Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

August 26, 2011

Polyday organizers debate TV talk-show hosts

ITV (U.K.)

As if their big newspaper article plugging Polyday tomorrow (August 27th) wasn't enough, Polyday folks in London got themselves onto British TV yesterday, on ITV's "This Morning" show. The promo:

We meet three women who have all made the decision to share the same man...

Maxine, Eunice and Mimi each have more than one partner... and their partners have other partners... and all 3 women share the same man... and they all know about it, and are all friends... confused?

They have all adopted the Polyamorous lifestyle and are here to tell us all about how it works.

Denise Robertson joins them to give her views on polyamory.

From the looks of the promo picture they may have dished out smart poly goodness by the spoonful, but they also had to bat away crap like "Let me put it to you that you are in fact a victim" from sad-looking co-host Eamonn Holmes. Too bad that you can only watch the show from the UK (unless you can spoof a UK IP address). Can someone find a backchannel link? It aired August 25, 2011.

Update: Okay, thanks! Watch it here worldwide (10 minutes).

Maxine Green, at left on the couch, is Polyday's chief organizer. Elsewhere today she tweets, "Really quite funny watching the three of us trying to get a word in edgeways!" She credits the Polyamory Media Association "for useful training in talking to journalists" (thanks Joreth!). Sounds like it's a good thing they were prepared.

Following the show, Lotte of the PolyinPictures webcomic posted this:

Gawd bless him, on This Morning on ITV (UK), Eamonn Holmes’ life appeared to be full of woe. It was all caused by three awesome, articulate women, talking to him and co-interviewer (IT’S A WORD) Ruth Langsford about polyamory. The idea seems to cause him some distress.

Jemima Willcox was there to talk about her book (ebook available on Amazon here), which is a collection of stories about polyamorous people. She was joined by two friends, and all of them did a bang up job when accused of being victims, cultists, naive and doooooooomed.

Let me save you some pain. (If you’re a masochist and don’t want spoilers, here’s a link to the debate in full. ETA: Anyone who puts this up on YouTube and sends me a link gets my eternal gratitude; there are readers outside the UK who apparently can’t view the video.)

Agony aunt Denise Robertson called polyamory a “lovely little scheme” (condescending much?) and said that it would all end in tears. Eamonn Holmes referred to Jemima’s book as the Bible for polyamory, despite objections from the author and references to other works. These stunning, emotionally mature and intelligent women were told that it only worked because they were in their 20s and that when they wanted to settle down and have kids they’d fail. Denise Robertson said that if polyamory worked, we wouldn’t as a species have been monogamous for all this time.

So, here’s my proposal. OPERATION HUG.

You’ve got two options, in order of priority:

1) Hug Eamonn Holmes’ head. He obviously needs some reassurance that we’re not all nutters, and that we can actually love lots of people, so we should share the love with him. (Ruth Langsford seemed more balanced about it all.)

If this isn’t possible…

2) Write a nice email to Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, or the This Morning people in general, telling them about your loving families and long-term polyamorous relationships. Young and old, with and without kids, out and closeted. We may be few and far between, but we have so many stories to share. Their email address seems to be viewerservices@itv.com unless anyone else knows any better? Also, they’re on Twitter: @itvthismorning

Go have some fun.

P.S.: I see they also got this notice into the arts & culture guide Time Out London. These people know how to do publicity.

All the coverage prompted a spot-on explanation of polyamory by Lori Smith at the online women's magazine BitchBuzz (Aug. 26, 2011).

Update: A blogger's story of her Polyday day.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was amused to get an advert for Uncle Ben's rice before watching the footage, in which a woman lives with two men for no reason explained or necessary to selling the product :)

August 26, 2011 4:14 AM  
Blogger Natja's Natterings said...

Hey Anon, I have called that advert 'that Polyandrous rice ad' ever since I first saw it, I mention it on my blog.

Re: This morning

Well D and I watched it later on that night, with one of the kids, once it was up on ITV.com, yes it was frustrating and I have spent precious many minutes trying to explain Polyamory on social networking sites to confused Uber norms who saw it. I am SO vexed, if anything, Denise Robertson was much more offensive than Lotte wrote and I hope TM producers take notice of the negative reactions to her behaviour even by some Mono viewers (if fb comments are anything to go by).

August 26, 2011 5:53 AM  
Anonymous Robert919 said...

So is ITV the UK's version of Fox News? Because...wow. Talk about some biased "journalists"!

August 26, 2011 9:02 AM  
Anonymous David said...

I emailed the address above saying how much I enjoyed the airing polyamory got (with some constructive criticism about their "expert" Denise for good measure) and I got the following reply:

"I can confirm that your comments have been forwarded to the This Morning production team for their perusal. This Morning can be contacted via email thismorning@itv.com "

So, there's a more direct email address you can use, not that it was listed anywhere on the This Morning section of the ITV.com website.

August 26, 2011 11:04 AM  
Blogger Natja's Natterings said...

Thank you David, I will use that email address now.

August 26, 2011 1:30 PM  
Anonymous Jemima 'Mimi' Willcox said...

Hello All.

Mimi here, Thank you so much for the fab article.

I just need to make a correction, The Polyamory Project book is a collection of 25 interviews by Poly people all over the world, not stories. It consists of the interviews, a glossary and useful links.

The Polyamory Project is a mixed multimedia piece consisting of photographs documenting a poly family, audio interviews with each member of that family (3 members) video interviews and the Polyamory project interview book.

The softcover book can be bought directly from myself from Thepolyproject.co.uk and as said as an E-book from amazon.

Personally i do feel Denise had made up her mind about the subject before she even came on, and her condescending eye rolling and assumption we'd get married and have children would lead to the end of our Poly lifestyles. Apparently it would 'all end in tears'

Also, to let you know, Eamonn Holmes was very insistent in having us back and demanded to the crew that we came back half an hour later to respond to tweets (A member of the production crew told us this NEVER happens) and comments but this was not included in the interview clip on the This morning website.

We are currently working on getting a copy to put online of the whole thing for our American friends.

August 27, 2011 9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole thing just made Denise Robertson and Eamonn Holmes look a bit daft, because the ladies being 'interviewed' (and I use that term loosely as they barely got a word in edgeways) came across as being mature, patient, and level-headed, despite some of the downright offensive things being said to them. I couldn't believe it when Denise said something along the lines of (and this isn't word for word but it's close) 'I don't condemn these relationships - I PITY them' and Eamonn stated that the whole thing was a cult. Ruth was much more open to hearing what was actually said, perhaps?

It's ok if the interviewers don't share the same opinions and world views as their guests, but it should be an informed, fair, and well-researched discussion and not a one-sided attack, which was how this came across. I was really shocked with how ignorant and rude they were about the whole thing. The three ladies were so lovely and didn't rise to it which I think meant they came across really well, whatever the opinions of the interviewers or the viewers. Maybe Schofe and Holly would have handled it better?

August 30, 2011 7:46 PM  

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