Friday, January 09, 2009

Hit Me With Your Outrage Stick

Trouble over at the Hit Me! The Life And Rhymes Of Ian Dury, claims the Daily Mail:

West End star sacked after refusing to work with sex offender Chris Langham

As the story then goes on explain, the actor - Jud Charlton - was, indeed, sacked, but not because he refused to work with Langham because he was a sex offender, but because the producers had brought in Langham to make changes to the play with which he did not agree. So a more honest headline might have been 'actor sacked after refusing the use new script', but then, of course, the Mail might not have been able to froth up some paedophilia-screech to fill its columns.

Langham's work on the Dury play hasn't been heralded, which the Mail also treats as somehow being wrong and dirty and secret:
Paul Roffey, director of leading child protection agency Ray Wyre Associates, said producers should make Langham's involvement public.

He said: 'Why have the producers been so secretive about Chris Langham's involvement? The fact remains that he's been convicted of crimes to warrant a custodial sentence.

'He is required to state his place of employment on the sex offenders register and if his work on this play means he will be spending time at this public place then he has to declare it.'

But given that the sex offenders' register isn't a public document, Roffey has no way of knowing if Langham has or hasn't told the police about the work on the play. And you'd think someone from a consultancy (rather than an agency) might know the answer to the question 'why have the producers been secretive about Langham's involvement'? After all, despite the wishes of the Mail and The Sun, it's not yet demanded by law that people on the sex offenders' register have to have their presence in buildings announced by the painting of red crosses on the door; maybe the producers felt that by mentioning it, it might distract slightly from the play itself, and lead to it becoming to a focus for the outraged and confused?

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