My Dangerous Loverboy

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The Truth About My Dangerous Loverboy

Posted by Sophie-Host 19-03-15Comments 0

On Thursday 19th March at 9.00pm, Channel Four are transmitting a documentary that features Trevor Phillips investigating whether there are some things in the UK that, he says, ‘we-wont-say-about-race-that-are-true’…

The Trevor Philips documentary includes some clips from My Dangerous Loverboy that he included in his film, prior to making any contact with us as the producers of My Dangerous Loverboy.

As Virginia Heath, the director of My Dangerous Loverboy, says, ‘We would like to make clear that the fundamental and most important purpose of the My Dangerous Loverboy film is to alert young girls about the dangers of sexual exploitation.  While we did not shy away from depicting the involvement of Asian men in grooming young girls, we were very aware it was also important to include a white perpetrator along with other ethnicities.  Neither we, nor the UKHTC, nor anyone associated with making and distributing the film, want to give the simplistic impression that Asian men are the only perpetrators of sexual exploitation in the UK. That would be factually inaccurate, potentially socially divisive, and detract from the broader meaning and impact of the film.”

As Grant Keir, the Producer of My Dangerous Loverboy adds, ‘You only have to look at the current Inquiry in to historic sex abuse, allegations of paedophiles in powerful places and establishment attempts to cover-up their actions, as well as the Jimmy Savile affair, to understand that child sexual exploitation is problem across all social classes and ethnicities in Britain.’

Yet this has not prevented some sections of the media and press from distorting or exaggerating certain issues connected to the My Dangerous Loverboy film.

Ahead of the transmission on Channel 4, the Daily Mail wrote,

“The Times reporter Andrew Norfolk, who exposed the street grooming scandal, recently uncovered a film that had been commissioned by child protection chiefs to warn young people of the dangers. It was suppressed in 2008 for the simple reason that it featured a white girl groomed by a young Asian man — the most probable scenario, but one that was deemed unacceptable to be shown to the girls at risk. Instead, another film was commissioned. It features a white abuser, a black victim and no discernibly Asian characters.”

This echoes other press and media commentary, including in The Mirror and The Telegraph, that variously suggests the My Dangerous Loverboy film was ‘withdrawn’, ‘censored’, or even, ‘suppressed’:

As the Producers of the film, My Dangerous Loverboy, we wish to state, for the record, that it was not suppressed in 2008 or indeed ever.  It was completed in 2008, and officially launched in 2010, with the full support of the then lead commissioning body, the United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre, (UKHTC).

It is absurd and untrue to suggest that My Dangerous Loverboy was ‘withdrawn’, ‘censored’, or ‘suppressed’ in 2008. Therefore, it cannot be true that, as the Daily Mail suggests, ‘It was suppressed in 2008 for the simple reason that it featured a white girl groomed by a young Asian man…’

While it is true, and regrettable, that the UKHTC, and the bodies it was subsequently incorporated into, the Serious Organised Crime Squad (SOCA) and National Crime Agency (NCA), did not have a coherent, national plan to distribute the film to young people around the UK, the film was nonetheless distributed.

Frustrated by the lack of a national plan to ensure the widespread distribution of My Dangerous Loverboy, Eyes Open Creative (CIC) was formed to distribute the film, together with the ‘Love or Lies’ educational pack to schools, youth clubs, teachers, healthcare professionals, parents, police, social workers and youth workers across the UK. To date, we estimate that up to 400,000 young people will have watched the film and engaged with the education pack across the UK. We continue to work to ensure that more will do so in the near future.

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