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26th December   

Update: Big Banned Show...


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Banned radio show to be broadcast after BBC censorship From The Scotsman
Link Here

Banned by the BBCA radio comedy series shelved by the BBC amid concern over its fictional portrayal of Rolf Harris drawing the Prophet Muhammad is finally set to hit the airwaves - five months after being banned.

The Franz Kafka Big Band sparked a censorship row when Radio Scotland ordered revisions to the show's five episodes only days before it was due to be broadcast. A censored version of the Glasgow-based troupe's controversial first programme will now be aired at 12:30am on Thursday.

One segment of the episode features a cow apparently flying into New York's Twin Towers.

It is understood BBC officials refused to approve a sketch about troops in Israeli tanks playing easy-listening music while rolling into the Occupied Territories. However, it was deemed acceptable when rewritten to feature Indonesian troops entering East Timor.

 

23rd December   

A Girl's Guide to 21st Century TV...


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Explicit content spotted in A Girl's Guide to 21st Century Sex
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Channel 5 logoA Girl's Guide to 21st Century Sex is an 8-part TV show about sex, billed as a documentary and running on the British broadcast station Channel 5. The moderator is Dr. Catherine Hood. The series started in October 2006.

The first few episodes of the series were extremely explicit, showing erect penises, closeups of a vulva, as well as detailed footage of sexual intercourse including penetration and ejaculation (filmed with a tiny camera from within the vagina). In subsequent episodes, however, most such footage has been heavily and seemingly hastily censored through blurring (although the programme remains perhaps the most explicit ever to be broadcast on mainstream UK television).

However, towards the end of the series, footage of ejaculation shot from within the vagina was again being shown, making it unlikely that self or enforced censorship was taking place.

After one of the most explicit scenes was uploaded to Google Video, it was discussed on the Internet[1] before being quickly removed from the site.

From Salvor on The Melon Farmers Forum

Ofcon complaints spotted in Issue 75 of the complaints bulletin

A Girl’s Guide to 21st Century Sex 06/11/2006 Five Commercial References 1
A Girl’s Guide to 21st Century Sex 06/11/2006 Five Inaccuracy/Misleading General Acceptance 1

Nothing about explicit content! & both not-in-breach or out-of-remit

 

19th December   

Very Ginger Beer...


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Jeremy Clarkson reprimanded for gay remark
Link Here

Top Gear DVD Four viewers complained about an exchange during BBC Two’s Top Gear last July in which Jeremy Clarkson picked up a remark from an audience that a certain car was "gay", the presenter then backed it up by saying, a bit gay, yes very ginger beer which is cockney rhyming slang for queer.

The BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit agreed that the remarks risk offending some of our audience.

The ruling stated, As Jeremy Clarkson supplemented the term "gay" with a phrase which is rhyming slang for "queer", there was no doubt that it was being used in the sense of "homosexual", and was capable of giving offence.

The judgement called for the show to be reminded of the importance of avoiding derogatory references to sexual orientation.

 

 

19th December   

Zone Horror...

Avoiding censorship as far as possible
Link Here

Zone Horror logoZone Horror may show I spit on your grave this Xmas / New Year. Will the gang rape sequences be cut do you think? [MF: surely will be the cut version]

I think Zone Horror are generally trying to avoid censorship as much as they can - interviews with Nigel Wingrove etc. would seem to indicate this approach.

movies24 showed Rendezvous 3 a 1995/6 episodic sex film starring a largely French cast including Julia Chanel on Friday 15th December at about 2.30 am until 4.00am. At one point a male character holds a scissors to the side of the woman's (Draghixa I think - she was dressed in a black leotard on a bed) face and then proceeds to cut her clothes open with it. I checked the BBFC website and Rendezvous 3 isn't listed. So, does this mean the channel itself is in charge of ensuring the film concerned doesn't contain stuff that wouldn't be passed 18? Looking at Melon Farmers it would seem this type of content is cut all the time by the BBFC.

Interestingly the channel is owned by the same people who own Hallmark a really heavily censored channel no matter what time of day. So they're showing soft porn on two channels and simultaneously cutting such disgusting filth as Moving Target starring Jason Bateman?

The constant feeling I get watching movies on Sky / Zone Horror is like the famous Cinema Paradiso scene with all the censored film clips played at once.

The really sad thing is that this can damage the films themselves eg. Witchfinder General on the BBC went from a PAL master to an NTSC one in the climactic hitting Vincent Price with an axe sequence. Why keep the excised scenes in good condition (or indeed at all) when you're not allowed to show them seems to be the distributors' attitude.

 

15th December   

Nutter Bait...

BBC Three announces some racy titles
Link Here

BBC Three logoBBC Three has commissioned a raft of programmes with titles like Teens Addicted To Porn, Me And My Man Breasts, Lucy: Teenage And Transsexual, My Big Breasts And I, F*** Off I'm A Hairy Woman, and Sex Talk With Mum And Dad.

The latter employs the techniques of a Dutch sexologist and family therapist who believes that by shaking off embarrassment and talking openly about sex the family unit can be strengthened.

The programme publicity says: Our expert believes that if families can be open with one another about sex then they'll be able to trust each other about anything and everything else. But that doesn't mean it's going to be any less awkward to hear about dad's first time or mum's stash of sex toys.

 

12th December   

O Come All Ye Unfaithful...

Spinal Tap winds up the nutters
Link Here

Break Like the Wind by Spinal Tap CD cover BBC bosses are ditching a Christmas TV trailer after church leaders complained its music was pro-Satanic

Christmas with the Devil

The elves are dressed in leather
And the angels are in chains
(Christmas with the Devil)
The sugar plums are rancid
And the stockings are in flames
(Christmas with the Devil)
There's a demon in my belly
And a gremlin in my brain
There's someone up the chimney hole
And Satan is his name
The rats ate all the presents
And the reindeer ran away
(Christmas with the Devil)
There'll be no Father Christmas
'Cause it's Evils holiday
(Christmas with the Devil)
No bells in Hell
No snow below-
Silent Night, Violent Night
So come all ye unfaithful
Don't be left out in the cold
You don't need no invitation, no...
Your ticket is your soul

The BBC is using Christmas With The Devil a spoof track by mock rockers Spinal Tap, in a 30-second clip focusing on villains and baddies in its festive dramas.
But Canon Peter Howell-Jones, of Birmingham Cathedral, said: It’s in very bad taste. I’ve enough to do without having to defend God from things like this .

Retired Rev Betty Stephenson added: It’s disgusting, diabolical. She said the Devil always works quietly in the background and mentioning him demeaned the true meaning of Christmas.

The BBC said it chose the song in honour of baddies including the Sheriff of Nottingham and the Evil Santas in Doctor Who. A spokesman said:
It’s meant to be fun.

 

10th December   

Siege Mentality...

Under Siege shown uncut on TV
Link Here

Under Siege DVD cover

E4 showed an uncut version of Under Siege with Steven Segal this week (04/12/06) All of the cuts stated on your site were included. Does this mean we can see an uncut version on DVD soon?

 

9th December   

Sore Throat...

Inside Deep Throat censored on Channel 4
Link Here

Inside Deep Throat DVD cover

Sadly, Inside Deep Throat was censored, despite it having an uncut 18 certificate from the BBFC, which should mean that it could be shown on any channel, after the watershed, AFAIK. This is typical for C4, unfortunately, as they censor all of their adult documentaries, and have so far refused to change policy.

Another email, this time to C4 to complain about this censorship, is called for and I would encourage other Melon Farmers to do likewise.

viewerenquiries@channel4.co.uk

Update: Unlawful Sex

Channel 4 claim unpublished rules ban penetrative sex

Thanks to Paul on The Melon Farmers' Forum

Letter to Channel 4:

I was disappointed to see that the recent broadcast of Inside Deep Throat was censored by C4. Programs shown late at night should not be censored in this way, it is patronising to the audience. The Ofcom broadcasting code does not require BBFC 18 rated works to be cut if appropriately scheduled, so why do you do it?

Letter from Channel 4: Viewer Enquiries:

I'm afraid that certain censorship is enforced. Images of erect penises, vaginas and, therefore, penetrative sex are still unlawful. To show it would lose us our licence. I have passed your comment on though.

Letter to Channel 4:

Concerning my original complaint, I should point out that channel 5 did not have any difficulty in showing images of erect penises, vaginas and penetrative sex in their recent series a girls guide to 21st century sex . In the context of a documentary program these things not only can be broadcast, but actually are broadcast.

