The misapplication of the idea of ‘balance’ in television has long been a problem, providing a platform to people with abhorrent or hateful views in the name of hearing a variety of views.
Presenting both sides of an argument is one thing; inviting on someone whose words and views are actively damaging to a section of society is another.
Enter Good Morning Britain, who offered a platform to someone with truly disgusting views (feel free to insert your own Piers Morgan joke here).
You’d think in 2017 enough people are already well aware that sexuality is not a choice, and homophobia sadly remains widespread enough that willingly providing a platform to someone with prehistoric homophobic opinions has no benefit.
Yet Good Morning Britain invited on Dr Michael Davidson, a man claiming he was able to ‘cure’ homosexuality in men – despite the British Medical Association declaring such practices ‘harmful’ back in 2010.
Whether or not he came across well is beside the point, and it doesn’t even matter if he was specifically invited on to be ridiculed. Many will have just seen the following tweet, the sentiment of which has caused legitimate harm to people for decades if not longer.
On next we’ll meet the man who claims he can 'cure' homosexuality in men. Any thoughts?— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) September 5, 2017
Unsurprisingly, much of the reaction was damning, with plenty taking the programme to task for its choice of guest.
Why can't he do some good and develop a cure for an actual illness instead? Oh, because he's a con man.— Daniel Thomas Gray (@thatgayteacher) September 5, 2017
Only that this massively undermines the credibility of your show and other guests.— Joel Snape (@JoelSnape) September 5, 2017
We sense there will be plenty of official complaints in addition to those speaking out via social media.
Morgan and co-host Susanna Reid were not sympathetic towards the guest. However, the issue people had was not with their treatment of him, but rather the decision to allow him on television in the first place.
Giving a platform to someone like this is disgusting. Would you do the same for pro-suicide groups? Bulimia advocates? They all exist...— Smyth Harper (@sharper76) September 5, 2017
Surely it's not "debate" to give people like this airtime? Will you be using flat earthers next?— Mark Hillary🏃🏼👍🏻 (@markhillary) September 5, 2017
(Images: Rex Features)