The BBC fell victim to a hoaxer in a phone-in discussion of the new Star Wars movie, describing the films as “rooted in homophobia and casual racist stereotypes” in which “the only female ends up in a space bikini chained to a horny space slug”.
The World Service item on its discussion show, World Have Your Say, took an unexpected turn after it invited Godfrey Elfwick to talk about Star Wars’ return after a producer spotted him talking about the film on Twitter.
Elfwick described C3-P0 as a “camp neurotic coward” and Darth Vader as a “bad racial stereotype”.
The gold robot – C-25 or whatever he’s called – is a camp, neurotic coward. The main bad guy – what’s he called, Dark Raider? – is black, he has a deep voice, he listens to rap music – it’s just a really bad racial stereotype."
“The only main female ends up in a space bikini chained to a horny space slug. It reeked of misogyny.
Very possibly there was a clue that Elfwick was not to be taken entirely seriously in his Twitter profile, which describes him as a “Demisexual genderqueer Muslim atheist."
Hoaxer he may have been, but at least Elfwick knew that Star Wars producer, George Lucas’s legendary LucasFilm, had been bought by Disney three years ago, of which the World Have Your Say presenter and program team had no knowledge.
Plus, the whole basis for the discussion, about people who had never seen Star Wars, could perhaps be most kindly described as an homage to the long running Radio 4 comedy talk show, I’ve Never Seen Star Wars.
The phone-in followed the release last week of the latest trailer for the hugely-anticipated new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens.
A BBC spokesman said: “On this occasion the Force was not with us. The guest presented himself as a 20-year-old who’s never seen Star Wars, and we put him on air under that pretense."
“Producers always do their best to check guests in a live program that invites global discussion from listeners.”