I am only too aware of the enforcement of censorship in this country by way of Ofcom`s broadcasting code for example, however this situation is only made worse when broadcasters indulge in unnecessary self censorship, especially in cases where censorship itself is likely to cause offence by patronising the audience.

The Ofcom broadcasting code does not require BBFC 18 rated works to be cut if appropriately scheduled, so I repeat, why do you do it? If there are more detailed rules behind Ofcom`s broadcasting code that forbid the broadcasting of some 18 rated works at any time then I would be most interested to know about them and no doubt so would channel 5.

Letter from Channel 4: Viewer Enquiries:

Thank you for your email however we have nothing further to add to our original response.

 Update: Fourgetfulness

  Inside Deep Throat DVD cover Channel 4 were OK with real sex when showing The Idiots

Thanks to Anthony

A reminder that Channel 4 were OK about showing 'real sex' when broadcasting The Idiots in March 2005

From The Independent

Channel 4 is to be investigated by broadcasting regulator Ofcom after breaking one of terrestrial TV's last taboos, airing uncensored footage of penetrative sex during a screening of the cult movie The Idiots.

The film, made by celebrated director Lars von Trier, had previously been shown with pixellation to obscure the more graphic footage in a sex scene, but last week it was shown unedited. Although it was a landmark TV first, few even noticed its significance because it was tucked away in a
late-night slot and the station did not flag up its inclusion in advance. Ofcom, however, has now received a number of complaints which it is examining.

From Ofcom

The Idiots DVD cover We recognise that this is a challenging and controversial film, which some viewers may find difficult to view. Until now, films showing unedited graphic sexual content of this nature have been confined to specialist subscription film channels. The Idiots has been shown before on Channel 4, but with the scene of penetrative sex digitally obscured. When previously shown on FilmFour and in an edited version on Channel 4, the film attracted very little complaint and those received were not upheld by the legacy regulators.

We recognise that showing such sexual imagery on a terrestrial channel carries a greater potential for offence than when broadcast on a specialist subscription channel which is of limited availability. Ofcom has to balance the potential offence this film may cause viewers against Channel 4’s remit to explore difficult themes – on this occasion the examination of censorship.

Under the circumstances: the serious contextualisation of the film within a season examining the censorship of film and television, its artistic purpose, the channel which transmitted it, the strong warnings before the film and prior to the scene in question and the scheduling after midnight, we consider this broadcast of the film on Channel 4 did not breach the Code. These circumstances all served to prepare potential viewers for the extreme content.

An important consideration was the artistic intention of the film in its style and narrative. The documentary approach, along with the brevity of the scene and its pivotal role in breaking up the group, further distanced the film from those of the ‘adult market’.

While we do not consider the film was in breach of the Code on this occasion, we must consider carefully the acceptability of any similar content on an individual basis. The film was not in breach

 

25th November   

Beyer Recommends...

The Virgin School on Channel 4
Link Here
John Beyer

Beyer Recommends...
The Virgin School

Spotted by Dan who comments that John Beyer and Mediawatch-UK are doing fine work plugging Channel 4 programmes.

Based on an article from the Daily Mail

Channel 4 sparked nutter outrage after it was revealed it is making a new show which will feature a male virgin being taught how to have sex.

The man, who is aged in his late 20s and has never slept with a woman, will visit a sex school in Amsterdam, where he will spend three months learning "the art of intimacy".

The new show will see the man lose his virginity to a sex therapist and producers of the show are claiming they could even show some footage of the man having sex.

The Virgin School , as it has been titled, is part of a series of programmes about virginity lined up for next year, which will also look at the different ways in which people lose their virginity.

John Beyer, director of Mediawatch UK said: It beggars belief. It's yet another example of them trying to attract viewers with a programme about sex. It is really time that Channel 4 grew up. They are so caught up in their own importance that they really can't see beyond their own quest for sensationalism and controversy.

A Channel 4 spokesman said:
Virgin School is a sensitive documentary that follows one young man's effort to overcome a major obstacle in his life. The programme focuses on his emotional journey and his growing confidence with women, not the final result. It will be scheduled appropriately in a late night slot.

 

25th November   

Eave Ho Hum...

Link Here

Based on an article from the BBC

Legs bar sign

Sitcom set in a Pattaya brothel

Five has been branded "way out of line" by the women's nutter group, Eaves, for broadcasting a sitcom set in a suburban brothel.

Respectable breaks Ofcom guidelines by portraying prostitution as "glamorous" and "risk-free" and should be taken off-air, Eaves has said.

A Five spokeswoman said the channel took the subject matter "seriously".  Its publicity material describes Respectable as following a group of young women working together, squabbling, chatting and bonding, like any other workforce.   Like thousands of brothels throughout Britain, it's outwardly respectable, it's twee - and it could be next door to you.

Eaves said it had gathered a petition with 1,500 names. It has written to Five, Ofcom and Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell to ask for the programme to be pulled: Respectable will perpetuate the myth that not only is buying sex acceptable, rather than degrading and exploitative, but that it can be fun and enjoyable for the women involved and add glamour to their lives .

A spokeswoman for Five said
Respectable is not intended to be as an in-depth investigation of prostitution. It is a comedy, and we would expect it to be viewed as such.

Comment: the LoEave Ho go

Eaves logo replaced after polite request from Eaves:

Could you remove our logo from your site by the end of today (Tuesday 5 September) please? You cannot use it without our permission. Thanks

Legs bar sign
Sitcom set in a Pattaya brothel
Comment: MoronFarmers

The Melon Farmers got noticed by feminist Laurelin in the following blog entry :

Back to the MoronFarmers. One of their latest attempts as journalism has them scoffing at Eaves, the organisation that provides shelter and hope to women on a low income, to victims of rape trafficking and has done extensive research on sexual violence, for protesting Channel Five’s newest ’sitcom’ which is set in a brothel. Eaves objects to the portrayal of prostitution as ‘glamorous’ and ‘risk-free’. For this, the Morons label Eaves as a ‘women’s nutter group’.

Firstly, who would know more about the damage a sitcom about prostitution could do, Eaves or MelonFarmers? I think the answer is pretty clear, and MelonFarmers do not even attempt to argue against Eaves’ views. And secondly, what sort of a website that is interested in preventing censorship would refer to a group that has done amazing work for the most powerless and silenced women as a ‘women’s nutter group’, simply because that group took a stance that website disagreed with?

Surely I recognise the good work in setting up a refuge. However the wish to imprison people just for viewing softcore porn is more than ample justification for considering Eaves to be a nutter organisation.

From the Response from Women's National Commission endorsed by Eaves

Lilith believe that the list of restricted pornographic material [with a penalty of 3 years in prison for simple possession] should be expanded from the proposed list to also include:

  • Any material which has scenes of sexual violence, not just those which are deemed to be showing ‘serious’ sexual violence
  • Any material which shows women’s bodies being abused in any way
  • Any material which is hostile to women by showing them in passive roles in sexual activity or being dominated
  • Any material which features naked women for the sole purpose of sexual gratification (and therefore not, for example, for educational or anatomical purposes

 

25th November   

Your Destiny is Poor...

Link Here

Your Destiny.tv logoUK media watchdogs have shut down StarDate TV, owned by stock market-listed TV Commerce Holdings. It has been closed by regulators for ripping off consumers via a premium-rate phone line.

Shares in TV Commerce Holdings collapsed more than 53% after telephone regulator ICSTIS fined the company £25,000.

The company runs the StarDate TV station that is available through Sky television stations. Callers are encouraged to phone premium-rate numbers for dating services as well as psychic readings through the Your Destiny channel. The calls cost around £1.50 a minute.

The regulator found that the company had deliberately kept callers waiting on the line longer than necessary. The TV channels have subsequently been taken off the air.

 

23rd November   

First Toys Ad...

Link Here

Durex vibrating ringThe first sex toy commercial to be shown on UK terrestrial TV will hit screens this week. A vibrating penis ring will appear in the 30-second advert on Channel 4 and Five and satellite channels. The commercial will be broadcast after 11pm from this Friday.

Durex, which makes the disposable toy, said the post-11pm broadcast restriction for the commercial was too severe. It wants permission to show the "tastefully shot" advert after the 9pm watershed.

The commercial shows a couple sitting a dinner table. The man gives the woman what looks like an engagement ring box. She opens the box, smiles, and says "I do."

Durex managing director Martyn Ward said: There is nothing rude or crude about the advert, which is tastefully shot, and we feel this restriction is hypocritical, given the images of a sexual nature you quite regularly see on TV at this time of night.

