Tim Davie is facing a riot as he is accused of allowing the transgender network Pride to “monitor” the BBC.
Staff have told the BBC’s director-general to “shut down” the corporation’s Pride networks after a co-chairman complained he wanted more leverage over stories.
Mr Davie has been accused by experts of “incredible naiveté” for allowing the BBC Pride and BBC Studios Pride networks to spread to hundreds of employees, endorsing trans activism.
The Telegraph understands that staff have raised concerns directly with their office.
The latest trans spat to hit the broadcaster began with a testy exchange between Nathan Wren, co-chair of BBC Studios Pride, and Malcolm Clark, a science producer, at the World Congress of Science and Fact Producers last month.
Clark claims he complained that the group “policed” BBC production and stifled debate, prompting Wren to reply: “We only intervene when, for example, a trans issue is covered and then we will push to make sure that trans voices are being heard. he or I. “
Clark said that when he pointed out that even unions wouldn’t want such editorial influence, Wren responded: “Often we ask for changes and they don’t happen.”
Now the Telegraph can reveal that some staff members are calling for a crackdown on the group, accusing it of being “homophobic” by eroding the sanctity of the binary, immutable biological sex by promoting self-identified genders, thereby undermining people attracted to people of the same identity. sex.
“Many staff are fed up with the way BBC Pride’s influence undermines the BBC’s reputation for impartiality: Tim Davie needs to shut down Pride now before his influence further undermines the BBC,” a BBC source said. .
The growing influence of the BBC Pride networks has been partly attributed to a hangover from the BBC’s longstanding ties to Stonewall, the controversial LGBT charity.
In a 2018 report on LGBTQ+ culture and progress, the BBC praised Stonewall and one of ten recommendations was that BBC Pride be “strengthened”.
The report was partly written by Phil Harrold, the chief of staff to the CEO and chairman, who is also the “executive patron of the BBC Pride staff network”.
Such emboldening was evident in June 2021, when leaked BBC Pride board minutes showed them demanding to “attend kick-off meetings” and play a role in the “editorial processes” on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. .
This escalated into what was reportedly a tense video call between Fran Unsworth, the former head of BBC News, and the BBC Pride board in November 2021, when the BBC dropped Stonewall’s diversity training.
BBC Pride members were “disappointed and frustrated”, but Ms Unsworth is reported to have told staff “you will hear things you personally don’t like… and you have to get used to it”.
Following the latest row over Pride bosses from BBC Studios suggesting they want more influence, a BBC insider said: “Pride believes that trans women’s rights are more important than women’s rights to gender space and sports. one sex.
“BBC senior management have been incredibly naive in not understanding the political nature of gender identity activism and the way it has been added to gay rights.
‘It’s about trans, not LGB’
“People seem to think Tim is aware of the problem, but all complaints need to go through Pride sponsor Phil Harrold because he also runs Tim’s office.”
The source claimed that BBC Sport reporters were told to refer to trans athlete Laurel Hubbard as a woman at the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games, as an example of the effects.
A second BBC source said: “It’s intimidating how much power Pride has on trans activist issues and there’s no one to stop or defend them.
“Publishers don’t want to do anything to offend internal activists because they fear the inevitable internal arguments and complaints that will ensue. Even if they know they made the right editorial decision. It’s about trans, not LGB.”
A BBC spokesperson said: “BBC Pride is a volunteer-run staff network that aims to support all LGBTQ+ staff. It is not an editorial team, has no role in directing editorial content and, like Telegraph Group’s LGBTQ+ network ‘Out Loud’, our staff networks help ensure that the BBC is an inclusive organisation.
“Editorial decisions about what the BBC broadcasts or publishes are made in accordance with our editorial values and standards, including our commitment to due impartiality.”