BBC Responds To Claims Of Sexism Over Winter Olympic Coverage

Some BBC hosts have been referring to female competitors as 'girls'....


The BBC has responded to viewers' complaints about Winter Olympic Games hosts referring to female competitors as 'girls', which some have described as 'demeaning' and 'sexist'.

Viewers had been venting their frustration on Twitter at the gender imbalance in the language used by some of the BBC presenters when it came to describing the male and female athletes, with some questioning why females are 'girls', when the males are referred to as 'men'.


On Twitter, one user argued: 'The @BBCSport presenters keep referring to female athletes as 'girls'.

'They're grown-ass, mega-accomplished women. Treat them with respect & stop patronising them.'

Another asked: 'Why are all the female snowboarders 'girls' but all the men are not 'boys'?


A spokesperson for the broadcasting corporation stressed that the BBC had absolutely no intention of undermining or devaluing the female competitors, and pointed out that some of the female athletes had been referring to themselves as 'girls'.

They also said many viewers had also been referring to the female sports stars as 'girls' on social media, and they had received no complaints from Ofcom.

BBC hosts Hazel Irvine, Clare Balding, Radzi Chinyanganya and Eilidh Barbour

On Monday's Today at the Games show, Ben Kilner used the word 'girls', as did fellow presenter Jenny Jones, and the female athlete she was interviewing.

Since the stream of complaints on social media, a few viewers have observed the hosts including Clare Balding and Chemmy Ski have been correcting themselves when they have been describing the female olympians as 'girls'.

Gold medalist snowboarder Chloe Kim

One tweeted: 'Just stumbled across less than two minutes of BBC Winter Olympics coverage.

'Presenter twice called the downhill skiers they were watching 'girls'before immediately correcting herself and saying '...these strong, powerful, female athletes...'

BBC presenters at the 2018 Winter Olympics include Hazel Irvine, Clare Balding, Radzi Chinyanganya, Eilidh Barbour.

The event is currently being held in South Korea's PyeongChang.

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