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 2018: Jan-March

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 Updated: Don't be a Can't...

Irn Bru winds up a few can'ts into complaining to ASA about a humorous TV advert


Link Here 24th March 2018

AG Barr have issued an apology after an Irn Bru advert sparked a few complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ad aired on STV after 7pm on Friday. The ASA confirmed they had received 9 complaints with the majority deeming the advert to be offensive and in poor taste.

The 'Don't be a cunt' campaign depicts a man meeting his girlfriends family for the first time and when asked by her father about when he is going to marry his daughter he replies he can't right now and asked to leave but is told by his girlfriend that they can't to which he replies Don't be a can't

An AG Barr spokeswoman said:

Our advertising always plays up Irn-Bru's cheeky sense of humour and our latest campaign is no different. It's never our intention to offend so we're sorry if our new advert hit the wrong note with a few people. But we hope most fans will enjoy this spin on positive thinking in the spirit it is intended.

Update: ASA are usually can'ts but this time they are a can

24th March 2018. See  article from eveningtimes.co.uk

A.G. Barr's latest Irn-Bru advert has been deemed not offensive by the advert censors at ASA.

ASA said, after receiving 37 complaints, it had decided not to launch a formal investigation against the campaign. An ASA spokeswoman added:

While we acknowledge there was some similarity between 'can't' and a swear word, as suggested by complainants, and that some viewers might find the ad offensive for that reason, we considered the spoken use of the word 'can't' had sufficient clarity. Therefore, it was clearly distinguishable from the swear word.

We also considered the audience was likely to interpret the ad as an attempt at humour by linking being a 'can't' with negativity while associating 'can' with positivity and their product.

 

 Offsite Article: OFCOM's Revisionist History...


Link Here 12th March 2018
The problem with old films and TV shows, of course, is that they sometimes reflect the attitudes of the times in which they were made.

See article from reprobatemagazine.uk

 

  MSP publicises Buckfast Tonic Wine...

Alex Neil calls on the BBC to cancel Antiques Roadshow at Buckfast to avoid publicity for its tonic wine


Link Here 6th March 2018  full story: UK Drinks Censor...Portman Group play PC censor for drinks
Plans to film an episode of Antiques Roadshow from Buckfast Abbey have been criticised over fears it will promote Buckfast Tonic Wine.

Alex Neil claims the location is inappropriate due to concerns over the drink, including its link to 43% of offences committed by Scottish prisoners. Now he has called on the BBC to cancel their visit to avoid publicising the monks' tonic wine. Neil, SNP MSP for Airdrie and Shotts, said:

Buckfast has been the scourge of my constituency in Lanarkshire and elsewhere in central Scotland for a great number of years now, so I have grave concerns about the BBC giving its makers the glare of positive publicity.

They must give a commitment that it is not going to give this dangerous drink a free advert.

A 75cl bottle has an alcohol content of 15 per cent and the caffeine equivalent of four cups of coffee.

A spokeswoman for Buckfast Abbey said: We are looking forward to welcoming Antiques Roadshow in September.

 

  The 3 H's: Heaven, Hell and Heroin...

Coronation Street a few viewers with a drug taking scene in a church


Link Here 3rd March 2018
A few viewers of Coronation Street are 'outraged' at a scene showing the resident vicar taking heroin in church.

The character, Billy Mayhew, has been battling an addiction to painkillers. However, he fell to new lows after his drug dealer brother Lee sold him heroin. The pair shot up in church, and as they were slumped against the pews Lee said: This must be what heaven feels like.

Ofcom received 82 complaints from viewers about the scene.

An ITV statement said that it had dealt with the issue in a responsible way, and that further episodes would show the negative side of Billy's drug taking.

However, the following episode opened with the vicar blaspheming, before going on to take more heroin and becoming aggressive towards his adopted daughter while high.

Update: Binned at Ofcom

10th April 2018. See  article [pdf] from ofcom.org.uk

Ofcom binned 211 complaints about the drugs scene without further investigations.

 

 Extract: Keyser Soze...

All UK TV companies seem to have banned all Kevin Spacey and Woody Allen films


Link Here 28th February 2018

A well-placed source told me recently that late last year the BBC pulled plans to show the Oscar-winning film American Beauty on BBC1. Why? Because it stars Kevin Spacey, who had at that point just been accused of sexually inappropriate behaviour.

