Homophobic Rhetoric Broadcasted on Lithuania’s National Television

On January 9th, 2016 homophobic rhetoric was aired on Lithuania’s national television “LRT”. During a TV show “Good Morning, Lithuania” a journalist inquired people on the streets of Vilnius about their view on Eurovision song contest. One interviewee declared that it is “a meeting of European pederasts”. Although the reportage has been edited, the expression has not been cut.

“A hateful expression „European pederasts“ was aired this morning on a national television. We wonder whether the use of such epithets to describe the members of LGBT* community corresponds to the national broadcaster’s mission? On Friday “LRT“ already apologized for anti-Semitic gestures shown on a show “Guess a Song“ and still today we hear homophobic rhetoric on the national television,“ National LGBT* rights organization expressed its concern on “Facebook“.

Inquired about the situation by journalists, Virginija Bunevičiūtė, LRT‘s spokesperson, sent an apology by Audrius Matonis, news service director of Lithuania’s national television. “We apologize for the homophobic words by one of the interviewees aired on a TV show “Good Morning, Lithuania” on January 9th, 2016. We would like to express our regret that such disappointing editing mistake was broadcasted during the reportage on Eurovision song contest. I would like to emphasize that such expressions are not compatible with LRT’s values,” claimed news service director of Lithuania’s national television.

On January 6th, 2016 Asta Baukutė, Lithuanian actress and former MP, demonstrated gestures imitating Nazi leader Adolf Hitler during LRT’s show “Guess a Song“. Audrius Siaurusevičius, Director General of Lithuania’s national television, then apologized and stressed that such incidents are “intolerable”. The broadcast of the show on “LRT” has since been cancelled.