Durex has sold more than 400,000 of the £5.99 disposable vibrating rings since they launched last year.

 

9th November   

Nippy...

Link Here

Radio 1Radio 1 DJ Edith Bowman has made an on-air apology after reading out an email from a listener which provoked dozens of complaints.

The DJ had asked listeners to write in to her afternoon show with different uses of slang.

One email suggested the phrase "Pearl Harbour" could to refer to cold weather, and used the word "nips" as a derogatory term for Japanese people. Radio 1 said Bowman read the term out in error and that no offence was intended.

A colleague at the station later described the incident as "an innocent gaffe". The DJ apologised half an hour after the comment was broadcast/ She said:
Sometimes people say things that might be a derogatory term, but if you're not aware of it you don't know.

 

2nd November   

Unbelievable Claims of Innocence...

Link Here

Christian Voice logoThe BBC are facing ludicrous accusations of anti-Christian bias after a BBC drama portrayed evangelical extremists murdering Muslims.

One Christian group said the corporation had a "sinister" and "malicious" agenda against their faith, while another claimed the BBC1 Spooks programme could be an "incitement to hatred" against them.

The row comes in the wake of recent revelations that senior BBC executives had admitted that the corporation was guilty of bias against Christianity at a special "impartiality" summit.

Christians were suitably 'outraged' by the episode of the drama, which showed a group of evangelical terrorists who carry out a number of attacks on the Muslim community and attempt to spark a religious war in the UK.

Christian Voice National Director Stephen Green said: This could even be incitement to hatred against Christians. It is completely ludicrous and brings the BBC into more disrepute. Most people watching it will just spot another bit of BBC bias and inaccuracy - nevertheless it shows a worrying mind-set in the people that are producing the programme to even think that there are Christians contemplating violence against any Muslims whatsoever - it is just not what we do.

Religious group Evangelical Alliance has also hit out at the BBC accusing them of trying to smear evangelical Christians as being likely to commit acts of terrorism.

It's head of public affairs Don Horrocks said: This is yet another outrageous example of the BBC's anti-Christian bias. This beggars belief. I do think that there is a sinister and malicious agenda at work here and that they are trying to plant the seed of the idea through fiction that evangelical Christians are just as likely to carry out terrorism as some members of the Islamic faith.

The BBC received 16 complaints about the programme's portrayal of Christianity and media regulator Ofcom got a further two complaints about the issue.

In the programme the Christian terrorist group was seen carrying out a hand-grenade attack on Muslims and planing to blow up a Mosque in Manchester. It featured a video broadcast by the fictional group saying: Britain is a nation under Christ - we will no longer tolerate the Muslims in our ranks - this is a declaration of war against Islam.

A spokeswoman for the show said: Spooks is an award-winning drama series which is based entirely on fiction and we are confident our viewers understand that episodes do not portray real events.

 

1st November   

Jonathan Woss OK to Gwill High Wanking Tory...

Link Here
Maggie looking sexy
Maggie looking sexy

Friday Night With Jonathan Ross
BBC1, 23 June 2006, 22:45

Jonathan Ross interviewed the Leader of the Opposition, David Cameron. The presenter asked him about the possibility that he had a crush on Margaret Thatcher in his formative teenage years and “ may have considered Margaret Thatcher in a carnal manner. . . . as pin up material ”. Jonathan Ross later interrupted David Cameron’s comments about party policy with the question: But did you or did you not have a wank thinking about Thatcher?

251 viewers complained that Jonathan Ross’ line of questioning of David Cameron, including suggestive sexual references to Margaret Thatcher, was vulgar, disrespectful and unfair to both parties.

Viewers also objected to the inclusion of strong language and that the BBC did not edit out these elements of the programme.

In law Ofcom cannot consider complaints of unfair treatment or unwarranted infringements of privacy made by third parties, unless those third parties are explicitly authorised to do so by a programme participant or someone directly affected by a programme.

Neither David Cameron nor Baroness Thatcher – nor people acting on their behalf and with their authority – have complained to Ofcom about the interview. We are therefore not able to consider complaints made by members of the public that the interview was unfair to David Cameron or Baroness Thatcher.

Freedom of expression means that broadcasters have the right to explore ideas providing they comply with the law and with Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code. The legislation requires Ofcom to balance the necessary protection of members of the public from offensive and harmful material with an appropriate level of freedom of expression for broadcasters.

Jonathan Ross has a very well-established presenting style, which is deliberately provocative. The decision by the BBC to schedule this series at this time of night is an indication to viewers that the programme may contain provocative material. We recognise that the interview with David Cameron may have attracted some people who were not regular viewers of the series and who may have found Jonathan Ross’ comments uncomfortable. We also acknowledge that for some viewers the use of this language would be considered to be crude.

However, Jonathan Ross’ comments were made in the context of an interview with a senior politician who is extremely experienced in handling the media. The interview was part of a late night chat show hosted by a presenter whose style is deliberately risqué, satirical and provocative – an approach with which the large majority of the audience is very familiar. In the context of a chat show, with the interview itself being shown well after the watershed at 23:30, and in its regular slot, we do not consider that the content of the interview was so extreme that it breached generally accepted standards.

It was also noted that the use of strong swearing in the programme was bleeped.

Not in Breach

 

29th October   

Sniping at Channel 4...

Link Here

Death of a PresidentA hard-hitting British TV drama that shows President Bush assassinated by a terrorist sniper sparked predictable outrage from nutters and Americans

The makers of Death Of A President say it is a thought-provoking film designed to promote "legitimate debate" over the legacy of Bush's war on terror. Channel 4 bosses, who will screen the film next month, insist they will not bow to pressure to scrap it despite howls of protest from Bush supporters and nutters in the UK and America.

In the film, set in 2007, Bush is shot dead after flying to Chicago to make a speech in the wake of massive anti-war protests. The story then follows a fictional investigation into the killing, carried out by a Syrian gunman.

John Beyer of MediaWatch-UK said the drama was irresponsible and could even spark a real-life assassination attempt. He added: There's a lot of feeling against President Bush and this may well put ideas into people's heads : If something happens as a consequence of this film, then blood is on their hands.

Gretchen Essell, spokeswoman for the Republican Party in Bush's home state of Texas, said: I can't support a video that dramatises the assassination of our President whether real or imagined.

Eric Staal, of the London-based Republicans Abroad organisation, added: This is an appalling way to treat the head of state of another country. Thomas Trapasso, a former aide of Bill Clinton, said: It's horrible - and irresponsible of the film-makers.

The 90-minute film, directed by Gabriel Range, will be premiered at this month's Toronto Film Festival before it is screened on digital channel More4 on October 9. It uses computer technology and archive footage of Bush to create the assassination scene.

Jim Shelley the Mirror TV Critic had a few fine words to say on the subject:
So much for the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, eh? There couldn't be anything more predictable than the Republicans going into uproar about this film. It's a film. Just ignore it. It isn't going to damage the President's popularity - partly because he hasn't got any.

Update: Death Threats

Death of a PresidentFrom the BBC

Death of a President has now secured a distribution deal for the US.  The film was sold for $1 million to Newmarket Films. 

The movie’s subject matter has raised protests from conservatives in the US, and director Gabriel Range says he has received five or six death threats.

Update: A Killing at the Box Office

Based on an article from KVUE

Death of a President has opened across the US but it is noticeable that there's no scheduled opening date for Dallas, hometown of Bush and scene of a previous assassination.

In the movie, President Bush is gunned down after a speech in Chicago amid violent street protests in October 2007. Suspects, most of them Islamic, are rounded up and detained, and a new Patriot Act, called Patriot III, is signed into law. The assassination happens early in the film; the rest deals with the fallout on civil liberties.

Some of the country's largest theater chains, including California-based Regal and Texas-based Cinemark, have publicly refused to show the film. CNN and National Public Radio won't run ads or sponsorship messages.

We would not be inclined to program this film, Regal Entertainment Group CEO Mike Campbell told Reuters. We feel it is inappropriate to portray the future assassination of a sitting president, regardless of political affiliation.

This critic's assessment: Death of a President is well made and well acted, and the documentary verisimilitude is eerie. The film presents President Bush as a sympathetic figure, beloved by his staff. But it also crosses a line never before drawn, it makes for queasy viewing, and the fetishistic attention to detail is creepy.

 

12th October   

Censors Under Siege...

