An Australian politician wrote a newspaper column criticising a parenting campaign 'No Gender December'. This stirred up a hornets nest of PC extremists and bullies who were determined to shut down all comments against the campaign.
Rita Panahi wrote an entertaining piece about the tactics and effectiveness of these PC censors on this issue and others:
WILL 2014 be remembered as the year of the totalitarian? While the most extreme forms of oppressive rule take hold in other parts of the world, we have our own dictators demanding we adhere to their moral code.
We seem to have drifted into a worrying trend where self-appointed ethical guardians display a puritanical fervour to ban things they deem offensive, no matter how misplaced or overblown their offence may be.
We are in an era where clicktivists use their undiminishing reserves of outrage to orchestrate campaigns to ban T-shirts, video games, songs with offensive lyrics ... they have even attempted to ban former Labor leader Mark Latham's musings.
During these offence orgies, the easily affronted band together to bully individuals or companies which don't conform to their narrow world view.
Criticism, condemnation and boycotts are no longer enough; like spoilt children demanding vegetables disappear from their dinner plate, the hashtag-happy harpies believe that what they don't like should no longer exist.
Washington's football team can relax as, TV and radio stations can now say its name without fearing government PC censorship.
US TV censors of the Federal Communications Commission have rejected a petition that claimed the name Redskins violates broadcast indecency rules.
The author of the petition, George Washington law professor John Banzhaf III, claimed that the derogatory racial and ethnic slur is deeply offensive to American Indians. The word amounts to obscenity and profanity, which the FCC bans from
the airwaves, Banzhaf said.
But in its ruling, the FCC's Media Bureau noted that it has traditionally banned only words that are sexual or excretory in nature. The agency also warned that banning the name could violate the free-speech rights of TV and radio stations.
Banzhaf's petition had asked the commission to reject the license renewal of WWXX-FM, a radio station owned by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder that had repeatedly said the team's name on the air. Instead, the FCC renewed the license, saying it found
no serious violations.
Banzhaf said he plans to appeal the decision to the full commission and, if necessary, to the federal courts.
David Dinsmore, the editor of the Sun, has been named as 2014's sexist of the year after a poll run by the feminist campaigning coalition, End Violence Against Women (EVAW). He will be sent a No More Page 3 t-shirt as a prize for what EVAW
calls its prestigious annual award.
It calls Dinsmore a worthy winner because he has:
Dug his heels in over the daily circulation of pornography in a freely available bottom shelf newspaper despite a powerful national campaign led by young women against Page 3.
The runner-up in the poll is Rockstar Games for its Grand Theft Auto 5 game, in which players are able to murder a woman in prostitution.
Honourable mentions go to Ukip's leader Nigel Farage for being a breast-feeding supporter.
In times past, they would have carried greetings of goodwill amid peaceful Yuletide scenes. Christmas cards of today are just as likely to sport obscene, offensive or even anti-Christian messages. The main offender is the stationery chain
Scribbler which stocks the explicit cards in full view of children.
One carries the slogan: Ho Ho Ho Mother Fucker ; a second features Father Christmas under the slogan Merry Kiss My Ass ; a third says on the front: This Christmas Treat Yourself to some Arse .
Norman Wells of the Family Education Trust spouted:
Crude and offensive greetings cards have no place in high street stores. Parents should be able to shop with their children without being confronted by products that are calculated to cause embarrassment or offence.
Some of the cards reflect a deep-seated prejudice against Christianity. It is hard to imagine such blasphemous and sacrilegious sentiments being tolerated if they were targeted at any other religion.
Kathy McGuinness, of Childs Eyes UK, which campaigns against sexy images, spouted:
Our concern is for what children see, but a lot of adults and Christians would find these cards and images offensive. It is not appropriate for children, if you look at the language the firm is using. We have a broadcasting watershed on TV.
We have to be very careful about making jokes about other religions, but when it comes to Christianity it seems to be open season.
John Proctor, who owns the Scribbler chain said:
It is all a question of one's own standards and viewpoint. There should be humour in religion. I know our local vicar finds a lot of the cards that we sell are amusing. I don't think the fact that someone has a particular religious inclination,
feeling or faith should preclude humour.
Former Plaid Cymru president Dafydd Iwan has claimed that the Tom Jones' classic, and Welsh rugby anthem, Delilah is 'inappropriate' for rugby crowds.
He claims it somehow promotes domestic violence and should be banned for its violent lyrics. He spouted:
It is a song about murder and it does tend to trivialise the idea of murdering a woman. It's a pity these words now have been elevated to the status of a secondary national anthem. I think we should rummage around for another song instead of
The Welsh Rugby Union disagrees though, comparing the lyrics to Shakespeare plays such as Romeo and Juliet.
And Tom Jones says he doesn't think rugby crowds really think about the lyrics when singing Delilah. He said he was proud the song was used at rugby matches and said the song's subject matter simply reflected something that happens in life
The lyrics include the lines:
At break of day when that man drove away, I was waiting.
I cross the street to her house and she opened the door.
She stood there laughing... I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more.
Wrapping paper featuring a blue and silver design has been withdrawn from shops after a complaint that the gift wrap featured swastikas.
A shopper noticed the paper in a display for the jewish holiday of Hanukkah at a branch of Walgreens in California, US, and complained.
Hallmark Cards apologised and said that any similarity to a swastika was unintentional, adding that the pattern has been in the company's reference archives for several years:
As soon as we were made aware of the situation, we began taking steps to remove the gift wrap from all store shelves and we will ensure the pattern is not used on any product formats going forward, a company statement said. We sincerely
apologise for this oversight and for any unintended offense.
Sometimes, the world looks like a bleak place: the Middle East is still rocked by bloody violence, endangering thousands of innocent lives; millions around the world are still dying from poverty and preventable diseases. And yet, No More Page 3
(NMP3) campaigners are still convinced that the real crisis facing humanity today is the influence of boobs on working-class men.
The controversial performance installation Exhibit B by Brett Bailey is set to begin a seven-day run on Sunday in Paris's Centquatre contemporary arts centre.
Campaigners wanting the exhibit banned and claim that the show is racist. Galvanised by the example of the UK where protesters succeeded in getting the show cancelled at London's Barbican theatre in September, the French Collective Against
Exhibit B continues to call for a boycott .
But the theatre refuses to back down to the harassment and says the show will go ahead in the name of both free speech and future dialogue over the many difficult issues the show raises.
Unfortunately, there'll be a heavy police presence, says theatre director Jose'-Manuel Goncalves: People, families, won't be able to circulate like they usually do. But the show will go on at Centquatre. He says:
This is not a racist work. If it were, there are laws in France which would ban it. It's an important work. As many people as possible have to see it.
Tickets are sold out, not just for tonight but for the week-long run.
Clinton Cards has been bullied into dropping a Christmas card jokily likening Santa to 'a council estate man'.
The card details the 10 reasons Santa Claus must live on a council estate and features a picture of a tower block and Father Christmas, with the cover message: 10 reasons Santa Claus must live on a council estate... Ten not
particularly pithy reasons following including:
He has a serial record for breaking and entering!
He only works once a year
A few humourless people whinged on Twitter. Kerry McCarthy, the Labour MP for Bristol East led the PC lynch mob writing: Wow, this is so wrong.
A Clintons spokesman told The Independent:
A card in our range has been withdrawn immediately. It is in no way reflective of our views and we apologise without reservation.
We are investigating how this offensive card got through our quality control procedures, which we will review and tighten as a result of this incident. This was a mistake and we deeply regret the upset that this has clearly caused.
An advertising poster in a Peta campaign against consuming dairy produce has been pulled from display following whinges from Notts County football club.
The billboard image shows a startled woman whose face has been drenched in a white liquid substance next to the words Some bodily fluids are bad for you. Don't swallow. Ditch Dairy.
Notts County complained that the nearby advert was not in keeping with [their] community and family-focused values. Damian Irvine, Commercial Director at the club ejaculated:
Families coming along to Meadow Lane for our blockbuster Christmas matches against Swindon Town on December 13 and against MK Dons on Boxing Day will not be subjected to the ads.
The design, which was described by the local paper as like the aftermath of a sex act , was commissioned and set to be displayed throughout December after a Swedish study claimed that an increased risk of bone fractures and mortality are
linked to dairy products .
Mimi Bekhechi, director of Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), said:
The billboard is a cheeky way to alert passers-by to the dangers of drinking cows' milk.
An animal rights group has been branded misogynistic by a women's rights group. Campaign group Resist Porn Culture claimed the Peta poster was sexist and called for tighter regulations.
Lisa Marie-Taylor, from Resist Porn Culture, said adverts of this kind were inspired by the pornography industry, which she claiomed depicts women as subservient and often brutalised beings :
Peta's sexist, misogynist adverts aim to be original and thought-provoking but they are neither. Resist Porn Culture calls on the ASA to implement more stringent guidelines around such adverts and insists that the ASA adheres to its purpose and
strategy statement 'to make every UK ad a responsible ad'.
A Peta spokesman said the billboard was a tongue-in-cheek warning about the dairy industry's treatment of cows:
While some people might disagree with our tactics, there is no one final word on what offends women and what doesn't. Many of the women here - and the women who have written in telling us they love the ad - have a different opinion.
Censors at the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said they had received 9 complaints and were considering an investigation. '
The anti-dairy poster by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) was placed outside Notts County FC's stadium on Thursday. It was taken down the next day and has now been replaced. Peta said another advert against eating turkey for
Christmas would go up later this week instead.
Pippi Longstocking, a rambunctious, joyful girl strong enough to lift horses, has become a touchstone for generations of children who have read her in 65 languages worldwide.
In Sweden, Pippi is something more: a national treasure and embodiment of the country's egalitarian spirit. So when the Swedish national broadcaster announced this fall that it would edit two scenes that it considered offensive in a 1969
television series about Pippi, including one in which she says her father is king of the Negroes, using a Swedish word now viewed as a racial slur, it hit a nerve.
The series was based on the Pippi Longstocking books by Astrid Lindgren, the first of which were published between 1945 and 1948. Defenders of the decision, including the heirs of Ms. Lindgren, who died in 2002, said the change respected the
spirit of the author. Even in 1970, she had called the term outdated and said she had not meant to offend.
But many others, influential opinion columnists and tens of thousands of people who answered a Facebook poll, said they opposed the revision, some accusing the broadcaster, SVT, of politically correct censorship.
Nils Nyman, one of Ms. Lindgren's seven grandchildren and the chief executive of the family company that oversees the lucrative rights to her work, said he was a little bit surprised that the changes had generated so much fuss. He
said the family had readily agreed to allow SVT to edit two brief scenes in the program, which will air on national television on Saturday and in a newly restored DVD. He said that not making the changes risked distracting from the books' broader
message of girl power before it was known as such.
In one scene, the racial slur has been removed so that Pippi now says, My father is the king! In the second, Pippi no longer pulls her eyelids upward, pretending to be Asian, yet still sings a mock Chinese song.
The BBC has investigated the imaginary character of the lovely Samantha on Radio 4's I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue , it has been disclosed.
