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Will Young Does Battle with Journalist Over Misuse of the Word 'Gay': VIDEO


Pop singer Will Young argues with journalist Milo Yiannopoulos on the BBC's Newsnight program about misuse of the word 'gay' by children. Young argues that children should be taught the real meaning of the word 'gay' and Yiannopoulos believes that scolding children for using the word gay as a pejorative is language policing.

Says Young: "If someone is being offensive to someone else, that should be highlighted and pointed out."

Watch the fireworks, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. They're obviously both bright, but a battle over semantics inevitably leads to nowhere. The more offensive thing is the stupid blue cap that Young is wearing. Otherwise they seem to be pretty much on the same page.

    Posted by: Paul R | Nov 26, 2013 10:00:41 AM

  2. I don't agree with you, Paul: I think the most offensive thing is the ultra-sprayed, ultra-styled, self-consciously scruffy look plastered onto Milo.

    Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC | Nov 26, 2013 10:07:01 AM

  3. Wow that Milo Yiannopoulous guy is the worst kind of self-hating gay homophobe.

    He spouts utter nonsense about policing language yet notice he does not defend racist hate speech in the same manner as he defennds homoophobic hate speech.

    Posted by: MaryM | Nov 26, 2013 10:10:03 AM

  4. Watching this video was a huge exercise in frustration. Pretentious, condescending pricks like this guy really just push every last one of my buttons. I don't know how he managed to say that educating kids about the realities of homophobia and homophobic language is harmful to their development with a straight face.

    Posted by: JMC | Nov 26, 2013 10:16:53 AM

  5. i love Paxman's dismissive way of calling it a 'discussion'...he clearly had absolutely no interest in this segment. This is the only time i have ever seen Paxman not interject or interrupt !! ha ha ha ha

    Posted by: mike | Nov 26, 2013 10:19:34 AM

  6. The "real" meaning of the word "gay"? You mean, "fluffy, silly, trivial, not to be taken seriously"?

    Posted by: Henry Holland | Nov 26, 2013 10:28:09 AM

  7. I couldn't help but think that Milo was blathering like someone from NOM, justifying offensive behavior and warning of dangers of calling it out. What Will says, makes sense. If kids are using "gay" in a derogatory way, they should be called on it and informed of its harmful effects.

    Posted by: john patrick | Nov 26, 2013 10:38:08 AM

  8. Milo Yiannopoulos = Pretentious, Self-absorbed, Wannabe intellectual, Dimwitted, Condescending, Hipster, Bubble headed, Self-loathing, Apologist, Moron.

    Would he also defend children making "that's so" remarks about any other group of people?

    The "that's so gay" remarks are fueling a climate of homophobia that makes kids kill themselves. It fuels a climate of homophobia that breeds homophobia, and gives them the impression that spreading their hate is just fine.

    Posted by: Chris | Nov 26, 2013 10:41:08 AM

  9. I love Will Young so much.

    Posted by: Mikey | Nov 26, 2013 10:52:11 AM

  10. I liked Will before, like him even better now. Milo, whoever he is, is insufferable--almost as unpleasant as watching Jeremy Irons share his thoughts on marriage.

    Posted by: Ernie | Nov 26, 2013 10:58:26 AM

  11. The journalist sounds oblivious to child psychology. If one were to extrapolate from what he says here, then if he is ever a dad, it will be anarchy in his home because to ever educate a kid on why NOT to do something will make them want to be "naughty."

    My parents taught me why not to use hateful words. They made me understand why, I internalized that understanding and it was reflected in how I grew up to respect others. As we moved around, though, Zi experienced schools where hate dpeech was rampant and others where people were kind to each other.

    Hateful speech is ubiquitous in schools that ignore hateful language. The reverse is true where classrooms and hallways and administrative offices have inclusive messages and kids are taught in a comprehensive way about how to stand up against hateful language and bullying.

    Posted by: GregV | Nov 26, 2013 11:16:27 AM

  12. Yesterday I watched those inspiring 'Band of Brothers' kids standing up with love for the fellow classmate.

    Those kids were an excellent example of respect and care about others feelings.
    Similarly, those kids would not use homophobic language because they have innate respect for others.
    The use of the word ' gay' as a term of disrespect would be alien to the kids I watched yesterday.
    The pejorative use of the word should be anathema in an atmosphere of tolerance, education and respect.
    That guy Milo is being stupidly argumentative !