Link Here

Under Siege 2 DVD cover Under Siege 2 was shown uncut on Bravo UK last night. Having seen the original British release several times the new bits were blatantly obvious. Bloody BBFC. Most of the cut violence actually made me laugh, as they were so ridiculously over the top (the hood being dragged under the train especially).

 

2nd October   

BBC Dicking Around...

Link Here

Dick Around single by SparksDespite the fact that the band, Sparks (featuring Ron and Russell), were invited into the studio as guests of the Breakfast Show on BBC London, the host Jono Coleman was banned from playing the single Dick Around

Jono and his co-host Jo Good were obviously embarrassed - particularly as they quite clearly knew that the term means wasting time.

Ron and Russell were quite clearly also embarrassed but also appeared to be insulted that they had been asked to 'get up at 6.15am to come and be interviewed and then not have their single played' and what should (and could) have been an interesting interview ended up being a 15 minute discussion about the BBC banning the song

Ron Mael raged: the BBC has officially killed off our new single Dick Around, ostensibly through rather childish objections to the title, an innocent reference to the idle life.

That a piece of music can be condemned purely by its title without the 'decision makers' even having the decency to open the CD case is a travesty and an insult to both us as the creators of the music and to the listeners of the BBC"

Russell Mael responded:
the reaction from the public to this record has been nothing but positive so the BBC should stop trying to be the morality police when it is so clearly misplaced.

BBC London replied to emails: The track Dick Around hasn't been banned from BBC London; in fact it's already been played on other shows on the station. However, the breakfast team hadn't heard the track - because it's not a music show - and decided to err on the side of caution because of the title,

 

12th September   

I Spit on your Censorship...

Link Here
I Spit on your Grave DVD cover The previously banned movie I Spit On Your Grave will be premiere on British television this month, as part of Zone Horror's Video Nasty Week.

Director Meir Zarchi's brutal rape-revenge movie was notable as a video nasty. The 1978 film deals with the violent rape of a young woman writer in secluded woods by a group of locals, followed by her bloody revenge.

Adam Robinson, Zone Horror's Head of Programming, said: Meir Zarchi's classic I Spit On Your Grave still stands as one of the most controversial films ever made. It is an uncompromisingly brutal piece of film making and at the same time groundbreaking and original. The film still has the power to shock almost 30 years on. Zone Horror, never one to shy away from film's darker side, will now give television audiences a chance to judge for themselves.

This is one of many standout films to feature on Zone Horror this autumn and is a fantastic highlight of our Video Nasty Week.


The film was prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act in 1982 and was on the banned list in this country until February 2002, when the BBFC permitted a cut version to be re-issued on video with 7 minutes of cuts.

Zone Horror's Video Nasty Week features a scandalous selection of films banned in the 1970s and 1980s, including Mother's Day, Night of the Demon, House on Straw Hill ( aka Expose), Don't Look In The Basement and Blood Sucking Freaks. The week runs from Monday 18 to Saturday 23 September, featuring I Spit On Your Grave on 23 September at 11.55pm

 

10th September   

Miami Vice...

Link Here
Miami Vice Series 1 DVD coverITV 4 have shown an uncut episode of Miami Vice on Tues 4th Sept which is rated an 18 cert on DVD and was previously cut by the BBFC in 1986 by 5 seconds to secure a 15 rating. The offending cut was a fight scene between two characters were a rather hard ear slap was issued by both hands ouch!

The interesting thing it was shown at 6pm have checked it against my dvd release and it was completely uncut as have many of the episodes they have shown at 6 & 7pm which are rated 12 and 15 certs by the BBFC. Drug dealing, shoot outs & ear slaps are the norm at 6pm on ITV 4.

Remembering the fuss over ear slaps, I guess they were just dinking Tango when that one got passed.

 

9th September   

Ofcom Stick the Knife In...

Link Here

Ofcom logoITV News and GMTV have introduced a new policy on the use of footage depicting violent scenes after viewers complained to Ofcom over the broadcasters' use of CCTV images showing a knife attack on two students, in which one of the victims died.

Six viewers complained to Ofcom about ITV1, the BBC, Sky News and GMTV, whose news bulletins broadcast the images in June, on the day that the attackers were sentenced.

Ofcom said in a report: We welcome the assurances that tighter editorial control has been introduced over the use of violent images in pre-watershed news bulletins.

ITV defended its decision to use the CCTV images, as the issue of knife crime was high on the public agenda when the story was broadcast. In addition, both the police and the victims' families made it clear that they wanted the media to air the images to demonstrate how dangerous the results can be when young men carry knives.

Ofcom said that while it welcomed GMTV's assurances that lessons had been learned and the procedures had been changes,
the particular handling of this story, within the regional news opt-out, was especially inappropriate and unsuitable, and therefore in breach of Ofcom's Broadcasting Code.

 

 

26th August   

Headless Corpses at the BBFC...

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Re-animator DVD cover The cutting of this great film could surely only have been sanctioned by headless corpses.

Thanks to Colin

Just a quick message to say film four have just aired Re-Animator completely uncut. I just had a look on the BBFC website and its still cut. All hail film4.

Update: Re-animator Re-animated

It has been pointed out to me that the latest Ofcom code allows previously cut films to be broadcast uncut if the BBFC say that they would no longer cut the film if re-submitted today.

Given that Channel 4 are unlikely to break the code it seems a fair bet they have simply consulted the BBFC and found that an uncut version would now seem likely.

This stacks up with the 'informal advice' service offered by the BBFC that has cropped up a few times recently.

The only trouble is that the results of such informal advice are not published to the public and so we don't get to hear of some useful decisions.

The fact that a movie appears on TV uncut means that we can infer that the BBFC would now waive cuts on video/DVD. So if anyone spots an uncut showing we should make it known and perhaps a distributor can then arrange a re-release.

Maybe we can soon have an uncut DVD release of Re-animator

Update: Re-animator Re-animated & Re-released

Re-animator DVD cover Thanks to Mercury who wrote to the BFFC about Re-Animator:

I asked the BBFC about this some time ago and this was their reply

We recently waived the cuts for a forthcoming Film Four screening using our broadcaster advice screening.

You can also expect an uncut UK disc in the near future.

 

25th August   

BBC Fine Tuning While the Twin Towers Burn...

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Banned by the BBCA Scottish radio comedy series has been shelved by the BBC amid ‘anxieties over taste and decency’.

The Franz Kafka Big Band included a sketch, Rolf's Blasphemous Cartoon Time, that portrayed Rolf Harris drawing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

The five-part series was due to air at a 10pm slot on BBC Radio Scotland from Monday. However, the corporation will now rerun the Glasgow-based troupe’s first series instead.

The show was billed as ‘sure to surprise even the most unshockable’ when it was commissioned.

The troupe’s Craig Stobo, told The Scotsman: The BBC wanted us to be the bad boys. Our mission statement is 'no sacred cows', so they knew what they were going to get. It's a case of be careful what you wish for, but we're gutted.

But on their website the group say: All this, is, of course fabulous news as being banned by the BBC is a surefire recipe for success.

Producer Nick Low added: Their idea of taste, decency and what's funny isn't the same as the people at the BBC It's all to do with whether there can be a compromise.

Other sketches featured a cow flying into New York's Twin Towers and the song The Candy Man rewritten to include such lyrics as: ‘Who can start a jihad? The Taliban can.’

A BBC spokesman said:
Their new work is bold and it requires some fine-tuning.

 

 

22nd August   

Scuzz TV...

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Stench of Redemption CD coverUK music TV channel Scuzz TV has banned the new video for Deicide’s Homage For Satan condemning it for being offensive and derogatory.

In a statement a Scuzz representative declared that: the lyrical content is religiously offensive, derogatory, and can be read as improper exploitation of any susceptibilities of the audience.

They further commented With regards the imagery itself, the inclusion of a priest or religious figure in any belief system is always a very touchy subject, but the possession of one such person, and the disparaging respect for the Christian Bible is in direct conflict with Ofcom regulations.

The video, featuring blood-splattered zombies on a rampaging mission to capture a priest forcibly underlies Deicide’s explicit stance against religion, yet is a representation of death metal at its best. The banning of the video coincides with the eagerly anticipated release of Deicide’s highly acclaimed album The Stench Of Redemption and effectively removes the chance for extreme music to be represented to a mass audience.

The outright banning of the video marks a worrying trend, as the station declares that they ‘generally don’t play death/black metal on Scuzz anymore’ yet boldly label themselves as a ‘rock hard’ channel.

To make your own mind up about the video you can check it out on You Tube at
www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJkMrl4AG8w

 

 

18th August   

Breast or Legs...