Spacey, who is now seeking treatment for his problems, has not been convicted in court of any of the offences levelled at him but the BBC seems to have decided it must shield licence fee payers from works of fiction he has appeared in anyway. No film involving Spacey has been broadcast by the BBC -- or any other terrestrial TV channel -- for months.

The same goes for Woody Allen. In 1992 he was accused of sexually molesting his adopted daughter, Dylan.

The writer asked the main TV companies for their comments but they weren't willing to say anything worthwhile. Channel 4 was the only company even willing to allude to #MeToo reaction. A spokesman said:

Channel 4 and Film4 are always mindful of current events when scheduling films for broadcast. We select films on a case by case basis, taking into account the nature of the films and the likely impact their broadcast might have on our audiences given current events.

Read the full  article from blogs.spectator.co.uk

 

  Revisionist censorship...

Ofcom censor old derogatory word from the 1970s TV series, A Family at War


Link Here 24th February 2018

A Family At War
Talking Pictures TV, 19 November 2017, 20:15

Talking Pictures TV is an entertainment channel broadcasting classic films and archive programmes.

A Family At War was a British period drama series made between 1970 and 1972, about the experiences of a family from Liverpool during the Second World War. The episode Hazard was produced in 1971 and showed one of the main characters, Philip Ashton, serving in the British army in Egypt in 1942, focusing on his encounter with another soldier, Jack Hazard.

We received a complaint about offensive language in this episode, as follows:

  • in a scene set in an army mess in the Egypt desert, Hazard, a white British soldier, ordered some drinks and asked the barkeeper to get a waiter to bring the drinks over to where Hazard and Ashton were sitting by saying: “Send the wog over with them, will you?”. When the Egyptian waiter brought the drinks to Hazard and Ashton’s table, Hazard said to him, “And how’s the war going for you, Ahmed, you thieving old wog…you old thief…you thieving old sod?”;

  • in a scene set in Hazard and Ashton’s tent on their army base, Hazard asked Ashton to accompany him to the army bar by saying: “Let’s go down to the woggery, there’s bound to be a fair bit of skirt out of bounds… Or perhaps Ahmed could fix us up with a female wog? [laughs] I bet he rents out his kid sister”; and

  • in a later scene set in Hazard and Ashton’s tent Hazard said the following to Ashton: “You know what I think I’ll do on my next leave? I’ll pay a visit to the wog tattooist”.

Ofcom considered rule 2.3:

“In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context…”.

Talking Pictures said that it believed the inclusion of the potentially offensive racist language in this episode was justified by the context. It explained that the creator of the series, John Finch, had intended it to challenge the 1970s audience's understanding of the Second World War by being honest to the realities of the war time period206 shocking as that may be, and broadcast within the constraints and conventions of the time.

Talking Pictures said that it had suspended any further broadcast of this episode. It also said that it had contracted a third-party expert to conduct a review of all content containing racial language to complement its existing compliance system

Ofcom Decision: Breach of rule 2.3

We first considered whether the language had the potential to cause offence. Ofcom's 2016 research on offensive language makes clear that the word wog is considered by audiences to be a derogatory term for black people and to be among the strongest language and highly unacceptable without strong contextualisation.

We considered that the word wog was used in a clearly derogatory way towards an Egyptian character Ahmed, both directly to Ahmed's face and later when he is not present. The Licensee argued that some of Hazard's offensive statements related to actual Second World War references, namely the term WOG [which] was originally 'Working on Government Service' before it became an ethnic and racial slur. We understand that the derivation of wog is contested, but irrespective of its origins, and as acknowledged by Talking Pictures, the term today is considered highly offensive.

We acknowledged that the Licensee's audience would have recognised that they were watching a programme made several decades ago when attitudes to language were different. However, we considered that the repeated use of highly offensive racist language without direct challenge carried a high risk of causing significant offence today.

It is Ofcom's view that the broadcast of this offensive language exceeded generally accepted standards, in breach of Rule 2.3 of the Code.

Talking Pictures was previously found in breach of the Code for the broadcast of racially offensive language without sufficient contextual justification on 9 January 20173 and 8 January 20184 (for material broadcast on 24 August 2016 and 13 September 2017 respectively). Ofcom is requesting Talking Pictures to attend a meeting to discuss its

A little background about Talking Pictures

24th February 2018. See  article from express.co.uk

Talking Pictures TV, a family-owned, father and daughter-run station with only three members of staff, launched on Freeview less than three years ago but it already has over two million viewers.