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Nov 26, 2013 11:53:50 AM

  13. Children who grow up in tolerant, loving households are not using the phrase "that's so gay." It obviously stems from being raised by troglodytes.

    Posted by: Kurt | Nov 26, 2013 11:56:10 AM

  14. Kurt, that's honestly just not true at all. Using gay as a pejorative is so common in a lot of schools and social circles that it's really easy for good hearted kids to pickup the habit without even thinking about what they're saying. It's why education is so important, like Will Young said.

    Posted by: JMC | Nov 26, 2013 12:03:06 PM

  15. @JMC

    I stand corrected then. It's pretty shocking that school systems and teachers aren't out there en masse trying to educate their students about not using words to demean their peers.

    Posted by: Kurt | Nov 26, 2013 12:08:08 PM

  16. @ KURT :

    The phrase "that's so gay" is commonly used as a put-down.

    It's as Macklemore says : "Have you read the You Tube comments lately ?

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Nov 26, 2013 12:14:48 PM

  17. @JMC:
    Schools only have to pick up the slack because of the LACK of education and empathy going in in so many badly-parented homes.

    If the parents have already taught the kids about respect for other people's identities and to think about the words they use, then the kids already know how to behave when they walk through the school doors.

    I had peers who used racist language when I was in a school that ignored it. "My response to a question like " I hate [name of group], don't you?" was not to reflect back what my peers were saying; It was to say "I 'd rather not discriminate. You're talking about nice people like [name of classmate] when you say that."
    That's what I was taught at home. Some kids either here the epithets at home or they don't discuss anything. Those are the kids who have to have adts outside of their own family teach them to respect others.

    Posted by: GregV | Nov 26, 2013 1:06:36 PM

  18. "The more offensive thing is the stupid blue cap that Young is wearing"

    Actually, the MOST offensive thing is that, as soon as either of them opens his mouth, it is obvious that he is gay......precisely the kind who inspired the "That's so gay" phenomenon......

    Posted by: Rick | Nov 26, 2013 1:14:49 PM

  19. The WORST thing is for people to be able to tell your gay. That's why I'm not out. Not that I fool anyone. Everyone suspects but nobody actually enjoys my company enough to confirm it. But as long as I don't have to say it means I'm not actually gay. Which means my parents might still love me. Probably not, but perhaps if I ridicule those with the courage to be out and proud, and the courage to stand up for themselves, I can pretend to be a member of those who oppress me. It's the only thing that keeps me going.

    Posted by: Rick | Nov 26, 2013 1:30:32 PM

  20. That Milo guy is an idiot. If we just pretend homophobia doesn't exist, I'm sure it will go away, because as he says, we've won the battle an kids don't care about racism, sexism and homophobia.... HUH? Is he for real? Sorry, but kids need discipline. Are some going to rebel against the discipline? Sure, but most kids don't. As Will says, it's about educating what's right and wrong and acceptable behaviour, and if we don't teach kids that, we let them get away with murder. Oh sure, Johnny, go ahead and steal that chocolate bar... Go ahead and bully that nerd... Go ahead and call that girl fat. This Milo guy thinks kids should just say what they want without impunity. I hope he raises a kid and sees what that ideology will produce... He will have one big brat on his hands.

    Posted by: Graphicjack | Nov 26, 2013 3:32:29 PM

  21. Who's the d-bag with the hair mistake?

    (Also, he repeatedly lied about the kid being labeled a racist for not attending a "multicultural" event. It was about putting a "racist" notation in the permanent school record, for not attending a _religious_ discussion.)

    Posted by: Randy | Nov 26, 2013 5:06:23 PM

  22. It's depressing how many comments here complain about how these guys look.

    Posted by: DrunkEnough | Nov 26, 2013 5:40:51 PM

  23. Will needs to grow a life.....

    Posted by: Ankerich | Nov 26, 2013 5:58:48 PM

  24. Paul R, thank you for taking this in a superficial and stereotypical direction. You've elevated the debate.

    Posted by: db | Nov 27, 2013 12:12:43 PM

  25. I like to see cute guys battle each other.

    Posted by: Gabe R L | Nov 27, 2013 2:39:00 PM

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