The BBC has privately looked into whether to censor the smutty jokes aimed at Samantha , despite publicly signalling the familiar innuendo will remain part of the long-running show. A number of senior figures at the corporation are
said to share the concerns of a complainant, who argued the non-speaking character was referred to only as a sexual object and perpetuated schoolboy, sexist, so-called humour .
As a result, talks have been held to determine how the show can adapt to the modern day, with more female panellists booked to appear on the show and more frequent mentions of Samantha's male equivalent, Sven. It will also endeavour to make sure
the audience understands Samantha, a fictional scorekeeper who is never heard on the panel show, is a willing, even enthusiastic participant in the liaisons joked about on air.
The details of the meetings have been published by the BBC Trust as part a regular bulletin from its Editorial Standards Committee , the final arbiter of appeals if listeners and viewers are unhappy with the way their initial complaints have been
dealt with by BBC management. On this occasion, it found, the complainant's appeal did not qualify to proceed for consideration because it did not have a reasonable prospect of success. But the report detailed the many steps already taken
since the first complaint was received by Radio 4's Feedback in July 2013.
However the true extent of behind-the-scenes discussions has now been revealed, with the complainant claiming the public statement contradicted the actual correspondence she had with the BBC. A letter from a member of the Editorial Complaints
Unit had instead told her there had been:
Lengthy and detailed discussion between senior managers with a number of senior figures share, at least in part, your concerns about the manner in which Samantha in portrayed.
The report published by the BBC Trust states:
The complainant explained that she had also had further correspondence with the show's producer who acknowledged that a high-level meeting had taken place and outlined the changes that were planned for the show including booking female
panellists, featuring Sven (the male equivalent of Samantha) more frequently and making sure the audience understood Samantha was a willing even enthusiastic participant in the liaisons and stress that she was often the initiator in these
relationships to avoid the suggestion that she was being taken advantage of.
Protesters in Paris are now calling for the banning of an art show featuring black actors in cages that mimic the human zoos of the 19th century. It has already been scrapped in London due to a political correctness outcry.
The white South African artist Brett Bailey says his Exhibit B , which mimics the late 19th- and early 20th-century phenomenon of the human zoo , is meant to raise awareness of the racism of Europe's colonial past.
It is due to open in the French capital later this month, but it is now raising heckles among censorship campaigners such as those behind a French petition to have it stopped and who see it as an exhibition composed of degrading
representations of black people. A petition that has been signed by 14,000 people.
France's black campaign group CRAN claimed it was not calling for the exhibition to be stopped ...BUT... said that while:
It might be well-intentioned it reinforces stereotypes. It shows black people as passive and as victims, CRAN president Louis-Georges Tin told The Local. It never shows the struggle by black people for their own emancipation.
The two state-funded centres where the show is to take place, the Centquatre and the Theatre Gerard Philippe, vowed in an open letter this week that the show would go ahead and that they would not cave in to protesters who had not even seen the
A divisive art show featuring black actors in cages as a portrayal of 19th century human zoos had to be halted on Thursday after more than 120 aggressive protesters smashed their way into Paris theatre where it was being held.
Journalist Gilda Di Carli who was covering the event for The Local said:
At about 6:40pm things started getting lively as protesters, who numbered around 100 started arguing with police officers. Then the metal barrier was pushed over and everyone, protesters and journalists included, rushed up the stairs toward the
entrance of the theatre.
The police were lined up in front of the doors and there was a lot of shouting and chanting. The police were blowing their whistles as protesters chanted slogans such as No to racism and Cancel the show.
It took Paris police five minutes to break up the what theatre directors described as a riot, by which stage protesters had smashed one of the building's window panes and knocked over several barriers.
Two shows took place before theatre director Jean Bellorini decided to cancel other showings.
The Illiberal Democrat Lynne Featherstone, a Home Office minister, has demanded a ban on controversial US pick-up artist Julien Blanc from entering Britain. She siad she was lobbying Home Secretary Theresa May to refuse the self-styled
dating coach a visa.
Blanc has offended over his £ 2,000-a-head seminars in which he is said to teach men sexually abusive and racist methods to attract women. He is said to encourage men to treat women with disrespect
and contempt, including video footage of him apparently grabbing women by the throat. Other recommended pick-up methods include threatening to commit suicide, injuring pets and isolating women from friends. It would be interesting to hear a more
measured review of his material rather than rely on Daily Mail reporting designed to invoke 'outrage'.
I am extremely concerned by the sexist and utterly abhorrent statements Julien Blanc has made about women. If he was allowed to perform in the UK I have no doubt that cases of sexual harassment and intimidation would increase. Mr Blanc
disturbingly encourages men to treat women with disrespect and contempt Liberal Democrat Lynne Featherstone has lobbied Home Secretary Theresa May to refuse the self-styled dating coach a visa
Free speech is obviously hugely important ...BUT... with free speech comes responsibility. It is not appropriate to talk about choking girls under any circumstances.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said Blanc should be barred from coming to the UK on the grounds that his promotion of violence against women is not conducive to the public good . She said:
It is important that respect for the laws on sexual assault and violence are upheld and that we send a clear message from Britain about zero tolerance of violence against women and girls.
More than 110,000 people have signed an online petition calling for Blanc to be refused entry to the UK after he was forced to cut short a visit to Australia following widespread protests.
Update: The whole point of freedom of speech is to not let bullies and lynch mobs prevail. So its sad to see our senior politicians head up the baying for blood
Controversial pick-up artist Julien Blanc has been denied a visa to enter the UK after a sustained campaign to prevent him from touring in Britain, it has been reported.
Blanc, who calls himself the international leader in dating advice , was forced to swiftly exit Australia after his visa was withdrawn amid claims his dating seminars teach abusive techniques.
An online petition calling on the Home Secretary Theresa May to deny the US citizen a visa to enter Britain gained more than 150,000 signatures. And indeed Blanc has now been barred from entering the UK by the Home Office.
Update: Suddenly it is a world wide policy to ban supposedly offensive speakers
Singapore has also banned U.S. pick-up artist Julien Blanc from entering the country to conduct seminars after over 8,000 people signed a petition accusing him of legitimizing sexual assault and predation.
Officials in other Asian countries where the 26-year-old Swiss-American had planned to travel on a world tour have also indicated that he may not be granted a visa.
Singapore authorities will bar Blanc from entering the country especially if he is here to hold seminars or events that propagate violence against women, a government statement said:
Blanc has been involved in seminars in various countries that advised men to use highly abusive techniques when dating women. Violence against women or any persons is against Singapore law.
A petition against Blanc started by Singaporean Charis Mah on the change.org website had called on Interior Minister Teo Chee Hean to exclude this individual from Singapore or deport him if he has already entered.
Sony has taken down one a video from YouTube after a few 'outraged' whingers claimed that the ad was sexist and disgusting.
The ad featuring a sexy female doctor trying to market Sony's PlayStation Vita, which allows gamers to play on a second screen connected to the console when the TV is not available.
The hot lady doctor doesn't directly talk about PS Vita, at least not for most of the video. Instead, she spouts out an innuendo-ridden monologue that appears to imply that the viewer has been masturbating too much:
How many times did you do it yesterday? Are you afraid you're doing it too often? In the bedroom under your blankets? Or perhaps you prefer the kitchen or in the toilet? You no longer have to feel ashamed. Everybody's doing it because it's
fantastic. And now you can keep going all day long.
The Verge's Kwame Opam calls the ad a little sleazy, Now, there's nothing wrong with being sexy ...BUT... that sexiness is in service of a male audience that's fixed and behaves in a certain way.
Supermarket Tesco will no longer show the front covers of tabloid newspapers to avoid children seeing sexualised pictures of young women .
After months of lobbying by campaign groups No More Page 3 and Child Eyes, the largest supermarket chain in the UK said it would change the design of its news cube stands so newspapers will not be displayed vertically.
Tesco will now only show the names and logos of newspapers on the sides of the display stands. Customers will now have to walk right up to the display in order to see what's on the front of the newspapers. The policy will affect how all tabloid
papers are displayed, from the red tops to mid-market titles like The Daily Mail and The Express.
Representatives from No More Page 3 and Child Eyes, which campaigns against sexual imagery met with Tesco at its head office in September to convey their ideas for censorship.
Tracey Clements, customer experience and insight director for Tesco, said:
We are first and foremost a family retailer and it's important we do everything we can to promote the right environment in store. We've asked our customers what they think about the issue and we have spoken to campaigners. The change we're
making will strike the right balance for everyone.
It seems that the word 'balance' has now adopted the new meaning of censorship being imposed and/or rights being taken away.
Waitrose followed has followed Tesco's lead in censoring newspaper covers, saying it had been working on it for some time and would be changing their newspaper fixtures to display covers out of children's eyelines.
Offsite Comment: Modern Mary Whitehouses Want to Censor Newspapers, Magazines, Clothes and even Mugs
25th November 2014.
Right wing US commentators have fun watching Tesco censoring newspaper covers:
We received some complaints unhappy with comments made by presenter Nick Conrad.
Response from the BBC
During Nick's programme there was a wide-ranging, hour long debate with listeners about the ethics surrounding the Ched Evans case. Nick made it very clear that he strongly believes rape to be an abhorrent and unacceptable act. He was also joined
on-air by Sarah Green from End Violence Against Women who spoke at length with both Nick and callers to the programme.
However, Nick also made some very ill judged comments and BBC management has made it clear to him that they were inappropriate.
Nick is very sorry for any offence he has caused and he sincerely apologised at the beginning of his programme on 20 November.
Susan Marenco wrote a book titled Barbie: I Can Be A Computer Engineer. But it didn't go down well with the PC lynch mob. On day she woke up to 146 hate mails and a call from the US TV show, Good Morning America.
The mob attacked the book after The Daily Dot picked it up. Most of the review focused on supposed sexism sending the wrong message to young girls interested in technology. One excerpt from the book reads:
I'm only creating the design ideas, Barbie says, laughing. I'll need Steven's and Brian's help to turn it into a real game!
One 'Outraged' reader whinged:
I work as a software engineer, which is a male dominated field. It is exactly these stereotypes and portrayals of girls like the one in this book that are the driving force behind the lack of girls wanting to enter these lucrative technology
fields,. This book is part of the problem. I hope Random House replaces this book with something more appropriate for children.
Marenco, who wrote the Barbie book for Mattel, protests that she's a feminist. She's also a technology professional. She told KidsTech News that she tries to be politically aware in her work.
As a writer, when I write, I think about this and I try to replace the professional white males with Asian females. I try and I'm conscious of this, because it's part of my political upbringing, she says. You have to have this on the forefront
of your mind or you slip back into that mindset of the traditional Barbie.
Mattel, maker of all things Barbie, quickly pulled the book from sale on Amazon.
In liberal-left culture, the contempt was manifested by the replacement of social democracy with identity politics. For good reasons, admirable people championed the causes of women, ethnic minorities and gays. As they did so, the Left became
more middle class and more concerned with cultural struggles than economics.