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ASA logoAn ad for a sex chat line that asked men to decide on a choice of breasts or legs has been pulled by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The ad, which features "close up images of women in varying stages of undress", had been approved for showing after 11pm but, since that approval, the number voters were expected to text had been set to one starting "69" - a code reserved for "services of a sexual nature".

The combination was too much for one viewer who saw the ad on Paramount Comedy 2 and complained to the ASA. The ASA upheld the complaint, and now such advertisements must be restricted to encrypted channels, after 11pm

 

17th August   

Channel 4 Talks Hardcore...

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Channel 4 logoConcerning Ted Bundy: Natural Porn Killer, Channel 4 have  set up a Talking Point page : Your chance to have your say about hard-core pornography. Do we know what it is? Could we even ban it if we wanted to? Is there any evidence that pornography can be addictive?

There is an online poll and a link to a discussion that doesn't appear to have kicked off yet

 

 

10th August   

BBC Nannies Ensure Sex for Fun is Punished...

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BBC logoThe BBC has defended scenes of sex and violence in recent EastEnders episodes after more than 250 people complained.

Viewers questioned whether a passionate encounter between characters Carly Wicks and Jake Moon was suitable for broadcast before the watershed. A scene of domestic violence, in which the character of Denise Fox lost a tooth, also drew complaints.

The BBC said the scenes were "within acceptable limits" and kept to the corporation's editorial guidelines.

The violent scene was the culmination of a long-running storyline. In the scene, Fox stabbed Turner with a fork after he accosted her in her house. Turner was then seen dragging Fox up the stairs by her hair. He hit her and she lost a tooth.

The BBC said it had received 128 complaints about the 4 August scene.

The sex scene, broadcast on 1 August, showed actors Kellie Shirley and Joel Beckett ripping off each others clothes and having sex on the floor of a nightclub.

Some 129 people contacted the BBC to complain about the explicit nature of the scene.

Harwood again apologised for causing distress, but argued that " any sexual activity was implied rather than explicit. The intention of the scene was to indicate the passion of a couple being carried away by the moment.
Moreover, the storyline shows the consequences of relationships which are not based on genuine emotion.

 

3rd August   

The Award for the Best Terrorist Victory...

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Osama Bin Laden: Dealing with the BritsNutters have urged the BBC to pull a 'sick' new comedy show which features spoof news reports of Tony Blair being assassinated and a 9/11-style video of terrorists crashing an airliner into the Houses of Parliament.

The clips for an Oscar-style 'Terrorism Awards' ceremony that forms one of the sketches in the new BBC2 series, Time Trumpet .

As well as the al-Qaeda plane attack and a picture of Blair with a bullet hole in the side of his head after being 'shot as he slept beside his wife', the skit also features a Hamas bombing in Tel Aviv. It is believed it was made before the recent outbreak of hostilities in the Middle East.

To add authenticity to the clips, which appeared on the internet yesterday, The Terrorism Awards are hosted by BBC election veteran Peter Snow and Tomorrow's World presenter Philippa Forrester.

The satire is the work of Armando Iannucci, who wrote the award-winning recent Whitehall comedy The Thick of It and was the co-creator of Steve Coogan's alter ego Alan Partridge .

His latest offering has provoked outrage from MPs of all sides. Andrew Dismore, Labour MP for Hendon, said it was: absolutely sick. At a time when people are dying for real on both sides in the Middle East, to try and make fun of what's going on is the worst thing imaginable. Nothing is more sick than attempting to make a joke out of people who are dying. It's beyond the pale. The BBC governors should do something to stop this. And the fact that it could have been given approval by the BBC's editorial board is simply disgraceful.

David Davies, Tory MP for Monmouth, said: It shows a distinct lack of taste and could even exacerbate the suffering of the July 7th bombing victims. The BBC receives a large amount of taxpayers' money and has a duty to use it responsibly. I can't see much comedy value in this at a time when all of us are at risk from terrorism.'

The Terrorism Award sketch features in episode three of the six-part series which starts tonight.

A BBC spokeswoman yesterday defended Time Trumpet, saying the sketches needed to be seen in the context of the whole series.It is a satire set in the year 2031, looking back at the events and people of today.
 

Top Sarcasm

From the BBC

Top Gear DVDViewers who are offended by jokes on motoring show Top Gear must accept such remarks will remain "an integral part of the programme", the BBC has said. "Provocative comments" by hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May must not be taken seriously.

The BBC said the audience should be "familiar enough" with Top Gear 's tone to be able to cope with the jibes. Sarcasm was part of Top Gear 's appeal, the statement stressed, and members of the public and participants were never immune from the team's acerbic comments and observations.

The BBC issued the statement on its complaints website after receiving 500 objections in six months. A BBC spokeswoman said there had also been "a number of calls" about a report on caravans broadcast on 16 July from viewers who were taking issue with various aspects of the feature.

 

18th July   

Lily Allen Mugged by MTV...

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000G04UUU/melonfarmers-21British singer Lily Allen has slammed MTV for banning the video to her hit single Smile because it features a mugging in it. The 21-year-old, who is currently at the top of the UK singles chart with Smile, is outraged her promo has been axed: My video was banned by MTV because it's got a mugging in it.

 

16th July   

Traumatised by Nutty Scientists...

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Royal College of PsychiatristsJoan Anzia, a professor of psychiatry, told the annual meeting of the Royal College of Psychiatrists that people who repeatedly watched footage of the attack in the days after had a higher risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder. Research showed that prolonged stress caused an increase in the size of the amygdala, the part of the brain that processes the basic emotions of fear, anger and anxiety.

TV companies that screen disaster footage to boost ratings should examine their consciences, as they are causing harm to their audiences , Professor Anzia said. This increased sense of fear and anxiety was one of the main targets of the terrorists.

Psychiatric research of the attacks on New York has shown that people who watched the coverage most incessantly, even if they were thousands of miles away, were often as likely to be as traumatised as those who were actually there.

 

1st July   

Jonathan Woss Gwills High Wanking Tory...

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Maggie looking sexy
Maggie looking sexy
The BBC is to ban any repeats of Jonathan Ross’s interview with David Cameron in which he asked questions about whether the Tory leader had had teenage fantasies about Margaret Thatcher.

The Times has learnt that a warning notice will be attached to the video in the BBC archive after a decision at the highest management level. The move is a tacit admission by BBC chiefs that the questions by Ross, their highest-paid presenter, had overstepped their boundaries of decency.

A senior BBC source told The Times: Publicly we are defending this to the hilt but privately we are conceding it will not be shown again. There is a body of opinion within the BBC which, while they worship Jonathan Ross, regard that interview as on the edge of what is tasteful.

The source added: Lady Thatcher remains a legitimate object for satirists, as she remains a major political figure who opted to be one. We do have to tread carefully as Jonathan Ross is a talented and very popular presenter who likes the BBC because it gives him leeway.

It is also true that his show is aimed at an audience which is of a certain age group in the 30-plus area who expect the show to be edgy and racy. We do argue and will argue that to show it once is defensible, but to show it twice is not.

But Ross, who faces an investigation by the broadcast regulator Ofcom, has said that if Cameron had objected to the inclusion of the questions about Baroness Thatcher, they would have been removed. In a statement read out on Question Time on BBC One on Thursday, Ross said: If Mr Cameron had felt awkward we would have removed the question and answer. But none of his people thought it was a problem and neither did the people I work with, which is why we left it in.

Friday Night with Jonathan Ross is broadcast on BBC One at 10.45pm and the audience for the Cameron interview was about 3 million. Only seven complaints were received by the BBC after the broadcast.

The number rose to about 360 after newspaper reports of the interview, including demands from some Tory MPs for Ross to be dismissed. The broadcast regulator Ofcom has received 226 complaints and will investigate whether there has been a breach of its code.

 

18th June   

Whingers told to F Off...

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Kid making V signThe Advertising Standards Authority has cleared Xfm over an ad campaign featuring toddlers dressed up like Noel and Liam Gallagher, with one of the children making a V sign with his fingers.

The authority received 23 complaints regarding the posters on the grounds of offence. Some people were also worried it would encourage children to copy the gesture.

However the ASA ruled in favour of Xfm. It said: We considered that the gesture of the toddler was synonymous with Liam Gallagher and that anyone familiar with Oasis would realise that and were likely to find the parody humorous.

The ad promoted the launch of Xfm Manchester 97.7 and used the strapline “A new station is born”.

 

9th June   

Cameron Sticks the Knife into Radio 1...

