”.
“[We’re] proud to have featured same-sex dancing amongst the professional dancers in group numbers in previous series,” a spokesperson said.
“We are completely open to the prospect of including same-sex pairings between our celebrities and professional dancers in the future, should the opportunity arise.”
Jim Wells has a history of homophobic comments. He previously called marchers in a Belfast Pride parade “repugnant”. He also called for the government to stop funding PrEP for gay men.
In 2015, he resigned as Northern Ireland’s Health Minister over comments linking same-sex parenting to child abuse.
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.