My wife got me started watching the PBS series about Queen Victoria. Being a history nut, it was fun to look up the historical facts after and see what was true and what was “made for TV.” In season one, the series was actually pretty decent, capturing a lot of the challenges the young queen faced for her country.
But later seasons weren’t so good, and my biggest problem was the insertion of unhistorical gay characters. Lord Drummond and Lord Alfred are shown, multiple times throughout the series, as having a behind the scenes homosexual relationship. Doing some research, it’s highly unlikely that any of this happened, given that British society didn’t condone it, and that Lord Alfred married and had 14 children later in life.
This insertion of fake homosexuality bugs me for two reasons. One, it’s patently false. Were there practicing homosexuals back in the day? Yup! It’s noted all the way back to Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible, and I’m sure it didn’t disappear at any point in history. But in reality, most historical events just didn’t feature a lot of homosexuality, and British history is no exception.
My bigger issue is that when PBS and others insert homosexuality into “historical” portrayals, they are really seeking to make it seem OK and much more prevalent while skipping over the inconvenient truths. And sadly, I think it’s working. More and more people both accept this distorted view of history as fact. Maybe it’s because watching TV is easier than reading a history book and actually learning history. And it’s not just sex. The movie “The King’s Speech” featured a section with the King swearing profusely…that never happened. “U-571” featured an American crew, when in reality it was the British that captured a U-Boat (the U-110).
Whatever the case, this changing of history is eerily reminiscent of the book 1984, where the facts are changed almost at whim. At the rate we’re going, unhistorical sexual relationships will become the norm, not the exception, and future generations won’t be any the wiser.
Did you donate to Da Tech Guy? Click the Donate link today!