The switch in emphasis meant that the white working class was no longer the main object of middle-class reformers' concern. In the twentieth century, the workers had been the exploited producers of wealth whose emancipation would herald a
glorious future. By the twenty-first, its male members were sexist, racist homophobes; cultural conservatives suspected of harbouring unsavoury patriotic feelings. They went from being the salt of the earth to the scum of the earth in three
generations, and as Thatcher and Reagan had shown, when the liberals despise the working class the opportunities for backlash politics are boundless.
Comment: Censored whilst claiming to be uncensored
22nd November 2014. From Alan
I don't always agree with Cohen, but I'm sure he's right about this.
I'm all for equal rights in the workplace -- and did my bit for decades as a union official -- but what passes for feminism seems to have parted company with the concept of class. For most of the women I represented in negotiations with
management, a glass ceiling was an absurd concept, because neither they nor their male colleagues saw it.
The Rochester white van man is a case in point. I've never met Emily Thornberry, and have no idea whether she's a snob or not, but her photo of the house with the English flags and van could easily be construed as snobbery, when the perp
is a lawyer from Islington. Somebody like Dennis Skinner or the late Eric Heffer could have posted that picture saying it was an example of the challenge of convincing parts of the south-eastern working class of Labour values, giving no
ammunition for similar attacks.
A tweet on the GiffGaff mobile phone company Twitter feed, which could be accessed by an embedded feed on their own website, stated The situations in our new videos are, well, awkward. #NSFW [LINK] #alltheboss . Beneath this, a video
was embedded in a player and a still, showing a topless man wearing earphones and looking into a room, was displayed. Underneath the video player text stated Out for a run - At home with your parents you're not the boss ... Dean returns hot
and sweaty from a run and gets an eye full. At home with your parents you're not the boss and there was a link to where the video was hosted on an external site.
In the first two seconds of the video on-screen text in the bottom-left corner stated WARNING: You cannot unsee this . The video showed the interior of a house and a man entering wearing earphones and dressed in a damp T-shirt, which he
removed. He pushed open a door, revealing a couple having sex in a laundry room. The video cut back to the man's reaction, and then again to the couple, before showing the man walking away looking dazed. The video then cut to a blank screen, on
which text stated At home with your parents you're not the boss ... At giffgaff we're all the boss . During the video panting sounds could be heard, which continued over the blank screen section. Issue
The complainant, who considered that the content was sexually graphic, objected that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.
Giffgaff Ltd stated that it was not their intention to cause offence. They said the ad was intended to show in a humorous way that, although some of their customers may not feel like the boss while living at home with their parents, with the
Giffgaff network they could be the boss because they are able to have a say in how it's run. They stated that the style of the ad was humorous and playful, and that there was no nudity. They also stated that there was a warning at the start of
the video that stated Warning: You cannot unsee this, which served to alert viewers to the fact that it may not be to their taste. Giffgaff said that, according to YouTube statistics, the ad had been viewed 37,530 times at the point of
providing their response and that the receipt of only one complaint indicated that the offence caused was not widespread or serious.
Twitter did not provide a comment on the content of the ad, but stated that it was an ordinary tweet posted by the advertiser rather than a paid-for tweet promoted by the site.
ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld
The ASA noted that the ad did not feature nudity. However, we considered that the characters were clearly having sex, that viewers would be likely to understand this to be the case, and that despite the lack of nudity the situation depicted was
of a strongly sexual nature that would be likely to cause offence in an untargeted medium. Although we acknowledged Giffgaff's assertion that the ad was intended to be playful and humorous, we considered that a light-hearted tone was insufficient
to mitigate the potential for offence due to the sexual nature of the content. We noted that the ad was available to view to all visitors to Giffgaff's Twitter feed, the general content of which appeared to be of a mild nature that would have
general appeal to consumers, and would play whether or not they were signed in to Twitter or the site hosting the video itself. We therefore considered that the ad was untargeted. We acknowledged that a warning message was displayed at the
beginning of the video, but noted that it was initially obscured by the video's control panel, was discreetly positioned and was only present briefly. We also considered that the phrase WARNING: You cannot unsee this was unlikely to
indicate to viewers the nature of the scene that was to follow and, therefore, was inadequate to alert viewers to the content of the video. Moreover, we considered that the untargeted nature of the medium meant that a disclaimer was not
sufficient to prevent the ad from being seen by viewers who would be offended by the content. Because the video featured strongly sexual content in an untargeted medium we concluded that it was likely to cause serious or widespread offence.
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Giffgaff Ltd to ensure that future ads in untargeted media did not contain strongly sexual content.
ITV has dropped a politically incorrect internet star who has been described as the new Jim Davidson . When ITV commissioned the recently finished six-part series Dapper Laughs: On the Pull for its youth-orientated ITV2 channel, it
was presented as another example of a successful video-blogger or vlogger crossing into mainstream media. Dapper Laughs features Daniel O'Reilly walking British streets making quips to strange women about his penis and using his
catchphrase proper moist .
The Daily Mirror published video footage of the comedian making bad taste jokes about rape in his live stand-up routine. The outburst, at a sell-out show at London's Scala in October, appears to have been a riposte to a piece on The Huffington
Post by Lee Kern, who described the TV show as:
A woeful, misogynistic celebration of banter-based cretinism that is sadly having a renaissance among the confused, the intellectually frightened and the simpleton.
In his stand-up act, O'Reilly told the audience:
I filmed six episodes, half an hour each. If it was a guide to rape, I would have done one five-minute episode, come on and go 'Oi Oi, I'm Dapper Laughs, go down the shops, get some rope, bit of duct tape, rape the bitch, well done, see you
O'Reilly tried to capitalise on his TV success by recording a Christmas album titled Proper Moist. The album includes songs called A Walk To The Pub...With A Tramp and Leaving The Pub...With A Tramp , in which he wonders if a
woman's top was low cut or just ripped and asks your place or mine? This particular joke seems to have become the focus of the 'outrage'.
He later apologised for the sexist humour aimed at homeless women He offered to donate some of the proceeds to the charity Shelter who support homeless people. But Shelter says it won't take money from a comedian who is deeply offensive
about homeless people .
As the fracas continued, 44 comedians signed an open letter condemning him for his entirely sexist and degrading brand of laddish comedy. Meanwhile about 70,000 people signed a petition for his television show to be cancelled
for its misogynistic views, all under the guise of harmless comedy .
A result of the 'outrage', ITV unsurprisingly decided to drop Dapper Laughs. An ITV spokesman said that in the light of comments made by Dapper Laughs outside of the TV show the broadcaster would not be commissioning a further series from the
We have given careful thought to the recent criticism of the character Dapper Laughs, which has focused on his activities outside of the ITV2 programme, [for which the] content was carefully considered and complied. We have taken the decision
that we will not be considering this show for a second series.
The BBC is now facing questions over why it invited Dapper Laughs onto its flagship current affairs show Newsnight .
O'Reilly was invited on the BBC's flagship current affairs show for an interview which allowed him to declare Dapper Laughs is gone . The bad press and everything that's happened - it's wrecked my life to a certain extent, he said.
Newsnight's editor Ian Katz has been contacted directly by critics on Twitter, but insisted he believed giving the comedian a platform was the most effective way of dealing with the arguments .
Outraged viewers, writing online, have now accused the BBC of chasing ratings, giving the comedian an unnecessary platform, and scraping the barrel of its new editorial standards.
Thanks to Dan who comments:
How ironic that liberals are now pushing the same mantra that TV corrupts that Mary Whitehouse did 40 years ago.
Ofcom has launched an investigation into ITV2 show Dapper Laughs: On The Pull after receiving 99 complaints about its attitude to women.
Ofcom is currently investigating whether the repeated use of sexual references in this comedy series met generally accepted standards, a spokesperson for the TV censor said after 99 complaints were logged.
Offsite Comment: Death to Dapper : behold the new intolerance
The terrifying censoriousness of the campaign against Dapper Laughs.
And so Dapper Laughs is gone. But questions remain. What, ask the various voices on twitter, was the difference between Dapper Laughs and Keith Lemmon? What was the difference between Dapper's rape joke and Jimmy Carr's rape joke?
Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai said in a speech at an awards event that he disagrees with recent efforts to ban broadcasters from using the word Redskins when referring to the Washington, D.C. NFL team. He said:
If the FCC took these steps, we would be squelching public debate about an issue of public concern. We would be standing in the way of media outlets reporting the news. And we would be prohibiting speech simply because we disagree with the
viewpoint that is being expressed.
Pai went on to say public officials shouldn't sound an uncertain trumpet when oft-offended opportunists urge us to undermine the First Amendment. He said he thinks the FCC should heed the words of Voltaire:
I may not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it, adding. Anyone who takes seriously the Constitution--scholar or layman--knows the petition is meritless. The FCC should dismiss it tout suite, as
Voltaire might have said.
The scientist of Rosetta mission fame, Matt Taylor, is arguably better known at the moment for a shirt he wore, depicting scantily clad women than his extraordinary scientific breakthrough. After a massive kerfuffle, led by feminists, Taylor
broke down in tears at a briefing recently and said: I made a big mistake and I offended many people, and I am very sorry about this.
Many would hail this as a feminist victory: a big-name scientist apologising on TV and being reduced to tears for his apparent sexism. We must have come a long way to wield so much influence. But there's another way of seeing it. As less of a
victory, more of a sign of a shift in feminist tactics. Instead of attacking the root cause of women's inequality, we've moved towards the vilification of individuals.
The current climate of McCarthyism within some segments of feminism and the left is so ingrained and toxic that there are active attempts to outlaw some views because they cause offence. Petitions against individuals appear to be a recent
substitute for political action towards the root causes of misogyny and other social ills. Petitions have taken over politics.
The ban this sick filth approach is starting to look more like censorship than progressive politics. Political protest and heated debate has been replaced with a witch-hunt mentality.
Moral superiority and call out culture has trumped political activism. Feminists have a proud history of taking state institutions and corporations to task. It would seem this is being lost in a sea of vitriol. We built this movement on a
desire and willingness to question and challenge old assumptions and truisms. We are in danger of becoming autocrats who would rather organise a pile-on than try to change systems. The life blood of feminism is in danger of becoming bile.
For once she is spot on. Something also noted by other commentators
Comment: Matt Taylor's sexist shirt and the day political correctness officially went mad
If Taylor had been paying more attention to politics over the past decade, he'd have witnessed the final stages in the collapse of the progressive left, and its replacement with a new set of intolerant, dogmatic, anti-sex, pro-censorship
attitudes. But he clearly had more important things to worry about, so he'd missed the rise of a clique of online bullies using feminist language to achieve a very non-feminist goal: the suppression of the idea that women can be sexual beings if
they so choose.
Future video games produced in Sweden could be labelled according to whether or not they promote gender equality, as part of a new project by gaming industry trade organisation Dataspelsbranchen.
The association has been given a 272,000 kronor ($36,672) grant by Sweden's government-funded innovation agency, Vinnova.
Inspired by the Bechdel test, which looks at whether fictional films or books feature at least two women talking about a topic other than men, Dataspelsbranchen will work with several game developers to analyse how Swedish video games portray
female characters and gender issues.
