British prime minister Boris Johnson’s comments about gay men had to be censored by Dave for being too homophobic.
On Thursday evening, Nish Kumar’s sketch show Late Night Mash made a mock news segment spoofing the ruling Conservative Party leader’s track record for offensive comments.
The bit saw calls from the premier for the public – “as they always do” – to show more respect in public life.
Posing as a news reporter commentating live from 10 Downing Street, comic Jason Forbes said: “The prime minister urged more tolerance amongst all communities in Britain, including tank-topped bum boys, hot totty, girly swots and Muslim women who look like letterboxes.”
When the clip was shared on social media, a message from Dave, owned by UKTV, flashed on the screen revealing that the segment had to be censored because Johnson’s historic comments breached Dave’s guidelines.
“These are real quotes from Boris Johnson,” the message stated, “but they violate our brand guidelines so we had to censor them.”
Host Kumar shared the video on his Twitter, writing: “Pretty cool that we aren’t allowed to broadcast things the prime minister has said because they’re too racist.”
Indeed, Johnson, 57, made a slew of incendiary comments throughout his early career as a journalist.
The “bum boy” quote dates back to a 1998 column in The Telegraph newspaper about gay lawmaker Peter Mandelson’s resignation from the New Labour cabinet.
“Weep, O ye shirt-makers of Jermyn Street, ye Cool Brittania tailors and whatever exists of human finer feeling,” Johnson wrote at the time.
“In the Ministry of Sound, the tank-topped bum boys blub into their Pils.”
Boris Johnson: Comments have been ‘made to seem offensive’
When writing for The Specactor in 2000, then-editor Johnson launched an attack against Labour for its opposition to Section 28, the loathed legislation that banned schools and local authorities from even mentioning LGBT+ lives.
“This British legislator is voting in favour of Labour’s appalling agenda,” he wrote, “encouraging the teaching of homosexuality in schools, and all the rest of it, while his taxes are going on the Paris Metro and the SNCF. Where are the shrieks of protest?”
Johnson then referred to Muslim women in hijabs visiting his constituency in Uxbridge and South Ruislip as “looking like letter boxes [and] bank robbers” in a satirical piece published in The Daily Telegraph in 2018.
Speaking during a BBC Question Time leaders’ special three weeks before the 2019 general election, Johnson suggested that any offence around his past comments was manufactured.
“If you go through all my articles with a fine-tooth comb and take out individual phrases,” he said, “there is no doubt that you can find things that can be made to seem offensive and of course I understand that.”
PinkNews contacted the Prime Minister’s Office for comment.