Its unashamedly nostalgic diet of mainly old black-andwhite films, documentary shorts and TV series of yesteryear has proved a huge hit with the public and - we are informed - the Queen.

Alas not everyone is happy about the great service to film and vintage TV buffs that the channel is providing. Media regulator Ofcom has summoned Talking Pictures TV managing director Sarah Cronin-Stanley and her father Noel to a meeting to discuss compliance issues after the channel was found in breach of rules regarding the broadcasting of offensive language.  Sarah commented:

There are some films that are too horrible to show. But our view of context is different to Ofcom's. The word used in A Family At War is one that quite rightly we don't use today but it was one the character - who wasn't very likeable - would have used at the time in which the drama was set, which is why we didn't censor it. He was in Egypt during the war and was talking to squaddies.

The Express writer commented:

It's also worth bearing in mind that A Family At War was hugely popular when first shown on ITV in the 1970s.

The Ofcom intervention raises serious issues about censorship and attempts to rewrite history. The fact is that terms we regard as offensive today were used by people every day in the past.

Ofcom can't censor British TV history - surely we are meant to learn from the past

24th February 2018. See  article from dailymail.co.uk

And of course a few colourful comments from the Daily Mail. See  article from dailymail.co.uk

 

  Damn! Nonsensical censorship at the Brit Awards...

A nonsensical decision to hire a musician whose message was rendered nonsensical by the nonsensical muting of terms that nobody would have understood anyway


Link Here 23rd February 2018  full story: Brit Awards...Sttrong language and alcohol at Brit Awards
Brit Awards viewers were left baffled after parts of rap star Kendrick Lamar's performance were muted by ITV.

What's the point in having Kendrick Lamar perform on #BRITS if you're going to mute him every other word? tweeted JP, voicing the discontent of many.

Many assumed that Lamar's songs Feel and New Freezer were muted due to bad language. But it seems the main issues were references to drugs and oral sex. Some muted sections featured mentions of bad dope and cocaine white.

The US rapper himself actually changed the most overt bad language in his lyrics - but fell foul of the censor's button for the drug words and oblique slang references to oral sex.

Lamar's performance at the Brit Awards in London was broadcast on ITV on Wednesday almost an hour past the 9pm watershed. Yet the decision was made to mute the audio 10 times during his performance .

Asked about the decision to mute parts of the songs, ITV said the ceremony was broadcast to a wide audience. A spokeswoman said:

We have always used a short time delay and audio muting to deal with language viewers may consider unsuitable.

Lamar's performance also included a man taking a baseball bat to the windshield of an expensive-looking sports car.

On Thursday morning, TV censor Ofcom said it had received 74 complaints from viewers about Lamar's segment - some of whom feared this might incite criminal behaviour and property damage, and some complaining about implied bad language.

BBC music reporter Mark Savage described the car stunt as the evening's biggest metaphor failure, explaining:

His intention was to make a statement about the emptiness of status symbols and the trappings of fame. But, with most viewers unable to hear his lyrics, it came off as 'I'm so rich I can afford to smash up this very expensive car live on TV.'

Update: Ofcom not interested

5th March 2018.

Ofcom noted a final tally of 89 complaints but were not interested in taking matters further.

 

 Offsite Article: BBFC Podcast: 79...


Link Here 13th February 2018
Age ratings for Preacher and Supernatural US TV series

See article from bbfc.co.uk

 

  Topical storyline...

Ofcom receives 228 complaints about an acid attack in Emmerdale


Link Here 11th February 2018  full story: Emmerdale...Viewer whinges about ITV soap
TV censor Ofcom has received  228 complaints from viewers about an episode of Emmerdale that featured an acid attack.

Viewers watched as Barton had the acid thrown over him by Simon McManus, who had mistaken the man for someone else.

Debbie Dingle had been trying to get back at Joe Tate, asking Simon to mess him up.  However, Simon mistook Ross for Joe and threw the acid in his face, leaving Ross screaming in agony.

UK TV watchdog Ofcom received 228 complaints from viewers about the story, with many saying that the graphic nature of the scene was not suitable for pre-watershed viewing.

An Ofcom  spokesperson responded:

We are assessing these complaints under our broadcasting rules before deciding whether or not to investigate.

This phrase is Ofcom speak for complaints that are already on their way to the wastepaper bin.