Speaking to The Local, project manager Anton Albiin said it was unclear at this stage if all games produced in Sweden would be given a label, or if companies developing games that promoted equality would be given some kind of certification to use
for their own marketing purposes. But he said he understood that either strategy would be a world first:
I do not know of any other project in the world asking this question and of course we want Sweden to be a beacon in this area.
Is Change.org just a weapon of censorship? Has Change.org crossed a line from being a platform to make the world a better place to a tool for the vocal minority can ban things they don't like, asks Martin Daubney
Amy Schumer has revolutionized US television, and most people didn't even notice. Comedy Central approved the use of the word pussy on the network. The seemingly casual announcement of the un-bleep is actually a huge, huge victory.
However the 'victory' appears to have been won simply because Schumer is on the right side of the politically correct divide. She uses the word appropriately unlike the great unwashed.
Inside Amy Schumer aggressively attacks several women's issues, from body-shaming to sexual assault in the military, so it's important to be able to use such language. Much of the language banned by the FCC is engendered, so not only is
it a victory for Comedy Central but for the (hopefully) eventual equality for language on television. (Bear with me, because this post is gonna get profane).
iAccording to the FCC, most of the language deemed obscene and inappropriate for television are lewd and sexual in context: It is a violation of federal law to air obscene programming at any time. It is also a violation of federal law
to air indecent programming or profane language during certain hours.
On the list of prohibitions, besides pussy are several synonyms for a woman's vagina. You CAN say vagina on television, however. Though dick used to be on the list, it's now allowed on network television. Some of the milder euphemisms are
still banned, such as snatch, pink , twat, and clit. Though cock is also on the no-no list, there are way more words referring the female anatomy that are not allowed to be uttered without a bleep, then those
referring to a man's.
bustle.com then takes time to explain a few of the basics of political correctness:
Language is so important and powerful, and now especially, what can and cannot be said on television and web-produced shows is becoming more influential on common vernacular. Even though Comedy Central airs such subversive shows like Inside Amy
Schumer, Key and Peele, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, they still have to align to certain guidelines. And because the list of banned words contains so many alternatives for the word vagina, it creates and maintains the stigma and
demonization related to a woman's body.
That's why serious attention should be paid Schumer's very funny show; she's subverting boundaries and slowly revolutionizing the language. The more artists and comedians like Schumer can change the conversation that makes the language of female
sexuality as neutral as the language about men's sexuality, the better. Hopefully more networks will follow suit.
An ad, on the side of buses, for the film Sin City 2 . It featured images of some of the characters. The heads and shoulders of four men and two women were arranged either side of a full-length image of Jessica Alba wearing a bra,
gloves and suspender-effect tights. Her mouth was partly open and she was kneeling with her knees spread apart and one arm raised over her head. Issue
The ASA received two complaints:
one complainant objected that the ad was unsuitable for public display in an untargeted medium where it could be seen by children; and
both complainants objected that the ad was offensive because it was overtly sexual, sexist and degrading to women.
ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld
The ASA noted Lions Gate's assertion that the ad would not cause offence because the images of the characters were unrealistic. However, we considered that although the depictions were somewhat stylised they were still clearly real images of
actors portraying the characters and that an air of surrealism would be insufficient to dispel the potential for such images to cause harm or offence. Nonetheless, while we appreciated that some consumers might find the focus on Alba's character
and the pose used distasteful, we considered that the image was no more than mildly sexual in nature and not so suggestive as to be generally offensive or inappropriate for untargeted public display. We also considered that the image was clearly
used in the context of promoting a film and that consumers would appreciate that it showed Alba's portrayal of a specific character, thereby reflecting an aspect of her role in particular, rather than women in general, and that it was
consequently unlikely to provoke serious or widespread offence by being regarded as sexist or degrading towards women.
No More Page 3 campaigners are planning to release a single next month in the hope of getting a Christmas number 1.
The audio track of Now's the Time by Miss Baby Sol is up on YouTube - but without any video component. According to the NMP3 website, the campaigners want people to have a go at making an appropriate film.
They will select the best video offering and launch it to coincide with the release of the single on 15 December.
Victoria's Secret has changed the wording of its new advert, after thousands signed a petition against it. The American lingerie company, which now has seven UK shops, offended the easily offended after suggesting that its slim models had the
perfect body .
About 26,000 people signed a petition calling for Victoria's Secret to amend the irresponsible marketing , and now the company has changed the ads online.
Previously, the ads for its new Body bra range depicted 10 models in their underwear, with the play-on-words The perfect Body emblazoned across their torsos. Now they show the same image but read: A body for every body.
The Leeds University students who began the Change.org petition said they were pleased with the change in the wording, but felt it was still silly that the models were being suggested as a representation of every body .
Author Jeanette Winterson has had a whinge at the Manchester's Malmaison Hotel for glamourous images of women used to adorm temporary hoardings at a construction site.
The hoarding, which also features beefy male models, is covering up construction work taking place at the hotel.
In an article written for the Guardian, the newspaper of choice for the politically correct, an 'outraged' Winterson said:
Plenty of women on business stay at the Mal. To get to their hotel room at the end of a long day they must take in, or blank out, the message that women at work are really soft-porn babes.
Suppose you are a girl who wants to go into the manual trades? Does the image of a skinny model in a strapless frock, pouting with a spanner, do anything for your self-confidence and ambition?
There is a photo of a man in a hard hat round the corner at the Mal. He's all muscle and sweat. He's a hunk, sure, but the visual message he offers is not confusing to men. He's about power and prowess, muscle and machismo.
The hard-hat babes send out a message that aligns with male fantasy not female reality. And that's a problem.
Breaking Bad may have been one of the most popular cable dramas of the last decade, but one Florida woman isn't thrilled that Toys R Us is selling the show's action figures. Susan Schrivjer was 'shocked':
The figure of main character Walter White, a former high school chemistry teacher who becomes one of the biggest meth dealers in the country, carries a duffle bag filled with cash, and comes with a toy bag of crystal meth. The figure for White's
assistant/meth distributor, Jesse Pinkman, comes with a gas mask to protect against dangerous compounds during meth cooking.
Anything to do with drugs is not doing the right thing I just think that they need to look at their visions and values, as they call them.
So Schrivjer started a Change.org petition asking Toys 'R' Us to stop selling the dolls. The petition received about 1,000 signatures.
In a statement, Toys R Us told NBC News that:
The product packaging clearly notes that the items are intended for ages 15 and up and are located in the adult action figure area of our stores.
Susan Schrivjer's petition, gathered 9,299 supporters and is now closed with Victory being declared for the PC bullies.
Toys R Us has removed the figures from shelves and even went so far as to post to their Twitter account:
Re: BB Let's just say, the action figures have taken an 'indefinite sabbatical'
Action figure collector Jayson Zacher wrote:
Let's be upfront here, this is censorship. Instead of leaving it up to consumers to decide what they will and won't purchase, people are now pushing for items to be removed from store shelves. It's Prohibition all over again, but with action
Petition: KEEP Breaking Bad (and other Adult Collector) Figures On Toys R Us Shelves
Daniel Picket of Actionfigureinsider.com has started his own petition to get the figures back on the shelves, citing that this is not just about the Breaking Bad figures but about the larger principle in question. Picket@s petition has gained
over 59,000 supporters in a fraction of the time as Schrivjer's.
Toys R Us is well known around the world for their vast selection of toys for children of all ages, and we do mean ALL ages, that includes the adult collector market. Toys R Us' decision to sell a line of Breaking Bad ACTION FIGURES, complete
with a detachable sack of cash and a bag of meth, in an aisle designated for adult collectors, featuring properties of a more mature nature that might appeal to older collectors, and away from the other kid toys, shows that TRU understands
there is more than one group of collectors that regularly come through their doors each day. And that they can observe and in some cases even dictate how these figures are packaged, marketed and sold in their stores. It is NOT irresponsible to
have these in the store. It is only irresponsible if they sell them to people they are not appropriate for. That's why I'm calling on Toys R Us to KEEP selling the Breaking Bad action figure collection in their stores and on their website as well
as other mature toy lines.
Update: Toys R Us refuse to acknowledge counter petition
29th October 2014. Petition update from Daniel Picket
Here we are 12 days after our launch and the petition has over 61,000 encouraging Toys R Us to review the situation and reinstate the Mezco Breaking Bad figures to the shelves of their collector section. In 12 days we gathered FIVE TIMES what
the Florida Mom gathered in a months time, and STILL Toys R Us has yet to respond.
Even for a publicly traded company, for them to not even acknowledge the majority is baffling from a public relations/customer service standpoint.
This entire outrage was born out of one person telling the Florida mom about the figures. It's not as if TRU sold a Breaking Bad her child. There was NO infraction. Toys R Us was being a responsible seller, having the merchandise in the
appropriate section and was selling it to the appropriate customers. We have to keep hammering Toys R Us until we get some kind of response. We are the majority. Keep posting on the TRU Facebook page and Twitter feed and include #AdultsCollect !
This is exactly the sort of thing I was concerned about. Here's a mom that has started a new
petition to get Halo and Call of Duty Mega Brand construction sets pulled from Target:
She has less than 1000 signatures so far, but what happens if this one gets picked up by the national news? Be a parent, by BEING A PARENT. If you don't like something, then don't buy it for your child. Don't let it into your home. But don't go
around trying to remove every possible offensive thing from your child's line of site. Use it as a teaching moment. But don't remove everyone else's option. It's more important than ever to keep spreading the word that #AdultsCollect
A billboard advertising office space in Exeter that offended Exeter Feminists is set to be censored.
The advert, promoting space for rent at Matford Business Centre in Exeter, featured a large chested woman in a bikini next to the slogan Size IS important .
After consideration by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), Matford Business Centre has now agreed to take down the advertising without the need for a formal investigation:
ASA advised 12 whingers that the billboard objectified women and used sexually provocative imagery to sell an unrelated product/ service and broke the censorship rules:
1.3 - Marketing communications must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society.
4.1 - Marketing communications must not contain anything that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Particular care must be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or
Britain's tabloid press have been trying to whip up a little outrage about Halloween costumes sold at Asda
The costumes are called Halloween Cheerleader and Halloween American Footballer . They are designed to look like they are blood stained, with an obvious bullet-style pattern on the costumes sold in store and online.
One customer, Sheila Pinney started an online petition platform Change.org to have the outfits banned and also wrote to Asda's CEO Andy Clarke asking for the costumes to be withdrawn from stores immediately. She whinged:
Regardless of this detail, bloodstained American Cheerleader and American Footballer costumes are of incredibly bad-taste, even for Halloween.
I was actually left speechless when I saw the costumes, while seeking a suitable fancy dress costume for my 4-year old son, Evan. He asked me what the costumes were, as he is familiar with ghosts, skeletons and the usual Halloween imagery, and I
actually couldn't form the words to explain what they were, as how can you tell a 4-year old that he is looking at costumes depicting 'shot teenagers'?
A spokesman for Asda responded to the whinges.
We appreciate that it isn't for everyone but the majority of our customers love dressing up at Halloween, especially in spooky or gory costumes which inevitably can include fake blood.
