“People were getting my picture and making versions of me in concentration camps”: Pink News’ Benjamin Cohen on experiencing antisemitism and homophobia
On the most recent episode of Podcast Against Antisemitism, Benjamin Cohen, the founder and CEO of Pink News, spoke on his experiences antisemitism and homophobia, as well as his feelings about the BBC.
Mr Cohen spoke candidly on his experiences of online antisemitism and homophobia. “People were getting my picture and making versions of me in concentration camps, things like that…essentially calling for me to be killed.” Mr Cohen revealed that this led to him needing to get the police involved.
He went on to say that his experiences made it “crystal clear” to him that “there is this meeting of the hatreds and that they are fundamentally the same people that hate everyone.”
When asked about the advice he would give to those experiencing antisemitism or homophobia, Mr Cohen recommended using Twitter’s quality filter and its reporting functions, which he believes has markedly improved.
Speaking on the BBC, Mr Cohen said that he was not surprised that two thirds of the Jewish community were unhappy with the Corporation’s coverage of Jewish matters, stating: “Look, I’m not a big fan of the BBC. I think the BBC has a lot to answer for on a lot of different issues.”
“I think if you did a poll of LGBT+ people, you’d find a similar percentage of people say that they don’t believe the BBC reports fairly. Maybe even higher,” he added. “To me, the problem is the BBC has this view of impartiality which means that it goes out of its way to represent contrary views in a way that I don’t believe should be platformed.
“If you’re going very strongly on the fact that you’re impartial, and then as a Jew, or as an LGBT+ person, or as another minority group, I’m hearing that they’re supposedly impartial and then I see something which clearly isn’t, you kind of make a rod for your own back because you’re saying “I am the most impartial news organisation out there,” or “I will report everything fairly,” but we can all find examples where the BBC doesn’t report it fairly and they’re making it so much worse for themselves because they are stating to be impartial.”
The full podcast with Mr Cohen can be listened to here, or watched here.
Podcast Against Antisemitism, produced by Campaign Against Antisemitism, talks to a different guest about antisemitism each week. It streams every Thursday and is available through all major podcast apps and YouTube. You can also subscribe to have new episodes sent straight to your inbox. Previous guests have included comedian David Baddiel, The Sunday Telegraph columnist Zoe Strimpel and actor Eddie Marsan.