A spokesperson for Emmerdale told Metro.co.uk:

Emmerdale has a long track record of tackling difficult and topical storylines and the unprovoked acid attack upon Ross is another example of this. We take our responsibility seriously when portraying what happens in these circumstances.

Consequently, the storyline was researched thoroughly with medical experts at Pinderfields Hospital. For the sequence following Ross's attack we adhered carefully to the NHS guidelines about how to help people who are the victim of an acid attack.

 

  Seeking brownie points...

Piers Morgan is 'outraged' by an arse licking cartoon broadcast by the BBC


Link Here 4th February 2018
Piers Morgan secured the first international interview with Donald Trump last week.

However the interviewer came across as bit arse lickey. The BBC's Mash Report concurred and broadcast a cartoon to illustrate the point.

Piers Morgan launched a blistering on the BBC after it aired a cartoon depicting the British journalist with his nose up President Trump's backside. Morgan accused the corporation of double standards. He wrote:

Amusing though this image may be to many people, can you imagine the BBC broadcasting it if the President was Hillary Clinton or the interviewer was a woman?

The BBC thinks this is OK to broadcast. But if it depicted high profile women, there would be outrage. Why the double standard? If they did it to Hilary Clinton and Laura Kuenssberg - somebody WOULD be sacked.

Surely a valid point but it hardly deflects the humour. US columnist and television personality Perez Hilton agreed and retweeted Morgan, adding: Solid point from Piers.

A BBC spokesperson said:

The BBC has a rich heritage of satire and The Mash Report takes a satirical and surreal look at the week's big stories. This brand of humour is well known to BBC Two audiences who tune in to watch the programme.

 

 Offsite Article: Just a little off the extremities of body modification...


Link Here 23rd January 2018
Ofcom censures Channel 5 for its OMG: Painted, Pierced and Proud, which detailed self amputation of a little finger with bolt cutters

See article [pdf] from ofcom.org.uk

 

  Here's to good health...

Miserable old gits from Bath and Nottingham Universities whinge that post watershed Geordie Shore contains frequent scenes featuring alcohol


Link Here 22nd January 2018
MTV's Geordie Shore is to be reported to Ofcom by health campaigners who claim it is one long advert for drinking.

A new study from the universities of Bath and Nottingham found nearly 80% of all scenes in the hit reality TV show contained alcohol.

The authors of the paper have now called for clearer alcohol warnings at the start of the MTV programme and the removal of all branding from it.

They examined seven hours of footage over 10 episodes of season 11 and found 78% of scenes contained alcohol content, 30% of scenes contained actual alcohol use and 72% contained inferred alcohol use.

The study says almost a quarter of scenes featured alcohol brands, with vodka label Smirnoff appearing most frequently. Professor John Britton, from the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies at the University of Nottingham, whinged:

From a health perspective, this series of programmes represent one long advert for drinking in general, and for Smirnoff, Grey Goose and Corona in particular, for a teenage and young adult audience.

MTV says the show is not aimed at young people and is broadcast after 10pm.

 

  662 votes...

Coronation Street is on course to win Ofcom's most complained about programmes award


Link Here 14th January 2018  full story: Coronation Street...Complaints and whinges
TV censor Ofcom has received 662 complaints following violent scenes in Coronation Street.

The storyline with Pat Phelan as a multi-murderer has been a big hit with somplaining viewers culminating in the murder of Luke Britton. The graphic scene shows Phelan grab his gun out the back of his van, and shoot Luke straight through his car windscreen.

A spokesman for ITV told MailOnline:

Pat Phelan is well established as a villain in a long line of murderous Coronation Street villains, and his evil actions won't have come as a surprise to viewers.

The programme is always careful to limit the violence shown to a minimum to convey the drama and tell the story. We have responded to Ofcom.

 

  Flame war...

PC lynch mob targets the BBC for its use of the word 'fireman' in a children's program


Link Here 4th January 2018
The London Fire Brigade has accused the BBC of sexism after one of its children's shows referred to a character as a fireman rather than a firefighter.

The CBeebies show Hey Duggee was called out on Twitter by the Greenwich fire crew in south London, who said the term was very outdated.

This term is VERY outdated and the term 'firefighter' is the preferred, respectful, inclusive, non-sexist, non-gendered term that should be widely used by all media but especially the BBC.

Surely words can be allowed to evolve at their own pace. What good does getting all aggressive do? If you DEMAND respect, the best you can hope to get, is begrudging compliance, whilst adding to a general disrespect for authority due it going PC mad.

 

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