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David Cameron in PR shot at Radio 1Tory leader David Cameron has accused Radio 1 of encouraging knife and gun crime. Cameron singled out the station's Saturday night schedules which feature DJ Tim Westwood's hip-hop show.

I would say to Radio 1, do you realise that some of the stuff you play on Saturday nights encourages people to carry guns and knives?   he told the British Society of Magazine Editors. Cameron said his remarks were an example of having the courage to speak up when you see something that is wrong despite the fact that
you will get a lot of bricks thrown at you.

Only five months ago the Tory leader appeared on Radio 1 in a bid to demonstrate his youth credentials. Interviewed on the Colin and Edith Show by presenters Colin Murray and Edith Bowman, he declared himself a fan of The Smiths, Radiohead and Pulp, and admitted to fancying Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Tweedy.

The station hit back at Cameron's remarks. Radio 1 strongly refutes any suggestion that the station condones or encourages knife or gun culture , a spokesman said.
The station takes its responsibilities very seriously and has strict producer guidelines that govern all of the output. Hip-hop is a huge international genre with a vibrant UK scene and that music reflects the sometimes harsher realities of people's lives and cultures."

 

28th May   

Brotherly Whingers...

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Big Brother logoRecord numbers of viewers have complained about the latest series of Big Brother . The first week of the series generated 184 complaints, according to the media regulator, Ofcom.  An Ofcom spokesman said: We are considering whether these [complaints] warrant investigation.

Most concerned Shahbaz Chaudhry, whose dysfunctional mental state led to his leaving the Big Brother house last week after threatening to kill himself on air.

Last year's series attracted a total of more than 1,100 complaints. The current series is already predicted to be well on the way to exceeding this.

 

24th May   

Police Hard Knocks...

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Irn-Bru canSenior police officers have called for a TV advertisement for Irn-Bru to be axed because it allegedly encourages violence.

Two complaints from police in the VRU have been made to TV watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). Detective Chief Superintendent John Carnochan and deputy Karen McCluskey have both voiced their concerns at the ad vert.

There have been a further 17 complaints from members of the public since the advert hit the screens in March. The ASA has launched an investigation into the complaints.

An AG Barr spokesman said: The script was passed by the Broadcasting Clearance Centre. A hardman dressed in a cuckoo suit - wouldn't you laugh?

The advert for Scotland's other national drink features a man dressed in a blue cuckoo costume mimicking a Glasgow hardman who bursts through a wall as an attendant dozes.

The man shouts: Wakey wakey , then yells: Smart Alec, are you? Well get this down your pie hole, clever clogs. Irn-Bru 32 - pure mental stimulation in a can. And it disnae taste like the bottom of my cage.

The librarian says: Shhh . The man replies: I'll shush you, you tweedy old crow.

He then makes a "come on" gesture while saying "cuckoo".

Last month another Irn-Bru ad caused fury among police officers when it called police "pigs". The billboard advert, part of a sales campaign, depicted a sheep with the caption:
I nicked the cow's Irn-Bru so she told the pigs.

 

23rd May   

Rapture...

Ticked off for sexy ads
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Melon Farmers logoYouth channel Rapture TV broke advertising rules by screening an ad with sexual references before the 9pm watershed, the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled.

The ad, for Def Comedy Jam DVDs, featured clips of stand up comedy routines, including one in which a man pulled a rolled up towel from his underpants. Others featured sexual references, an oblique reference to masturbation, and a man impersonating a gay rapper.

The spots were cleared by the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre with the proviso that they be shown after 9pm. A viewer complained they saw the ad at 10.30am and that it was unsuitable for that time slot.

Rapture TV said they did not feel that there was anything in the ad which was inappropriate for broadcast at the time the complainant mentioned.

However, in a ruling released today, the ASA decided that the post-watershed restriction was appropriate and that Rapture should have observed it.

 

20th May   

Pole Axed by Nutters...

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Melon Farmers logoThanks to Dan

The BBC has scrapped plans for a celebrity pole dancing show after protests from women's groups.

TV star Zoe Ball had signed up to take part in the one-off programme for Sport Relief.

Newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky and GMTV's Fiona Phillips had also been linked to the show, intended as a spoof version of Strictly Come Dancing. But the idea provoked outrage among women's rights campaigners.

Denise Marshall of the Poppy Project, a Home Office-funded support group for women trafficked into prostitution, said: Despite celebrity advocates promoting pole dancing as harmless fun, we must not forget that it has inextricable links to the sexual exploitation of women.

A BBC spokesman said:
This idea was one of several that we were considering and will not now be developed further.

 

12th May   

Whinging Bankers...

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Billy Elloit posterSir Elton was talking about the first anniversary of the Billy Elliot musical live on Channel 4's The New Paul O'Grady Show.

He said that when  one of the show's young stars asked his middle name, he replied it was Hercules. His real name, Reginald Kenneth Dwight, made him sound like a banker, or a wanker, one of the two , he said.

O'Grady ended the programme by saying: Sorry if it has been a bit raucous, ladies and gentlemen.

About 20 nutters complained after the show, which finished at 1800, a Channel 4 spokeswoman said: It is a live show and Elton is a guest but Paul dealt with it there and then and apologised. She added:
I don't think it is the strongest language, and we feel that Paul dealt with it appropriately.

 

26th April   

Complaining with their Mouths Full...

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Melon Farmers logoA KFC commercial that featured call centre staff singing with their mouths full has become the most complained-about advert of all time with 1,671 objections.

The advert was promoting the chain's Zinger Crunch salad and featured office workers singing inaudibly while eating the salad. A spokesman for the company said: The ad was always intended to be humorous and we apologised to those who felt that it wasn't.

Most callers said that it set a bad example to children, or ridiculed people with speech impediments. Some even claimed that it placed call centre employees in a bad light.

The ASA threw out the objections because the advert did not break any rules. The ASA did not censure any of the five adverts that attracted most complaints.

The other four were a poster promoting The L Word , a series on the Living TV cable channel about lesbians; a television commercial for Pot Noodle in which a man hid an oversized brass horn in his trousers; a Mazda commercial featuring a sexually-aroused mannequin and Ryanair's "London Fights Back" adverts in the wake of last July's bombings.

 

5th April   

Banned Films on TV: Imprint...

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Melon Farmers logoAfter being withdrawn from Showtime in the USA, Takashi Miike's Imprint will be screened on Bravo next month as part of the Masters of Horror series.There will be a preview on Friday 7th April at 11pm.  The director of Audition and Ichi the Killer was unsurprised by Showtime's decision said, 'I could not suppress the volume of terror that this film conveys'.

The next volume of the Masters of Horror   series, which includes Mick Garris' 'Chocolate' and Don Coscarelli's 'Incident On and Off a Mountain Road', is available on DVD from 15th May 2006.

 

20th March   

So Where the Fuck is Our Sense of Humour?...

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Where the bloody hell are you?What was initially a campaign to lure tourists to Australia has literally become a war of words with the UK after the British censor banned a television advertisement that used the great Australian adjective "bloody".

However now the offending phrase, Where the bloody hell are you?   has been emblazoned across full-page advertisements in the British press with full approval of the regulators.

The cheeky slogan has also been cleared for the print, online and cinema arms of the campaign.

So Australian Minister for Tourism Fran Bailey has gone to confront British officials over why it was banned from television. Bailey launched her bid to have the television ban overturned from the Tourism Australia offices next to the Australian High Commission on The Strand in London.

She will meet officials from the British Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC) but she acknowledged it would be a "big ask" to have them reverse the ban.

She cited a 1983 Paul Hogan ad for Fosters and a 1998 Toyota advertisement which used "bloody" both of which were allowed on British television. We're proud of this campaign, we know it's a cheeky campaign but it's designed to cut through, the minister said. You have to look at the context in which the word is used and it fits in with the overall theme. It's allowed in cinemas, online and in print, which is such an anomaly.

The dedicated website for this campaign had received more than 30,000 hits from the UK even before the launch, with Tourism Australia officials no doubt keen to fan the flames of the BACC controversy that has brought it to the attention of the British public.

The A$180 million television campaign features natural Australian icons such as beaches, the Great Barrier Reef, the outback, Sydney Harbour and Uluru.

The ads end with a girl in a bikini saying "we've saved you a spot on the beach", before she poses the colourful question, "Where the bloody hell are you?"

However Tourism Australia was apparently warned months ago that the ads would breach a list of words that can not be used in ads in Britain.

