from brexit to meghan markle: uk tabloids are racist, sexist, homophobic trash

November 30, 2016

The power of the press is not something to be taken lightly and with so much false news popping up on our social media feeds these days, it’s a wonder what’s real and what’s fake at all. Tabloids have always been the bane of journalism’s existence, passing off gossip as actual news, and being wholly distasteful in the process. Historically, UK tabloids have been some of the biggest perpetrators of tactless writing, but lately we’ve seen a peak in the atrociousness of their pop culture coverage and a rising focus on inciting racism, sexism and homophobia in their stories. The Sun and Daily Mail, two of the biggest and most well-known tabloids in the UK, have been called out by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance for “offensive, discriminatory and provocative terminology.” In 2013, a trans teacher committed suicide when online harassment following Daily Mail’s headline “he’s not only in the wrong body… he’s in the wrong job.” Citing Katie Hopkins’ sickening column in The Sun in which she likened refugees to cockroaches, the ECRI’s report concluded that their reporting on immigration, terrorism and the refugee crisis was “contributing to creating an atmosphere of hostility and rejection.” And most recently, the crown has issued an unprecedented memo of condemnation in response to the racial undertones present in the coverage of Prince Harry dating biracial actress Meghan Markle.

But what’s more telling, is the impact that thesenewspapers had on Brexit. If you’re unaware, Great Britain voted, largely against its own self-interest, to remove itself from the European Union. With its departure, many hope that it will limit the quantity of immigrants and refugees that end up within its borders and was fueled largely by none other than the Daily Mail, a newspaper that makes no small task of stirring up controversy. Pushing a largely false narrative about immigrant criminality and overwhelming droves of refugees taking their jobs and living on public assistance (sound familiar?), their role in the passing of the EU Referendum should not be understated. All in all, the press has infinite levels of power, and keeping news outlets from using racist, homophobic, or sexist rhetoric is only something that the people can do. So who’s ready to keep them honest?!

Collage courtesy of GQ UK