Writing for the Daily Mail today, openly bisexual journalist Brian Sewell heavily criticised the volume of LGBT characters in Coronation Street.Sewell, who describes his own bisexuality as an ‘affliction’, claims that lesbian, gay and transgendered characters are over-represented on the soap. He refers to barman Sean Tully and his partner, Sophie Webster and her girlfriend Sian Powers as well as Hayley Cropper who is transgendered. He uses transvestite character Marc Selby to bolster his argument despite the fact that Marc is straight.
Sewell rants, “When confronted with this, the sane man may feel his nose is being rubbed in it.”
“There’s too much, not only of gay men — who are estimated to make up just 6% of the population, but who dominate the storylines in the soap — but also of lesbians, bisexuals, the trans-gender community, cross-dressers and everyone else with some sexual quirk or fetish.”
Sewell quotes a statistic that is difficult if not impossible to calculate given that a huge number of people deny their sexuality, and that sexuality itself cannot be quantified as it does not fit neatly into boxes. He equates Coronation Street to “sexual propaganda” and claims gay writer Damon Rochefort is indoctrinating his viewers with these storylines. He goes on to claim “TV is far too politically correct” and calls for viewers to “press a button and turn off the programme” if it is not moved to a slot past the watershed.
Sewell clearly has issues with internal homophobia. This is vented in his choice to lambast a show for shunning the ‘one token gay’ quota and deciding to finally celebrate a community rather than a tired stereotype.