Offensive posters removed from SU

Posters advertising series ten of the popular TV series Family Guy have been removed from outside the Students’ Union building following complaints that they were offensive to homosexuals and transsexuals.

The posters, which read ‘Who’s making poo stew?’ and ‘Who’s the tranny in a nappy?’ were deemed to be offensive by many members of the student community and action was taken into their removal from the boards.

It was argued that the posters made fun of homosexuals and transsexuals, using derogatory terms which were found offensive.

The Students’ Union, who do not own the media boards, were quickly alerted to the issue. The Union then passed on the issue to the external company involved, Redbus media.
The external company has apologised for the matter.

According to the company, there have been other complaints from other students’ unions around the country regarding the poster, but told the Union that they would remove the posters at Warwick.

The decision was made to remove the posters without the help of the advertising agency. Welfare Officer Leo Boe explained: We acknowledged the offensive [nature] of the posters, so we took them down before they could replace them.”

However, a number of students were extremely offended by the nature of the adverts before they were removed. Former Welfare and Equal Opportunities Officer for Warwick Pride and undergraduate student Ashley Harnett commented that “to encounter such openly insulting messages in that context was incredibly shocking,” and in particular the content of the advert “that cannot be escaped and acts to normalise offensive language.”

On the other hand, there were some who did not take offence at the posters around the SU. LGBTUA+ Officer and Welfare Officer Elect Izzy John empathised with these students; “I can easily see why some people weren’t offended by them, as they saw them just as posters for a TV show.” Undergraduate Psychology student Joe Wallace said that it just “reinforces LGBT people as being ‘different’ to others, and that such a thing should not be reinforced. Equality will only be reached if we can learn not to differentiate between different groups in society in such a way.”

Perhaps more pressing than the content of the posters themselves was the fact that they were displayed outside the Students’ Union, which according to John is “meant to be a safe space… [which caused] some people to be reminded of the discrimination they face on a constant basis.” Harnett added that the SU “should never have allowed them to appear in the first place.”

The Union assure that the issue was dealt with as quickly and effectively as possible. “The second we were notified of the problem it was dealt with professionally and efficiently by all Union staff involved,” said Democracy and Communications Officer Chris Luck.

This sentiment was echoed by John, who commented that the Union’s response was “exemplary, I couldn’t have asked for a more efficient response… the staff were very understanding about the whole issue, which highlights their commitment to equal opportunities and diversity.”

Luck also explained that as a result of the fact that the Union do not own the media boards, Redbus media are responsible for the content of the adverts and the maintenance of them.

Boe spoke of the issue: “I think that they undermine the values that we have as a union. We pride ourselves on… emphasising tolerance and equal opportunities on campus.”

“[This is] a reminder that homophobia and transphobia have become far too acceptable. This is proof that there is still a large amount of intolerance in society, especially towards LGBT. At Warwick we try to maintain as safe and as inclusive a community as possible… these posters highlight the fact that this discrimination does still happen. There is still a lot of work to be done.”


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