And just a measure of the failure of the Telegraph and Daily Mail to generate any interest the
petition stands at just 174 signatures, 4 days after the publication of the newspaper stories.
The reaction to Gone Girl has been anything but unpredictable, with Britain's professional offencerati leaping on the film for its allegedly murky assertions about rape, and, more specifically, rape victims.
After an online petition with just 65 signatures, Glastonbury has added Native American headdresses to the list of items traders cannot sell at the festival without prior authorisation . The petition called for the headdresses to be
banned, claiming the wearing of them by non-Native Americans is disrespectful .
Glastonbury organisers commented on their pandering to political correctness saying that this instruction to their market traders is to ensure that sellers reflect the values of the festival .
The headdresses have become a regular feature at festivals. But the politically correct see them as offensive - using an ethnic minority's traditional culture as novelty clothing.
Dr. David Stirrup of the University of Kent explained that they are something you have to earn. It is normally earned through exploit. The eagle feathers in the headdress are revered and worn for specific ceremonial occasions. They are
not everyday wear, he says.
In the US, the wearing of headdresses for fashion reasons has become controversial. Celebrities such as Pharrell Williams and Harry Styles caused controversy by wearing the headgear in photographs. Meanwhile football team the Washington Redskins
are under pressure to change their name and logo, which many see as a racial slur. But until now the controversy has barely registered in the UK.
There are good reasons for non-gamers to be paying attention to the video-games industry right now. it has become the site of a rebellion against moral crusaders and their relentless push to politicise every aspect of culture and society
Unconditional Surrender , a statue of a sailor kissing a nurse, is 25-foot sculpture, by US artist Seward Johnson that, is based on Alfred Eisenstaedt's famous photograph Kissing Sailor capturing celebrations after the end of the
war with Japan.
Now the French feminist group Osez Le Feminisme (Dare to be Feminist) is campaigning to have the piece banned from public view.
Osez Le Feminisme have launched a petition asking for the statue be removed from its current location, a war memorial in Normandy. The group claim the statue, and the picture it was inspired by, both portray a sexual assault.
We cannot accept that the Caen Memorial erected a sexual assault as a symbol of peace. We therefore request the removal of this sculpture as soon as possible.
The sailor could have laughed with these women, hugged them, asked them if he could kiss them with joy. No, he chose to grab them with a firm hand to kiss them. It was an assault.
The identities of the nurse and the sailor in Eisenstaedt's photograph have never been officially confirmed, although a book, The Kissing Sailor, says that the girl is Greta Zimmer Friedman who later said in an interview:
It wasn't my choice to be kissed. The guy just came over and grabbed me! I felt that he was very strong. He was just holding me tight. It wasn't a romantic event.
As a foreign language arthouse film, Two Days, One Night arguably attracts a certain type of audience: one who, at the very least, has gone to the trouble of finding out the thrust of the story in order to decide whether or not to see it.
So it's fair to suggest that most people watching the film in a cinema know that it concerns Cotillard's character, Sandra, struggling to get her job back by pleading with her workmates to convince them to forego their bonus.
What, then, does that audience think when the words suicide attempt appear on screen as a warning about the film's content, alongside the BBFC's 15 certificate, mere seconds before it starts? I can't speak for everyone, but my own
thoughts went something along the lines of: Oh right, so at some point things will get so bad that Sandra will try to kill herself. I'll just sit here with that information stored away, waiting for it to happen, shall I? THANKS A RUDDY BUNCH,
It's surely a bit tough on the BBFC. In the world of political correctness, suicide is one of the highest priorities for so called 'trigger warnings'. Surely you can't let people sensitive to suicide watch films like this without being warned.
The Guardian reports that the BBFC have seen the error in its ways:
Now the BBFC has said it will aim to stop giving too much away. The body began publishing the information on the card last year, and has tried to balance helping people make informed choices with not spoiling the storyline.
It said the problem rarely arose but it had sympathy with those who felt their enjoyment had been affected.
It believes it can tackle the issue in a pragmatic way without compromising the need to inform the public about a film's content .
The BBFC will trial a new policy examining whether a potential spoiler can be withheld from the information prior to the film, although it would still be available online. The policy will be reviewed after six months.
Update: MPAA trigger warnings for something unmentionable
14th October 2014.
The BBFC got in a little bother for spoilers in its onscreen consumer advice for the cinema film Two Days, One Night. The BBFC advice read:
Passed 15 for suicide attempt
Perhaps forewarned by the BBFC controversy, the MPAA ratings just released today seemingly avoided the spoiler with the consumer advice:
Rated PG-13 for some mature thematic elements
Of course the phrase is now so vague that it is totally useless. What is the point of telling parents that there is something mature in a film supposedly suitable for children without giving a hint about what the mature theme is?
Are the MPAA so politically correct that they have trigger warnings that can't mention the reason for the warning?
PC bullies claim that the colourful, lacy bras and knickers in the Iris & Edie line, named after Sadie Frost's 13-year-old daughter, may breach guidelines on age-appropriate clothing
Object, which campaigns against the supposed objectification of women in the media, claims that the line, available in Debenhams, is inappropriate because it is named after Frost's daughter, Iris, who is 13.
Iris & Edie is named after Iris Frost and the 16-year-old daughter of Jemima French, the friend with whom Frost runs her fashion label, FrostFrench. Both girls helped design the range, which also includes pyjamas and loungewear.
Roz Hardie, Chief Object at the campaign group said:
If Debenhams are proposing to sell see-through pants named after an under-16 year-old, then they're not working within the spirit of the Bailey Review recommendations and we'd call on them to review their proposals. Particularly to link them to
the names of under-16 year-olds, whether deliberate or not, is inappropriate.
A Debenhams spokesman said:
The ranges in question are aimed solely at adults, and are sold in our women's nightwear and lingerie departments. We have sold this brand for three years, and it has always been marketed entirely to the young adult market.
We stock a range of age-appropriate underwear and nightwear for younger teenage girls in line with all relevant guidance from the British Retail Consortium and Mumsnet, and these are sold in our childrenswear departments.
The New York Times newspaper has apologised for a cartoon on India's Mars Mission following a few readers' whinges that it mocked India.
The cartoon showed a farmer with a cow knocking at the door of a room marked Elite Space Club where two men sit reading a newspaper on India's feat. The cartoon was carried with an article titled India's Budget Mission to Mars.
Andrew Rosenthal, Editorial Page Editor of New York Times, wrote in a Facebook post that a large number of readers had complained about the cartoon. He grovelled:
The intent of the cartoonist, Heng Kim Song, was to highlight how space exploration is no longer the exclusive domain of rich, Western countries.
Mr Heng, who is based in Singapore, uses images and text - often in a provocative way - to make observations about international affairs. We apologise to readers who were offended by the choice of images in this cartoon.
Mr Heng was in no way trying to impugn India, its government or its citizens.
Superhero comic company DC have apologised about two recently released T-shirts which have caused an 'outrage' for supposed overtones of sexism. The officially licensed DC merchandise, thus approved by the company has been criticised on a few
blogs and social media for being 'demeaning to women'.
The first of these is a men's T-shirt showing Superman and Wonder Woman kissing, with the words, Score! Superman does it again! , whilst the second - intended for young girls - bears the slogan Training to be Batman's wife.
The Superman/Wonder Woman T-shirt, fan culture site, The Mary Sue, suggested DC would do better to produce T-shirts for little girls that depict Supergirl or Batgirl being a badass, or maybe a Justice League shirt for boys that doesn't ignore
the fact that Wonder Woman is a member.
Swedish Television has cut out suppsoedly offensive scenes from censored editions of the popular 1969 Pippi Longstocking series, sparking intense debate on social media over the extent to which old productions should be modified to
suit what the politically correct consider socially acceptable today.
In the censored versions, set to be aired on a children's channel in December, the unconventional Pippi will describe her dad as a king instead of a negro king and won't play Chinese by stretching out the skin around her
The public broadcaster said those original scenes could be perceived as hurtful or offensive for children who watched it.
Paulette Rosas Hott, head of political correctness at Swedish Television, spouted:
We live in a multicultural society with children from many different countries. Those kids should feel comfortable when they're looking at this. And the parents should feel comfortable that their kids don't learn expressions that they don't
A new mural by street artist Banksy showing a group of pigeons holding anti-immigration banners has been destroyed by council officials following a complaint the work was racist .
The mural, worth around £ 400,000 in Clacton-on-Sea, showed four pigeons holding signs including Go Back to Africa , while a more exotic-looking bird looked on.
The local council which removed it, said it did not know it was by Banksy, conceding that the artist's political satire was lost on them.
Tendring District Council said it received a complaint that the mural was offensive and racist and by the time it had been announced, the mural had already been destroyed. Nigel Brown, spokesprat for the council, said:
The site was inspected by staff who agreed that it could be seen as offensive and it was removed this morning in line with our policy to remove this type of material within 48 hours.
Classic Tom and Jerry cartoons, some made more than 70 years ago, carry a warning for subscribers to Amazon Prime Instant Video. Viewers are warned that the cartoons depict scenes of racial prejudice .
Tom and Jerry: The Complete Second Volume is accompanied by the caution:
Tom and Jerry shorts may depict some ethnic and racial prejudices that were once commonplace in American society. Such depictions were wrong then and are wrong today.
The warning was attacked as empty-headed by cultural commentator and professor of sociology, Frank Furedi, who said it was a form of a false piousness and a type of censorship which seems to be sweeping cultural life . We're reading history backwards, judging people in the past by our values,
said Prof Furedi from the University of Kent.
Tom and Jerry was first produced by the MGM film studio in 1940. The cartoons, directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera and produced by Fred Quimby, ran until 1957.
Clothing retailer Matalan has rebuffed ludicrous claims that a photo-shoot of children modelling novelty onesies is racist, after people complained about the only two black children in the image wearing monkey outfits.
The main catalogue image shows eight children all dressed in different onesies; two depicting bunnies, one a ladybird, one an Angry Bird, one boy in a Spiderman onesie, and two boys in monkey onesies.
Trivial tweets referred to the image as rude , stupid, and quite racist, and called for the company to apologise. Other users defended the retailer, calling the incident political correctness gone mad .
A spokesperson for Matalan said:
We regularly work with the two boys and they chose the outfits they wanted to wear, as did all the other children on the shoot. Their parents were with them the whole time and they all really enjoyed the day.
It is very sad that some people have turned this into a race issue..
A joint episode of The Simpsons and Family Guy is set to air on the Fox network in the US on Sunday. The trailer has revealed a joke featuring the politically correct no-no, the word 'rape'. It has got America's moralists
up in arms. The Parents Television Council have called for the joke to be cut.
The gag is about baby Stewie misunderstanding the nature of Bart's prank calls. First, Bart calls Moe's Tavern and asks if there's anyone there with the last name Keybum and the first name Lee -- causing the bartender to call out
for a Leaky bum . Then an excited Stewie tries his version of the wind-up, and blurts out: Hello, Moe? Your sister's being raped.
