Sewell attacks Corrie over ‘well-washed’ gays
The once-gritty soap now depicts Manchester as the ‘Sodom of the North’ says London art critic
Plummy-voiced London art critic Brian Sewell has caused outrage after launching a bizarre attack on Mancunian soap opera Coronation Street in the pages of the Daily Mail.
The well-known controversialist, who is renowned for his extraordinary accent and contempt for popular culture, declared himself appalled by the sudden influx of gay characters on the Street and the decline of the show's traditional working-class values.
Sewell, who gives the impression of having had very little experience of working-class life, is apparently concerned that the show "that took the paintings of LS Lowry and brought them to life on TV, that fortified the great divide between the noble North and the soft and silly South of England, has departed from reality".
One of his main concerns is that the cast now appear to be "well-washed" and not at all gritty. They even wear clothes from Primark, Next and Topshop, he notes. But even more of a worry for Sewell, who is himself bisexual, is the sudden influx of characters who could be described as flamboyant.
He asks: "Is it true that the lives of heterosexual Mancunians are haplessly intertwined with transvestites, transsexuals, teenage lesbians and a horde of homosexuals across the age range? Is Manchester now the Sodom of the North?"
He picks up on a couple of recent plotlines and comments: "When confronted with this, the sane man may feel his nose is being rubbed in it."
The problem, he believes, is the liberal media bowing down to political correctness. "We have constructed a society that surrenders to the will of minorities that shout. We see it among ethnic minorities and sexual minorities, in the disabled lobby and in the funding, patronage and promotion of the arts."
He argues that "a minority [is] preaching to us from some supposed moral high ground," and says that if ITV insists on allowing Weatherfield, the fictional town where Coronation Street is set, to "swarm with gloomy lesbians and happy homosexuals" then it must be shown after the 9pm watershed.
Predictably, his comments caused a storm on Twitter - the natural habitat of the liberal media professional, where he became one of the most popular trending topics in the country. He was also flamed in the comments section of the Daily Mail itself. There, in amongst the expressions of support, Sewell was variously described as "narrow minded" and "disgusting".
On Twitter Gemma Varnom commented: "I'm from Lancashire, I shop in Topshop and I had a wash this morning. I feel like I've really let Brian Sewell down..."
While gay rights group Stonewall confined itself to a dignified "oh dear" after seeing the article. ·
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