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13th March

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Versailles on BBC2
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versailles The new BBC blockbuster Versailles is described by the Corporation as a delicious treat for viewers, but MPs and morality campaigners are 'outraged' by its nudity and sex scenes, and have described it as porn dressed up in a cravat and tights .

The Daily Mail gushes:

The lavish French-made series, which depicts the decadent and debauched life of France's Sun King, Louis XIV, is set to be the most sexually graphic costume drama ever shown on British TV.

The drama produced by Canal Plus has been shown in France and caused immediate controversy about it being filmed in English.

In the Conservative MP and sound bite provider Andrew Bridgen whinged:

There are channels where, if you wish to view this sort of material, you would have to pay for it. BBC viewers don't have a choice. They have to pay for it whether they approve or not.

Is this an example of the BBC dumbing down and seeking more sensationalised programming? That's an arms race to the bottom -- quite literally in this case.

Norman Wells, director of the morality campaign group Family Education Trust whinged:

Public service broadcasting is meant to be for the public benefit, but it is very difficult to see whose benefit is being served by showing such highly graphic and explicit scenes on TV.

Sam Burnett, of Mediawatch UK, whinged:

Dressing up pornography and violence in a cravat and tights doesn't make it cultural.

The BBC is yet to confirm a broadcast time for the ten-part series, which is expected to be screened in May. Asked if the BBC would be running the drama in full, a spokesman said: Why wouldn't we be? Sue Deeks, BBC head of programme acquisition, added: Versailles will be a delicious treat for BBC2 viewers.

 

17th February

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Woman's Hour season on feminist literature: The Fear of Flying by Erica Jong
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Fear Flying Erica Jong Radio 4 is to broadcast a mid-morning adaptation of the seminal feminist novel, Fear of Flying , complete with strong language and sexual descriptions. The BBC said it will will not censor the swearwords or sexual content.

The BBC station will air a five-part adaptation of Fear of Flying, the 1973 novel by the feminist writer Erica Jong , next week.  The first episode, which will air on Monday at 10:45am, features a reference to finger-fucking , and there are also mentions of the zipless fuck , and descriptions of how the central character longs to be filled up with a giant prick spouting semen .

While television has a 9pm watershed, no similar restrictions apply to radio. The BBC says that Radio 4 is an adult network, that listeners will be given a series of warnings about graphic content, and that children will be back at school after half term.

Vivienne Pattison, the director of Mediawatch-UK, said:

This could be on in the kitchen, or the car. A lot of children might hear it. I don't think it is acceptable. Lots of people don't realise there is no watershed on radio, and get quite shocked.

A BBC spokesman said:

Radio 4 is an adult network and the drama slot after Woman's Hour is long established with listeners expecting it to deal with a full range of adult issues which, on occasion, and when appropriate to the situation, include a realistic reflection of strong language.

Fear of Flying is recognised as one of the most seminal, culturally significant pieces of feminist writing from the past 50 years and its broadcast will be contextualised by discussions on Woman's Hour and strong language warnings.

 

17th December

  Luke Warm 'Outrage'...

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The Daily Mail and Mediawatch-UK try to stir up a bit of unconvincing 'outrage' about The Force Awakens being unsuitable for young children
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Poster Star Wars the Force Awakens 2015 Jj Abrams The Daily Mail writes:

Ss the stars and their starry-eyed fans gathered for the premiere of the latest Star Wars movie , there were fears that the 2bn blockbuster may be too frightening for the young audience its 12A rating will target.

With villagers slaughtered, characters tortured and an entire planet obliterated in one shot, The Force Awakens paints a picture of a very violent universe. Experts say the film looks to be far more graphic than the original trilogy from the 1970s and 1980s which was billed as a fairy tale style adventure

As the on-screen body count mounts, parents have been urged to consider whether they should take young children to see it.

And by 'experts' the Daily Mail is referring to the likes of Vivienne Pattison, director of Mediawatch UK, who wailed:

Many parents will remember the original Star Wars films of the 1970s and 1980s, which were lower ratings. Of course, what made a PG then is very different to what makes a PG now and I think that's part of the problem actually.

They would have been under a lot of pressure actually to get a 12A because it means they will be able to sell more tickets. It means that as a parent you are expected to go a see a film first to decide whether it's suitable for your child.

Mary Whitehouse


Vivienne Pattison

Mediawatch-UK

A British pressure group  which campaigns against the publication and broadcast of media content that it views as harmful and offensive, such as violence, profanity, sex, homosexuality and blasphemy.

It was formed in 1965 by Nary Whitehouse as the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association. The group changed its name to Mediawatch-UK in 2001.

Presidents:
 - Mary Whitehouse 1965-1994
 - John Beyer 1994-2009
 - Vivienne Pattison 2009-present

Now most notable for providing sound bites providing 'outraged viewers' for stories in the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph.

Websites:
www.mediawatchuk.org.uk
mediawatch-uk.blogspot.com

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