The Parents Television Council have claim that the joke, playing on the different sense of humour between the family-friendly Simpsons and edgier Family Guy, is 'inappropriate'. President Tim Winter spouted:
Rape is never a laughing matter. Never. It is simply indefensible for a broadcaster to use the publicly-owned airwaves to make tasteless and senseless jokes about rape.
He also claimed that the joke could have a devastating impact... on countless past, present and future victims of sexual assault . The group says it will lobby advertisers on both shows to ask if rape jokes reflect their corporate
MacFarlane famously once said that getting Parents Television Council complaints were:
Like getting hate mail from Hitler. They're literally terrible human beings. I've read their newsletter, I've visited their website, and they're just rotten to the core. For an organisation that prides itself on Christian values -- I mean, I'm
an atheist, so what do I know?--they spend their entire day hating people. They can all suck my dick as far as I'm concerned.
An art exhibition featuring black actors chained and in cages to depict the horror of slavery has been closed by the Barbican gallery following a vociferous campaign of protest.
Officials from the arts venue decided to end an impasse with demonstrators who on Tuesday evening greeted the opening of Brett Bailey's Exhibit B at the Vaults in south London by blockading both the entrance and the road leading to the
Two hundred protesters with drums and placards demonstrated outside, prompting the attendance of officers from both the Metropolitan police and British transport police. The officers were summoned to address reports of a disturbance, but made no
arrests. The event was quickly cancelled.
Its censorship was hailed as a victory by campaigners who claimed 20,000 signatures on a protest petition against what they called complicit racism .
In a statement, the Barbican said:
Due to the extreme nature of the protest outside the Vaults, regrettably we have cancelled this evening's performance of Exhibit B as we could not guarantee the safety of performers, audiences and staff. We respect people's right to protest but
are disappointed that this was not done in a peaceful way as had been previously promised by campaigners. Further subsequent performances up to and including Saturday 27 have also been cancelled.
Offsite Comment: Censored whilst claiming to be uncensored
A billboard advertising office space in Devon has 'offended' a few people in Exeter who whinged that the poster is sexist.
The advert, promoting space for rent at Matford Business Centre in Exeter, features a large chested woman in a bikini next to the slogan Size IS important .
Among those calling for the poster to be banned are members of Exeter Feminists. Group founder Ellis Taylor spouted:
The blatant objectification of women in this advert is completely unnecessary and it is disappointing to see an Exeter business supporting old fashioned ideas.
I don't think the business is aware of the damage a poster like this can cause, it reinforces the idea that women are objects purely for men and that it is okay to treat them in such a way.
The poster needs to be removed and the business needs to recognise the level of sexism and objectification which it is associating itself with.
The adverting company has received about 20 complaints and has been contacted by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) which has received 5 complaints..
Matford's managing director, Harry Langley, explained that jokey adverts with images of women are effective:
We needed an effective way to advertise our office space. Looking at examples of adverts that have worked for other companies in the past, we saw that word play and images of women were the most successful.
We combined the two factors with the aim of creating a humorous and memorable way of promoting our facilities. We compared our advert with other images around at the moment and judged it was acceptable.
A major retailer in the Philippines' has withdrawn from its shelves a T-shirt that seems to be the ultimate wind-up for those sensitive to the trivialisation of rape.
A photo of the dark blue T-shirt with the slogan: It's not rape. It's a snuggle with a struggle , was posted by writer Karen Kunawicz on her Facebook page and quickly went viral.
SM Supermalls said in a statement the message on the T-shirt was unacceptable :
We have immediately pulled out all the T-shirts of the consignor that distributes them, it said in a statement. Appropriate action will be taken to ensure this does not happen again. Thank you for informing us.
SM Supermalls said it was investigating how the shirt got into its inventory.
Busch Gardens theme park has removed some props from their Halloween attractions after people in Virginia complained about decapitated heads. The change came in the wake of the beheadings of two American journalists and a British aid worker.
Spokesmen for parks in Virginia and Tampa said that in light of recent events, some props may have had the unintended consequence of appearing insensitive and won't be part of this year's Howl-O-Scream attraction. They wouldn't say exactly which
props were removed. Busch Gardens Tampa spokesman Travis Claytor wrote:
Many of the scenes depicted at Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream are graphic in nature, but they are fictional and are not intended to provide commentary on current world events. The props in this year's event were designed and purchased several
The props were part of the Cut Throat Cove attraction. A video of Cut Throat Cove on the Virginia' park's website showed a pirate-themed haunted house with body parts and heads.
As always the BBC is showing old episodes of Dad's Army. But the choice of the latest episodes shown has raised a few additional chuckles.
A Yes campaigner noted:
A total of 80 episodes of Dad's Army were made by the corporation -- and which one does it choose to show on the Saturday ahead of the vote? The one in which Frazer -- played by John Laurie -- tells Mainwaring that he can run the platoon better
than him, is put in charge and then makes a total mess of things. Thank you very much, Auntie Beeb.
A BBC spokesman insists that episodes are always shown in a specific order and adamantly denies there was ever any political intent in scheduling the Frazer episode ahead of the vote.
A US newspaper has apologised for publishing an editorial cartoon that compared aeroplane seating conditions to those on slave ships.
The Lancaster Online president, John A Kirkpatrick III, and executive editor, Barb Roda, said in a statement they were deeply sorry for publishing the since-deleted cartoon, which compared the cramped conditions on planes to that on slave
ship to the US.
To somehow link the inconveniences of air travel with slavery in general and the slave ships in particular was not only just plain wrong it was deeply hurtful to our African American community and all those who understand the horrors inflicted
on the men and women forced into the slave trade, the. It both trivialised and demeaned their experience.
While the editorial cartoon was not drawn by someone on our staff, the decision to run it on our pages was made here. We are deeply sorry about printing this offensive cartoon.
Fans attending college soccer games in New England are expected not to boo if they don't like something on the field, according to a recent letter sent out by the New England Small College Athletic Conference. T he NESCAC letter reads:
As a supporter, we ask you not engage in any unsportsmanlike actions, which include booing, taunting, profanity, rude language or gestures, or any other action that could be potentially construed as negative or confrontational.
We would hope that all spectators refrain from antagonistic interaction between opposing fans, including verbal disputes, or holding/posting signs or other forms of written material that could be interpreted as offensive in nature.
The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has ruled in favour of The Guardian newspaper over its unedited use of the word 'nigger'.
The ruling came after filmmaker Nia Reynolds complained to the newspaper censor over the Guardian's policy to write the term in its entirety when it is within a quote. Reynolds called on the newspaper to review its style guide and abandon the use
of what she called the inflammatory, offensive and demeaning word .
The commission acknowledged Reynolds' concern that, in repeating a racist term without the use of an asterix for example, the newspaper could potentially be in breach of the Editor's Code of Practice, which states:
The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual's race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.
But the PCC, responsible for the self-regulation of the press, concluded that publications were free to make style decisions, providing that they didn't breach terms of the code.
In the case of The Guardian, the commission said it was satisfied that the use of the term in the articles was not a pejorative reference, but an accurate report of comments made by others. The newspaper was entitled to reproduce these comments
in the context of news stories, the PCC decided, in informing readers as to what had been said and allowing them to form their own opinions.
There is a blatant contradiction about having the mitigation of N-word and then proceeding to use that hateful word without editing, responded campaigner Reynolds, a writer who has previously written for The Guardian. Reynolds has said she
plans to continue lobbying against the policy and suggested that the paper was intentionally trying to be provocative .
Boobie Trap , a breast-themed bar in Brooklyn, is getting complaints from neighbors and local government officials, reports DNAinfo.
Brooklyn Assemblymember Maritza Davila has raised 'concerns' supposedly about the bar's proximity to an elementary school, and the large windows that allow passing neighborhood children to revel in the boob-centric decorations.
The Cut describes the decor as:
Sure, the bar has a huge neon sign that says fuck off, various representations of breasts on the ceiling, bar, tables, and chairs, and boob coloring-book pages -- but the overall effect is kitschy, not smutty.
Owner Kristen North, her business partner, and Davila will meet soon; but until a compromise can be reached, North has covered the neon sign with a curtain. She has no plans to censor the boob decor just yet.
The BBC has apologised after the local radio presenter Iain Lee told his producer to go and do the black and Asian show during a spoof on-air row.
Lee had what appeared to be a heated six-minute on-air exchange with his producer on the BBC's Three Counties Radio breakfast show, which airs in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. The row ended with the producer walking out of the
studio and Lee telling him:
Go on, go and do the black and Asian show. Bye bye.
A BBC spokesman said:
We have spoken to Iain and made clear to him that these comments are unacceptable. He accepts this and has apologised. We apologise for any offence caused.
Navrita Atwal, the chief executive of Milton Keynes equality council, said:
We have listened to the audio of the show and are concerned that programmes aimed at the black and Asian community are being dismissed as less significant or important than others by the comment 'Go on and do your black and Asian show'.
We appreciate that there may be banter between the presenter and producer of the programme, but the presenter should have shown sensitivity to the impact that such comments may have on listeners.
We will be in touch with the BBC to express our concern.
The supermarket chain Aldi has withdrawn Roald Dahl's classic children's book Revolting Rhymes from its Australian stores following a few whinges on its Facebook page.
An Aldi spokesprat said the book had been pulled after:
Comments by a limited number of concerned customers regarding the language used in this particular book. Aldi Australia would like to inform all of our customers that we take the concerns from the community seriously.
The particular poem that prompted the whinges, reads:
Poor Cindy's heart was torn to shreds.
My Prince! she thought. He chops off heads!
How could I marry anyone who does that sort of thing for fun?
The Prince cried, 'Who's this dirty slut? Off with her nut! Off with her nut!'
Exhibit B , by artist Brett Bailey, has people chained and caged in a reflection of the human zoos popular in the 19th century, to demonstrate the brutal reality behind colonisation .
Brett, a white man with a wealthy background who grew up in Apartheid South Africa, reckons his piece is thought-provoking. He said:
It is a piece about humanity; about a system of dehumanisation that affects everybody within society, regardless of skin colour, ethnic or cultural background, that scours the humanity from the 'looker' and the 'looked at.'
PC Activists have called for the work to be censored. About 2,500 people have signed a petition calling for it to be banned. Campaigner Zita Holbourne said:
We don't believe that in order to remind people of the horrors of racism, enslavement, apartheid and colonial rule it is necessary to place black people in cages and put them on display in an exhibition and that this exhibition does nothing to
promote race equality.
The petition, started by journalist Sara Myers, includes:
We wish to register our utmost disgust at what we consider to be an outrageous act of complicit racism with the Barbican agreeing to the housing and display of this production.
Exhibit B is set to open at The Barbican in London from September 23-27.
David Cameron and his bunch of miserablist hangers-on will be well unpleased as their bête noir, Miley Cyrus, was among the winners at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards in California.
Miley Cyrus won the Video of the Year award for Wrecking Ball , which according to PC extremists has 'sexualised' and 'harmed' anyone who watches it. And it's one hell of a lot of 'harm' as the video has now been watched 699,008,259
times on YouTube alone.
PC bullies have picked on fashion designer Trelise Cooper for featuring Native American headdresses in her show for New Zealand Fashion Week.