Update: Bloody Hell...A Rethink

From ABC News

The Australian advertising campaign that asks prospective tourists "Where the bloody hell are you?" could now get the thumbs-up in Britain by the end of the week.

Last week the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC) banned the advertisement from airing on British television.

The Tourism Minister, Fran Bailey, flew to London to convince the authorities to change their decision.

She has met with the British Secretary and the head of the regulator and they have agreed to review the ban.

"This is a first - this has never been achieved before so this a tremendous coup for Australia," she said.

Ms Bailey says she has put forward a very strong case and she expects the regulator to make a decision by the end of the week.

 

13th March   

British Propaganda Broadcasting Corporation...

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Melon Farmers logoThe BBC is to be forced to promote British citizenship and a sense of community under a new royal charter to be unveiled this week. It will redefine the purpose of the BBC, entrusting it with a far wider brief than its established mission to “inform, educate and entertain”.

The BBC’s leading dramatists reacted with dismay to the demand — to sustain citizenship and civil society — which they fear will force the corporation to do the government’s bidding.

Tony Blair, the prime minister, and Gordon Brown, the chancellor, have placed renewal of national identity, citizenship and “respect” at the centre of their political agenda.

Andrew Davies, the BBC’s most prolific and successful drama writer responsible for hits such as Pride and Prejudice, said: It sounds Stalinist. It looks like the BBC will be doing the government’s propaganda. Part of the BBC’s function should be to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy.

John Fortune, the satirist, said: It’s an extraordinary demand. Part of the role of broadcasters is be able to laugh at government and institutions. Producers will now be worried about not rocking the boat.

Activists gave notice that they will seek to exploit the measure to force the BBC to “clean up” its programming. John Beyer, director of Mediawatch-UK, said: This means much more than the BBC thinks. It’s not just things like impartial news. It is about reflecting good behaviour on the BBC and using good language. The BBC has a moral role. As a lobby group we will now use this phrase as a way to make the BBC act responsibly.

The white paper, due to be published on Tuesday, also confirms that the BBC will be funded by the licence fee until 2016 and that the board of governors will be replaced by a trust and an executive board.

 

26th February   

Goons and Censors...

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Melon Farmers logoBBC censors have cut politically incorrect bits out of a rerun of a 1950s episode of The Goon Show, starring Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe. They have also sunk a whole episode of Round The Horne.

On the BBC's Radio 7 website, advertising the digital revival of the programmes, the vintage humour is described as "unadulterated entertainment". However, as Mary Kalemkerian, the head of Radio 7 programmes, said last night, in eight edits of 20,000 programmes from the archives, The Goon Show was censored where, as the musician Ray Ellington walked on with his quartet, one of the cast re-named the programme The Coon Show. She said: This, we felt, was wrong. We also cut the phrase 'sambo-speak'.

The Round The Horne episode found to be "just beyond the bounds of acceptability" featured the cast travelling on the African Queen, with faces daubed in cocoa, grinning and singing "De Camptown Ladies".

Peter Reid, who reviews BBC programmes for unacceptable content, said that, with the revivals of vintage classics, he sometimes recommended the elimination of the odd word which we wouldn't use in polite company these days.

Correction: That's Enough of that Inaccuracy

See www.RadioListings.co.uk for more on the episodes of the Goons.

There is also a mention on the BBC 7 Comedy Message Boards about this and cartoon  censorship in a thread entitled: Should BBC7 pull any mention of Muhammad. There is also a management reply in The Lounge in a thread entitled: Ofcom Regulations

Thanks to Frank

The Daily Telegraph report was (following the comments of BBC7 Head - Mary Kalemkarian on BBC4 'Feedback') misleading...

The 'African Queen' was a boat, played by the announcer Douglas Smith - with cocoa on his face (ie to be read also as an African gay queen..) containing Kenneth Williams as Gaylord Ffitch and Kenneth Horne (a keen Botanist..) - both uncocoa'd - going up the Umpopo to visit the 400 year old 'She' - a whitey Queen played by Betty Marsden - reaching shore there was a 6 second burst of "Da Camptdown Races"...quickly terminated with Kenneth Horne with a 'that's enough of that'.

 

24th February   

Early Morning PIN Bollox...

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Melon Farmers logoThanks to Joe:

Film Four has recently been showing an excellent season of Ingmar Bergman films, most starting at 3 or 4 o' clock in the morning. I would imagine the majority of viewers would record these films by one means or another for later viewing.

A few weeks ago I watched a recording of The Rite , a 72 minute film which had started at 4.40am. I was astonished when 15 minutes before the end of the film transmission had been cut and my Pin Code requested.

On complaining to Sky I was told I should have entered the Pin when viewing the film. Eventually, I got the otherwise helpful assistant to understand that I was asleep when the film was shown! He spoke to a supervisor but all they could tell me was that I shouldn't have been able to see the first 50 minutes - my Pin should have been requested before the film started.

On reading some of the articles on your site, I see that adult material cannot be shown after 5.30am. All the Bergman films in this season had subtitles and none had any visual sex. The only review of this particular film on IMDb does say it has a few erotic scenes but these appear to have been verbal descriptions. The film was made for TV and doesn't appear the have a certificate, other than 16 in Argentina! However, I can't imagine anyone under 15 watching or being in any way corrupted by the last 15 minutes of a black and white, subtitled film at 5.30am.

I realise that if there are rules they have to apply to all. I can understand the reasons for an early evening watershed. However, an early morning watershed of 5.30am means any film, however highly regarded, which contains scenes of an adult nature can't start after 3.30 - 4.00am, so extending viewing restrictions even further.

Any suggestions to joeyelland@yahoo.co.uk.

 

21st February   

Get Your Melonfarming Hands in the Air...

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Melon Farmers logoThe BBC was censured yesterday by Ofcom, the media watchdog, after a number of performers used bad language during live coverage of last summer's Live 8 concert.

No time delay was used for the broadcast and the language, which sparked 400 complaints, was heard by young viewers before the 9pm watershed.

Madonna broke the swearing ban when she shouted Are you fucking ready, London? as she came on stage, while Johnny Borrell, lead singer of Razorlight, said: I say sign the fucking petition in reference to calls to ban world poverty. Snoop Dogg repeatedly chanted Get your motherfucking hands in the air.

The BBC said it regretted the offence caused to viewers, but also blamed a "confrontation" with the organisers for the fact that its key staff missed the performance by Snoop Dogg.

By the time the scale of the problem with Snoop Dogg's performance had become clear, the Corporation said it was felt that the moment for a full apology had passed, and that to have returned to the issue would have merely drawn further attention to the original offence.

BBC officials told Ofcom they had approached some performers before the concert over the issue of language, but had not been given access to all the stars.

Snoop Dogg's record company had assured the BBC the rapper would do "TV versions" of his songs, without swearing.

However, Ofcom criticised the BBC for not imposing a time delay, failing to ensure a senior editorial figure was monitoring output, and not giving an apology during the broadcast.

In a separate ruling, ITV soap opera Coronation Street was cleared by Ofcom following the use of the term "poor white trash" by an Asian character, a remark which prompted 500 complaints.

Ofcom said that while the term had obvious racist overtones, it could also be used in context to describe a "low socio-economic group".

Glasgow radio station Xfm apologised to the media regulator after broadcasting an Ice Cube song containing "fuck". The station's owners said the song had been mistakenly labelled as a "clean edit" in the station's computer system.

BBC Radio 1 breakfast DJ Chris Moyles was reprimanded by station managers yesterday after using "fuck" in conversation with a caller.

 

17th February   

Kung Fu Kiss...

Link Here

Melon Farmers logoA TV advert featuring women kung-fu fighting and a lesbian kiss has attracted 50 complaints.

The French Connection advert shows a blonde and a brunette model fighting in a basement before getting soaked in water and sharing a passionate kiss.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it has received around 50 complaints since the clip was first aired on Sunday night. A spokeswoman said: Complaints have been on two points. Some believe it's offensive in its sexual nature, particularly the lesbian kiss. Others have complained about the violence.

The new advert, directed by Duncan Jones, the son of singer David Bowie, is only shown after the 9pm watershed. The two models are initially immaculately dressed, but then throw each other around in violent scenes reminiscent of the film The Matrix. Their kiss is cut short with a headbutt from the dark-haired model, at which point the clip ends.

 

1st February   

Four Hung Out to Dry...

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Melon Farmers logoChannel 4 is facing investigation by Ofcom, the television regulator, over a stunt in which a man was hung from a gallows on live television.

