Confirmation today that the transgender organization consulted in advance of the controversial Paddy Power Ladies’ Day campaign – and also shown a copy of the proposed script – was the Beaumont Society. However, according to Janet Scott for that organization, the script eventually used is NOT the one that she was shown.
The script seen by Ms Scott and apparently dating to 11 January of this year read:
“Mark Fairfax wrote on our Facebook wall: Looking forward to seeing some beauties at Cheltenham Ladies Day.
“That’s the spirit Mark. And we’re going to make things even more exciting for you…
WE SEE FOOTAGE OF LADIES DAY – PRETTY POSH GIRLS IN HATS AND THAT.
“…by sending ten of the most beautiful transvestites into Ladies Day.”
According to Janet, she could see little harm in this. The campaign was presented to her as support for a Paddy Power phone app, and she fed back that she saw nothing untoward with the concept: personally, though, she felt the phrase ‘Transgenderd Ladies’ would work better than ‘Crossdressing Ladies’ or ‘Transvestite’.
This, she felt, was not inappropriate, since the entire campaign would be a tongue-in-cheek look at the Ladies Day’s at race meeting where these day’s a large number of crossdresser’s make a day of it, with bus trips from the Way out club and others.
However, all changed over the next ten days or so, as in the version of the ad that was put out by Casting Agency, Beach Casting the final phrase in the above lines had been amended to read:
“by sending ten of the most beautiful transgendered ladies into Cheltenham!”
It is likely that the involvement of the Beaumont Society will be regarded in some parts of the trans community as unhelpful – not least because a large part of the defence of this ad, by Paddy Power and others, rests on the fact that it was previewed by a leading transgender organization.
Trans Media Watch contacted broadcasting pre-approval organization, Clearcast yesterday with an offer to engage rather than – at this moment – to register any official complaint.
The concern is that Clearcast are another media organisation which knows very little about trans issues, and do not appreciate either the sensitivities in this area, or the danger that people can be placed in as a result. TMW are therefore offering to meet with them to see how they can best raise their awareness in order to prevent this kind of ad from creeping through in the future.
Beaumont Soc comment
A spokeswoman for the Beaumont Society said: “The script showed a light hearted look at a ‘Ladies Day at the Races’ where some of the Ladies are not always quite what they seem.
“I had suggested that the Ladies would be better described as ‘Transgender Ladies’, rather than Transvestites.
“The original script showed a voice over saying ‘Woman’, ‘Man’, when images of Ladies were shown, with the voice over getting more confused until he could not tell one from the other of which were Women or Transgenderd women.
“The script had been changed slightly when it was filmed, it seems.
“In principle it was not thought to be offensive or degrading at that stage.”
This morning, Clearcast responded. A spokeswoman said: “Clearcast has approved an ad for Paddy Power featuring references to transgendered people. Ads cannot be approved if they are felt likely to cause widespread general offence. In this case Clearcast took the view that the humour, while not to everyone’s taste, fell short of causing such offence.
“In reaching this view, Clearcast took into account the fact that the advertiser had sought a view from the Beaumont Society (a body run by and for those who cross dress or are transsexual) which did not find the script idea offensive. We regret any offence that may have been caused by this Paddy Power ad.”