She was forced to apologise on Facebook:
It was never my intention to disrespect another culture. It is my mistake that through my mistake and ignorance, like me, people now know and are aware of the sacredness of the head dress to Native Americans. To those who I have offended, I
The Trelise Cooper Facebook page had earlier captioned a picture of a model wearing a headdress with 70's bohemian vibes which sparked a few miserable messages on Twitter and Facebook:
Filmmaker and actor Taika Waititi whinged:
I think I understand what Trelise means by 70s vibes - a time when it was cool to be culturally insensitive and racism was super awesome. Nice throw back to better times, babe, we native people celebrate with you
Kylie Klein Nixon screeched:
The sacred symbols of other cultures are not fashion accessories for you to play with. This is a disgrace. And you are incredibly ignorant.
A Swedish TV network has apologised to Costa Rica for using the country's national anthem to promote a comedy show.
TV4 is using the anthem in a trailer for Parlamentet (The Parliament), a popular gameshow featuring some of Sweden's leading comedians.
After receiving complaints from Costa Ricans living in Sweden, Costa Rica lodged a diplomatic protest, claiming the use of its national anthem was a grave disrespect to our national symbol.
A spokesman for TV4, Anders Edholm, told the Associated Press that producers have apologised to Costa Rica's ambassador to Sweden and Norway, and assured him the network would not air the trailer after the first episode of the series was
broadcast on Sunday. If any Costa Ricans were offended we of course apologise, he said.
THE BBC has apologised for broadcasting a trivial Irish joke on its flagship Scottish news programme.
The joke was broadcast on BBC1's Reporting Scotland news show during a pre-recorded segment about the funniest joke at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It involved a reporter asking members of the public about what they find
funny. Among the contributions broadcast:
Two Irish guys look in the mirror. One goes: 'I know that guy.' The other one goes: 'I know you do, it's me you stupid guy.'
One family told The Irish Post they were gobsmacked to hear the quip:
I thought it was absolutely disgusting to see that your own national broadcaster would allow this to happen. To see comments like that about your own ethnic group on the news is so disheartening.
Responding to the complaint, the BBC apologised for broadcasting the joke. A spokesman said:
During a series of vox-pops a member of the public told a joke which may have offended some viewers.
A theatre workshop aimed at fostering a greater understanding of discrimination has been pulled from a Swedish city festival programme after PC extremists accused it of offensive, racist blackfacing . In fact With Other Eyes , by the Danish theatre group
Global Voices , uses make-up artists to change participants' race and gender, allowing them to see the world from a new perspective .
Martin Neilson, the Danish actor who launched the project, said it had been intended as a celebration of diversity , and blamed the organisers of the Malmo festival for the huge mistake of illustrating it with a picture of a
blond Swedish boy wearing black face paint.
The project was cancelled after Jallow Mamadou, Chairman of the National Association for Afro-Swedes, handed a 240-signature petition condemning the workship to the festival organisers.
It's always dangerous if a very, very small group of people suddenly has so much power in society that they are able to decide
Pella Strom, the organiser of the festival, later scheduled a debate where Neilson made his case, after which she decided to reschedule the project for next year's festival.
A Punch and Judy show put on for children at the Intu Derby shopping centre has been attacked for supposedly promoting domestic violence.
The show by puppeteer Jon Thursby was staged by the shopping centre as part of a week-long beach event for children.
Vanessa Boon, who is a PC campaigner for equal rights and against domestic violence, saw the show and whinged:
I was shocked and sickened as I saw Punch hit his wife, Judy, six times with a stick as she lay on the floor and then threw his baby down the stairs while children were encouraged to laugh and sing 'that's the way to do it!'
Boon said that she spoke to Mr Thursby about her concerns and complained to the shopping centre. She was disappointed to see that the show was still running three days later.
Yasmin Nazir, chief executive of Derby Women's Centre, landed a few blows too:
I think it's just shocking, given the awareness we have around domestic violence, that a show of this nature is being played out to such a young audience.
The Co-op has refused to bow to demands from anti-Page 3 campaigners to withdraw advertising from the Sun newspaper and to banish its sales to the top shelf.
The No More Page 3 campaign had targeted local Coop regional meetings and had won votes to censor the Sun in three southern regions.
The board of Co-operative Food told campaigners that it entirely respects the views of those campaigning to have 'Page 3 ' type images dropped from the Sun and the Star , but said:
We are mindful, in consideration of these motions, of the need to balance the following: our commercial need to market effectively to our customers; our commitment to create a family-friendly shopping environment and the problems associated with
using corporate influence via sales, promotions or advertising to seek to influence editorial decisions.
With over 18 million customers using the Co-operative every week and a significant proportion of our target audience, including members, reading the Sun it is vital that our media choices continue to reach this large audience cost effectively.
Removing advertising from the Sun based on what the paper chooses to publish runs the risk of being seen as trying to directly influence editorial decisions and sets a precedent for all publications and media channels in the future.
There is a need to balance, in a free society, press freedom alongside newspapers ' responsibility to deliver accurate, fair and appropriate content.
For these reason we do not use advertising to influence editorial decisions and currently have no plans to change this policy.
The Co-op sells half a million copies of the Sun each week.
The Guardian published an article about a report written by Charles Leadbeater, a former Labour policy adviser. The report was commissioned by the Nominet Trust to promote technology for social good and to highlight projects that use the internet
as the basis for social and civic improvement.
Leadbeater claimed that pervading online misogyny is the most visible reason why the internet is failing to live up to its potential to improve people's lives. He cited internet insults suffered by Mary Beard as an example that shows internet has
lost promise of mid-2000s as a route to collaboration for the better. Speaking to the Guardian Leadbeater said:
I'd love to create something like the Mary Beard Prize for women online, to support people who are supporting women to be able to use the internet safely. The kind of abuse [suffered by] the classicist Mary Beard, the gymnast Beth Tweddle and
campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez, would not be tolerated in a public place and there is no reason why it should be online.
It's outrageous that we've got an internet where women are regularly abused simply for appearing on television or appearing on Twitter. If that were to happen in a public space it would cause outrage.
He cites research that the most important signifier of a safe and vibrant public space is the presence of women and families -- when they felt comfortable it was a sign that the space was good for everyone .
The article must have caused more than a little colourful debate as the Guardian published a follow up article discussing the online comments received. The article was headlined:
The readers' editor on... the online abuse that follows any article on women's issues.
Perhaps it is time to assess whether online anonymity should be an option rather than the default position
The Guardian then alludes to the robust comments received in comments on such politically correct articles:
I'd love to create something like the 'Mary Beard Prize for women online' to support people who are supporting women to be able to use the internet safely, Charles Leadbeater said in the article , which was published on 8 August.
A great idea and one that would win support from many editors at the Guardian who see the amount of the moderators' time spent weeding out either off-topic or offensive comments in threads attached to any article loosely related to feminism or
As one moderator told me: There seems to be a huge backlash against the Guardian's increasing coverage of feminist issues, from more frivolous pieces (body hair, sunbathing topless, anything to do with Beyonce') to pieces on domestic
violence, FGM etc. WATM (what about the men) is now something we look out for on any piece about women as standard.
Alex Needham, acting network editor, raised the issue at the Guardian's morning conference following an article by Hadley Freeman on 5 August about the arguments for and against women shaving their body hair.
He told me in an email: On any article by Laura Bates or Jessica Valenti, or most recently this piece by Hadley, the first 15 or 20 comments always say 'not this again, Guardian, where are the men? We face this kind of problem, so cover that
instead.' Because the comments are off-topic they're then removed, which leads to cries of censorship and the claim that the Guardian is sexist -- that the problems of white working-class males (who these commenters say are the real victims in
society) are ignored.
The Guardian goes on to discuss how to censor the opposition to its political correctness by mandating real identities for commenters. Of course at no stage is it considered that perhaps the Guardian could tone down its one sided, men belittling,
politically correct bullying pieces and offer a little more balance for the other side.
A new cover for Roald Dahl's beloved children's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been branded creepy by a critic.
The Penguin Modern Classics edition - aimed at the adult market - is being released on 4th September to mark the book's 50th anniversary.
Its cover, featuring a photograph of a heavily made up young girl wearing a feather boa and sitting on her mother's knee with a doll-like expression, sparked a few trivial tweets.
Best-selling Chocolat author Joanne Harris tweeted: Seriously, Penguin Books. Why not just get Rolf Harris to design the next one?
Giles Paley-Phillips, an award-winning children's author, said: I'm not liking the new cover for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, looks more Lolita!
Penguin said the girl in the cover photograph was not intended to be either Violet Beauregarde or Veruca Salt, the spoilt young girls who feature in Dahl's tale, but a representation of the twisted parent-child relationships depicted
throughout the book. Penguin said:
This design is in recognition of the book's extraordinary cultural impact and is one of the few children's books to be featured in the Penguin Modern Classics list.
This new image for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory looks at the children at the centre of the story, and highlights the way Roald Dahl's writing manages to embrace both the light and the dark aspects of life.
A politician in France has been sentenced to nine months in prison for comparing the country's justice minister, who is black, to an ape.
Anne-Sophie Leclere of the far right Front National party provoked a PC storm last year when she compared Christiane Taubira to an ape on French television and posted a photomontage on Facebook that showed the justice minister, who is from French
Guiana, alongside a baby chimpanzee. The caption under the baby ape said At 18 months , and the one below Taubira's photograph read Now .
A court in Cayenne, French Guiana (part of France), sentenced her to nine months in jail, banned her from standing for election for five years, and imposed a € 50,000 fine.
Banners sporting a female surfer have been pulled down in Evans Head on the New South Wales north coast, after claims from one resident that they're inappropriate.
Promotional material boasting golden beach sunsets and green barrel waves hang in Evans Head's main street, reminding visitors about the beach lifestyle that the Richmond Valley has to offer. But soon after being erected, the council removed that
surfer girl image following a complaint from one resident who claimed it was sexist.
Richmond Valley Mayor Ernie Bennett says it has been taken down in the short-term, but he would like to see the poster returned.
Personally I see it as a normal shot of someone you would see on the beach at Evans Head. There's been quite a bit of communication with the community down at Evans... and people want the poster back up.
Petria Powell from the local milk bar has gathered 160 signatures calling for the poster to be put back up. She says the majority of her customers didn't agree with its removal. .
Not only is the girl one of our local surfers but it was just a beautiful photo of a girl walking down to the beach with a surf board under her arm. It's so innocent.
UK film productions that receive money from the BFI Film Fund must adhere to new political correctness quotas from September, the BFI has announced.
The BFI's new three ticks assessment - designed to mandate diversity of ethnicity, disability, gender, sexual orientation and socio-economic background in the industry - requires applicants to demonstrate political correctness compliance across
three areas of their production: on screen, off-screen and employment opportunities.
At least one tick will be needed in two of the three areas for a project to be eligible for funding
Projects will be independently assessed by the BFI's Orwellian sounding, Certification Unit with qualifying films receiving a BFI logo certifying the production's political correctness.