Jonathan Goodwin, an escapologist, was supposed to free himself from a noose within 30 seconds but the stunt was said to have failed and a friend had to step in to cut him down.

More than a dozen viewers complained about the programme, Death Wish Live! Channel 4 received six complaints from viewers and Ofcom received seven.

Ofcom is now investigating whether the programme has breached broadcasting guidelines.

A Channel 4 spokesman said: As a result of a pre-arranged safety measure, when Jonathan did not manage to escape within 30 seconds, his friend cut the noose. At no point was Jonathan's life in danger. Jonathan was immediately seen by paramedics on site who have confirmed that he is well and his only injuries are minor rope burns."

Goodwin said:
I was told it was dangerous and stupid and it turns out that the advice was right. But despite a sore neck, I am fine and hope to be buried alive on Friday.

 

24th January   

Slappers at Ofcom...

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Melon Farmers logoGCap has apologised for causing offence over a talkback session on Capital Gold in which the presenter described a young, single mother as a "dirty slapper".

Two listeners complained about the programme, which was broadcast at 10.30pm on October 19. They were offended by remarks made by the presenter, Alex Belfield, as well as by language used by two callers in response to his remarks.

The topic under discussion was teenage pregnancies and Belfield referred to a report on a 16-year-old girl who had given birth to triplets.

During the discussion, he condemned the girl in the article and expressed his condemnation of young, single mothers in general, including expressions such as "dirty little tart" and "dirty little slapper". It was in response to these views that two callers to the programme then referred to him as a "cunt".

GCap Media, owner of Capital Gold, has apologised for any offence to listeners and fully acknowledged that the presenter's comments had been inappropriate and unacceptable.

Ofcom said that had taken the issue very seriously, and that the phone-in element was suspended for the rest of the programme that evening and internal measures had since been put in place to address the issues raised by the broadcast: However, the presenter's handling of the discussion was seriously ill-judged and the broadcaster should have taken appropriate steps to prevent callers from using such language live on air. ruling.

It found the station in breach of the rule on general standards.

 

12th January   

Ofcom on Dope...

Link Here

Melon Farmers logoWeeds , Sky One, 11 October 2005, 22:00

Found to be in breach of programme code

Introduction

This new drama series follows the life of Nancy, a suburban mother in California who, recently widowed, turned to drug dealing to try and make ends meet. A viewer was concerned at the apparent endorsement of drug-taking, underage sex and the use of seriously offensive language, including the word "cunt".

Decision

We consider that this series was appropriately scheduled at 22:00, well after the watershed. Although a comedy, it dealt with the themes of drug-taking and underage sex in a realistic manner which did not endorse or promote these activities.

Whilst audience research does show that generally young adults are more tolerant of seriously offensive language, the word "cunt" is considered to be one of the most offensive words to any audience. In the context of this drama, we do not believe that most viewers would have been offended by the use of this language, but there was a possibility that some viewers would have been unprepared for the amount and level of swearing in the first episode of this new series.

The Broadcasting Code requires broadcasters to provide "appropriate information to assist in avoiding or minimising offence" if programmes contain material which may cause offence. Announcements alerting viewers to potentially offensive material may not always be necessary.

This was a new drama, broadcast on a general entertainment channel, which was unfamiliar to the audience and it contained strong offensive language from the outset, including the word "cunt". The pre-publicity for this series would have given viewers an indication of the themes of this drama, but neither this nor the title of the series would necessarily have indicated the strength of language used. Given these factors, we believe that information informing viewers of the content should have been given. This would have provided viewers with the necessary information to make an informed decision whether to view this programme.

Breach of Rule 2.3 (generally accepted standards "appropriate information")

 

12th January   

Lambs to the Slaughter...

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Melon Farmers logoThe F Word
Channel 4, 15 December 2005, 20:00

This is a new series featuring Gordon Ramsay looking at a wide range of aspects in the food and catering industry. Produced in a contemporary style, it features both light-hearted and more challenging items. In this episode, the presenter arranges for the slaughter of a number of turkeys in preparation for Christmas. The turkeys had been brought from a specialist free-range farm to live in the garden of Gordon Ramsay's family home at the start of the series.

27 viewers complained that the slaughter of the turkeys was distressing and that it was unnecessary to show it, particularly before the 21:00 watershed when younger viewers may have been watching.

18 viewers also wrote in support of the item and to counter reported complaints to Ofcom and Channel 4.

Decision Found not in breach of programme code

It was clear from the first programme in the series that the turkeys were bht specifically to be slaughtered for Christmas. In the introduction to that programme, Gordon Ramsay said: I live in the city. I want my children to learn and understand where their food comes from . His wife added: We are going to grow Christmas lunch. He [Gordon] wants to make the children understand that Christmas lunch comes from somewhere and not just the supermarket.

There were warnings at the beginning of the programme, which featured the slaughter, (broadcast on 15 December 2005) and before the event itself. The commentary to the programme said that the slaughter of the turkeys was performed by a licensed slaughterman and in a way that complied with current UK standards. Gordon Ramsay expressed the views that, nevertheless, this was a controversial event and, in some ways, hard to take when he pointed out that he felt in some way "guilty" as he prepared to bring the first turkey to the slaughter.

In our view, the issue as a whole was treated in a responsible and professional way. The clear intention from the outset was to explain both to the viewer and Gordon Ramsay's family the process which brings turkey meat to people's tables on Christmas day. While the procedure itself was shown in full, there were no unduly distressing scenes. We do not consider that the images were sufficiently distressing for them to have gone beyond generally accepted standards in this particular programme, on this channel at this time.


Jamie's Great Escape , Channel 4, 9 November 2005, 20:30

Found not in breach of programme code

Introduction

This series features the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver travelling around Italy in a camper van, sampling the cuisine and culture of different regions. In this programme, Jamie was visiting a hill farmer who invited him to help prepare for a family feast. For that reason, Jamie was encouraged by the farmer to select a lamb and slaughter it. This Jamie did.

30 viewers complained that this material was not suitable for pre-watershed viewing and/or that such a practice is illegal in this country, since the animal needs to have been stunned first before being slaughtered.

Decision

The early scenes in the programme, and the presenter's commentary itself, made it clear Jamie Oliver would be slaughtering a lamb. It was clear from the programme that the presenter found it emotionally difficult to carry out his task but the lamb did not struggle or make any distressing noises. There was almost no blood shown, and, arguably, it was hard to see what was happening at all. The sequence concluded with a comment explaining that such events go on all the time and that this particular process was part and parcel of life in the region.

The presenter went on to criticise mass, mechanical slaughter and suggested that if people had found the scenes distressing then perhaps they should consider becoming vegetarian.

We consider that the programme treated the matter responsibly and informatively. There were no graphic distressing scenes and the programme sought to reflect a tradition that has been going on throughout the world, and in that particular part of Italy, for thousands of years. Whilst it may be illegal to slaughter animals in the UK without stunning them first, the programme was clearly set in Italy and the audience would have been aware of that context, and the cultural differences that went with it. We also believe that it is unlikely that the programme would encourage anyone in this country to slaughter an animal illegally.

 

8th January   

Mothersuckers!...

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Melon Farmers logoKojak's lollipop has fallen foul of the first Advertising Standards adjudication of the New Year.

The ASA rulings upheld complaints against ITV for its poster advertising the remake of classic police drama Kojak , which showed the word "Mothersucker" with the cop's iconic lollipop superimposed over the letter "o".

ITV's defence that it had sited the "Mothersucker" ads away from residential area was not enough for the ASA to drop its charges of breaching codes on decency and advertising to children:
The ad would be seen by some people to refer to a deeply offensive expletive

 

4th January   

Personalised PINS...

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Melon Farmers logoA potential improvement...BUT...

Will households without children (or those that choose to do so anyway) be able to turn this facility off?

Will one entry of a PIN be enough to last until the end of the film or will it need re-entering after channel hopping?

From Digital Spy

Sky is to use its new PIN-protection software to broadcast 15-rated movies in a teatime slot from next month.

In order to watch the films, viewers will have to first key in their personalised PIN number before they are granted access to the channel. The mechanism provides some protection against children inadvertently accessing the material.

The movies will appear on a new channel, Sky Movies 10, which will air from 5pm to 3am daily from February 1. Sky Movies 9 will similarly slash its hours and adopt the same format.

15-plus titles on the slate in the first month include Layer Cake, Once Upon A Time In Mexico, Identity and Anger Management.

Sky Cinema 1 and 2 will relocate to EPG positions 313 and 314 respectively to accommodate the new station and future launches.