A group of civil society organizations, among them Media Development Foundation, Equality Movement, Tolerance and Diversity Institute, Georgian Democracy Initiative and Baltic to Black See Alliance Georgia, united under the civil platform No to Phobia, filed a complaint with the Maestro TV self-regulatory body on November 2. The group accuses Magda Anikashvili, anchor of Maestro TV’s October 27 news program, of making comments encouraging homophobia during the interview with Vice President of the Georgian Football Federation, Nika Jkarkava.
The signatory organizations claim that in the course of the interview, the anchor of the news program made multiple attempts to depict the fact of expressing solidarity by Georgian football player, Guram Kashia towards LGBT community in a negative context. By this, Maestro TV violated Articles 31 and 32 of the Code of Conduct for Broadcasters, which define the principles and rules of diversity, equality and tolerance.
In the claimants’ opinion, it is a serious problem, when a media representative describes the act of civic solidarity expressed by Georgian football player towards the most vulnerable groups of the society as "imposing his own opinions” on his fans. Moreover, it represents a part of propagandistic narrative, according to which open support for the community by LGBT people and activists is described as propaganda and threat.
The member organizations of the No to Phobia civil platform call on the Maestro TV self-regulatory body to study the issue and hold a discussion on violation of Articles 31 and 32 of the Code of Conduct for Broadcasters by the program anchor, Magda Anikashvili.