To further incentivise compliance each year one qualifying producer will be given a Lottery award to fund a diversity opportunity or work placement within their company for 12 months.
The BFI is also recruiting a political correctness 'expert' to support the implementation of the new guidelines and provide guidance to BFI-backed productions.
Examples of recent Film Fund films that would get a tick for politically correct subject matter include Belle, Pride, Suffragette, The Selfish Giant, Philomena, Catch Me Daddy and Calvary.
Air New Zealand's sexy safety video featuring bikini-clad models is off the air -- but the national carrier says it was nothing to do with public pressure.
The Sports Illustrated 50th anniversary in-flight safety demonstration, set in the Cook Islands, was released in February.
It inevitably met with a miserable response from PC extremists. An online petition demanding the safety video be removed was started by a Melbourne woman recently and has attracted more than 5600 signatures. The petitioner claimed the video made
women uncomfortable, including staff members.
An Air New Zealand spokesperson said the safety videos are scheduled, the Sport Illustrated video had reached the end of its run and was gradually being phased out of the aircrafts it was used on. It was not prompted by public pressure, she said.
Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) is a the traditional sidekick to the Dutch St Nicholas (a Santa Claus/Father Christmas like character). But now a Dutch court has decided that political correctness should override tradition.
Amsterdam's regional court said that the image of Black Pete with his thick red lips, being a stupid servant, gives rise to a negative stereotyping of black people . The court added that Amsterdam must review the character's involvement in
the annual festivities in November-December.
The Dutch version of the St Nicholas legend has him and armies of Black Petes arriving by steamboat from Spain. Previous calls to ban Black Petes - with their blackened faces, red lips and Afro wigs - have caused outrage.
Supporters of the ban say Black Pete (or Zwarte Piet) is a racist throwback to the times when black people were enslaved by the Dutch in the country's overseas colonies. Last year, hundreds of people staged a protest in Amsterdam. The issue has
even sparked an investigation at the United Nations.
But many ordinary people argue that Black Pete is a just a harmless prankster and a key figure on annual celebrations on 5 December, when the festivities conclude with a night of gift giving across the country.
The relaunched cover of Loaded reveals a distinct lack of cover girls. A spokesman at Simian Publishing, which took over Loaded late last year said:
Yes --- we're going to be far more discerning and sophisticated from now on,
There's one woman in the issue, actress Olympia Valance. The spokesman explained:
She's beautiful but she's fully clothed and it's a Q&A. We're going for substance. We've hired the feminist writer Julie Burchill as a columnist. We're thinking of having a gay column too.
Loaded changed hands after sales figures declined. In 2011 its circulation was less than a 10th of the 350,000 a decade earlier. The spokesman continued:
When the magazine launched in 1994 it was very much of its time but it had got to the point where it was just lowering the tone. We're not going to have any more lewd content. Mostly the change in content has come from our readers saying we'd
lost touch with them.
Stuff magazine will also be moving away from traditional cover girl exteriors.
Stuff's editor-in-chief Will Findlater said:
Stuff was launched in 1996 at the peak of the lad mag era. The covers used to help our position on the newsstand but our research tells us this is no longer the case.
An article on the Guardian's Women's Blog whinges:
The Nudie Tee: the new embodiment of sexism in sport.
Many thought sporting chauvinism could sink no lower. Then came the golf accessory manufactured to resemble naked, armless and decapitated female bodies
Was it the play on words that made all those marketing folk agree that this Nudie Tee was the perfect gift for golfers? How they must have congratulated themself that a tee was not just a tiny piece of plastic driven into the
ground to support your balls but, you know, the last syllable of the word nudi-ty .
Few products underline the fact that golf is still largely considered a man's game than a tee designed to look like a naked female torso. Such a small, insignificant thing that you can knock the head off it with just one swing of your big manly
Joanna Sharpen, a campaigner for the violence against women group AVA went into overdrive to explain her visceral response to a novelty gift , she points out that she saw it just after having read a list of the names of women recently
killed by their partners:
The product resonated with me because of the fact that the bodies are headless and two women this year were decapitated. They have no arms, as if women are purely sexual objects and have no need of a head or arms. People see them as a gimmick, a
novelty. But they do so much damage.
Sharpen has launched an online petition against the tees.
Comedian Jack Dee has allegedly threatened to quit the long-running comedy panel show, which regularly attracts 2.5million listeners, after BBC bosses ordered him to tone down his smutty jokes.
And regular panellist Tim Brooke- Taylor, who appears alongside Graeme Garden and Barry Cryer, has called BBC executives 'pathetic for taking offence at the show's innuendos.
The PC row began after a listener whinged about one of the show's best-known gags about the fictional score-keeper known as the lovely Samantha. The miserable complainant claimed that this was demeaning to women.
Brooke-Taylor told Cotswold Life magazine:
We've had terrible trouble with the BBC about the show. Someone complained about Samantha -- that it was being rude to women -- and told us we had to be careful about this and to not do that.
The writer who does Jack Dee's links said, "Well, in that case I'm leaving" , and Jack said, Well, I'm leaving, too. It's just so pathetic .
The character of Samantha was introduced in 1985 by original chairman Humphrey Lyttelton. She became the butt of double entendres and innuendos joking about her sexual exploits.
The BBC said it had received four complaints about Samantha since the start of 2013. A spokesman evaded the censorship issue:
We have regular discussions with production teams and contributors of all long-running Radio 4 programmes on how we can best keep the much-loved shows clever, relevant and fresh to listeners.
And of course under the requirements of political correctness 4 whiney whingers have to be put ahead of the listening pleasures of 2.5 million people.
Irish state broadcaster RTE has censure for politically incorrect remarks by fashion designer Paul Costelloe. The radio and TV censors of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) claimed that the comments were offensive to women.
Costelloe caused 'outrage' during an interview on RTE Radio One's The Business show in February when he spoke of young Irishmen in London damaging English virgins. The designer, who lives in London, was speaking about the Irish in
Britain. He said:
Certainly the Irish are never short of chatting up and, you know, we have that skill and I'm sure these young guys are doing great and damaging a lot of young English virgins, so there you are, and good luck to them.
The BAI upheld a single complaint, saying:
The manner in which sexual relationships were described by the guest would cause undue offence.
It is the safest sign that a major football tournament is imminent: an influx of adverts portraying women as sport-loathing killjoys and men as oafs interested only in goals and boobs. According to campaigners, this year's World Cup is
proving a vintage year.
A rash of regressive marketing campaigns, apparently from the imagination of 1950s ad men, have been provoking complaints. Pot Noodle's take on the World Cup's Brazilian location is a talking beach towel that leers at women in skimpy bikinis,
which has prompted 94 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority and a deluge of objections on social media.
A Unilever spokeswoman said the advert was intended to be tongue-in-cheek but that since a number of viewers did not appreciate it , it will no longer be broadcast in its current form.
Meanwhile, the Odeon One cinema in Liverpool has cancelled World Cup Widow screenings of female-friendly films during the tournament after complaints from feminist groups.
Justin Bieber has apologised after a five-year-old video surfaced showing him telling a bad taste joke.
In a statement to Associated Press, Bieber said when he was younger he didn't realise how certain words could hurt. He said he learned from his mistakes and apologised for them, and now is apologising again because they have become public.
The Sun first published the video on Sunday. In it, a then 15-year-old Bieber tells a joke to his friends: Why are black people afraid of chainsaws? He then mimics the noise of a chainsaw whilst saying 'Run nigger, nigger, nigger,
nigger, nigger' ,
Bieber's team have known about the video for some time and had tried to prevent its release..
In March this year, the Belgian parliament passed the Anti-Sexism Act ( Antiseksismewet ), which bans sexist speech from public life, be it in books, magazines or on the internet.
The new law is bound to raise countless problems, and not just in Belgium. For as long as there is someone in Belgium who is exposed to speech they deem sexist , under the terms of the new law it will be possible for that individual to
instigate criminal proceedings. This means that any speech or form of expression that merely reaches Belgium could be subject to prosecution.
Inevitably the text is drafted so vaguely and broadly as to render its application limitless. Sexism is defined as any gesture or action intended to express contempt towards someone because of their sex, or to regard a person as
inferior , or to reduce someone to his or her sexual dimension . Additionally, a violation of someone's dignity is required.
The BBC has been caught up in another ludicrous censorship row after the broadcaster cut the word girl from a programme about the Commonwealth Games over fears it could cause offence.
Mark Beaumont, the presenter, was being filmed grappling with a judo champion, and after he was sent crashing to the floor he said:
I am not sure I can live that down - being beaten by a 19-year-old girl.
When the half-hour episode of The Queen's Baton Relay was originally aired in April on the BBC News channel, the remark was broadcast in full. However, the word girl was edited out of a repeat of the programme, leading the
Corporation facing claims it had been overly politically correct and sanctimonious.
A BBC spokeswoman said the unedited version of the documentary was broadcast soon after being filmed because the baton's tour was treated as a news event. She added:
They had more time to edit it the second time. Mark didn't mean to cause offence. But the word 'girl' was taken out just in case it did.
There's a discussion that's been heating up for a while in various corners of the internet, and now at a number of US colleges , about how we take in information, and whether that information should be treated with what essentially
constitutes a warning label -- so long as it's likely to impact anyone in an unfavorable way due to their personal background, emotional state and/or life experiences. We call these emotional disclaimers trigger warnings , alerting a
consumer that the content within might offend or cause distress.
This is triggering (and therefore requires a trigger warning) is a phrase you might see in the comments section of an online article that addresses racism, rape, war, anorexia or any number of subjects about which a discussion may not
leave the reader with a care-free, fuzzy sort of feeling.
It's a phrase that's been requested this semester by a number of college students to be applied to classic books -- The Great Gatsby (for misogyny and violence), Huck Finn (for racism), Things Fall Apart (for colonialism and religious
persecution), Mrs. Dalloway (for suicide), Shakespeare (for ... you name it).
If the English language is to be raped by the forces of political correctness, then I think those behind this outrage should give us a darn good explanation for why they are doing it. You may notice that I just used the verb to rape metaphorically, which is to say in a context other than a literal one pertaining to an actual serious sexual assault. Is Claire Perry, the Conservative MP for Devizes, going to have a go at me for uttering the R-word out of context, or is she going to engage her brain and read on?
Perry has been locked in a ridiculous battle with the Labour party over comments made by the MP Austin Mitchell, in which he used the word rape to describe what he felt was happening to AstraZeneca -- the pharmaceutical company that is the
subject of a takeover bid by Pfizer. Mitchell intimated that the smaller, less powerful company was being raped by the stronger, more aggressive one. He tweeted that Cameron dare not stop Pfizer because he dare not offend the US in any
way. Roll up rapists.
Pretty standard use of a metaphor, if you ask me. But what do I know? I'm just a flowery-brained English literature graduate. Perry pompously announced that she had telephoned Mitchell and told him it was fine to have political debate about
Pfizer-AstraZeneca but never acceptable to use rape as a corporate analogy . Here endeth the lesson. Or not, as the case may be, because she then also contacted several of Mitchell's female colleagues via Twitter, urging them to condemn him.