• Sweden's news in English

Video exposes Swedish 'anti-gay discrimination'

Emma Löfgren · 5 Aug 2015, 12:43

Published: 05 Aug 2015 12:43 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The video by the team at social experiment group STHLM Panda shows two actors, played by Konrad Ydhage and Olle Öberg, interviewing for the same job at a warehouse company. One pretends to be unqualified with no apparent interest in the workplace, the other has all the right qualifications and is keen to start as soon as possible.

A straightforward enough choice, you would think. And as Öberg's job interview progresses the employer appears to become more and more convinced he is the perfect candidate.

But there is one more factor we have not yet mentioned. When the actor lets slip he has a boyfriend, the mood changes. The interviewer immediately cuts short their chat and refuses to shake his hand.

Meanwhile, Ydhage's lazy and good-for-nothing character gets a call from the employer offering him the job. “We interviewed a couple of others,” says the man, “but you were the best”.

“We got a tip-off from a guy who said he had been fired from this specific position. He claimed that he had been fired after his boss found out he had a boyfriend. He asked us to apply ourselves and see if it was true," explained Öberg to The Local on Wednesday.

“We were prepared from the start that the manager would be slightly homophobic, but I was not ready for the conversation taking such a sharp turn and that he would not want to shake my hand. It felt so wrong and I got annoyed,” he said.

It is not the first time the STHLM Panda group has explored divides in Swedish society. The group has previously hit the headlines with social experiments exposing class discrimination on Swedish buses, and a video investigating if richer or poorer areas are more likely to give money to beggars.

“The most important thing we can do is talk about that this problem actually existing and stand up for those people who need it. This clip has a nice message which I hope will spread. I've already been contacted by several people thanking us for what we're doing and the video seems to be generally appreciated,” said Öberg.

VIDEO: Swedish class divides exposed in fare-dodging video

Sweden normally enjoys a reputation as a tolerant nation. In May this year the country was rated the top spot in Scandinavia for LGBTQ people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) by campaign group ILGA-Europe. And discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation remains against the law.

Story continues below…

Clas Lundstedt, press spokesman for the Swedish Discriminination Ombudsman, told The Local after being shown the video that although he was unable to comment on a specific case that had not been investigated by the Ombudsman, based on what was shown in the clip alone it appeared to be “a case of discrimination”.

Four cases involving discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation have been taken to court by the Discrimination Ombudsman in the past two years according to statistics on the body's website. But it is often difficult to prove an offence took place, according to Lundstedt.

“It's important to try to save as much as possible that can support what you have been through. That could be saving email conversations, speaking to potential witnesses and also try to record as much about the circumstances as you can remember, so that it will emerge in a potential investigation. A video or audio recording can be used as evidence in some cases,” he said.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Emma Löfgren (emma.lofgren@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Here's how slow Sweden's high-speed trains are getting
A Swedish SJX2000 high speed train. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The high-speed rail journey between the three biggest Swedish cities is about to get longer.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

US election
Donald Trump won't get new Ericsson head's vote
Trump pictured at a campaign rally in Florida. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

The new Swedish-American boss of telecoms giant Ericsson has revealed he will not vote for the Republican nominee in the forthcoming US presidential election.

Swedes named fourth most gender equal in the world
A file photo of men and women pushing prams in Stockholm. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Sweden has closed 81 percent of its overall gender gap according to the World Economic Forum.

Sweden: Russian warships in the Baltic 'worrying'
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Two Russian warships equipped with long-range missiles have entered the Baltic Sea after passing Denmark.

Why businesses are worried about Sweden's drone ban
A drone filming in Stockholm. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The Local investigates what Sweden's new drone ban could mean for businesses in the country.

This is the new top boss of Swedish Ericsson
Börje Ekholm. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/TT

Telecoms giant Ericsson has appointed a new CEO after a turbulent year for the company.

These are Sweden's best universities: ranking
A new university ranking has been released. Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/Imagebank.sweden.se

At least according to this global ranking, which picks 12 Swedish universities among the top-1000.

Swedish pharmacies restrict paracetamol sales for teens
The move is intended to cut paracetamol overdoses. Photo: Nora Lorek/TT

Sweden's pharmacies are banning teens under 18 from buying more than one pack of pills at a time.

Rwandan genocide suspect held in Sweden
A memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

A man has been arrested in Sweden suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed 800,000 lives.

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available