Erect penises appeared on broadcast television on Monday reportedly for the first time in a new taboo-shattering Channel 4 documentary. Me & My Penis , which aired at 10pm, showed footage of eight erections as men pose for naked photographs
while discussing male issues.
The erections are shown in an entirely artistic photographic context, and Channel 4 feels that filming them doesn't break any rules.
The subjects filmed for the documentary are photographed by London-based British
artist and fine art photographer Ajamu, whose radical portraits of the male body have pushed boundaries and provoked cultural debate.
While he shoots their intimate photographs, the men discuss their varied experiences -- from the pleasures of sex to
stories of infertility and sexual abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, homophobia and mental health. The programme, which airs at 10pm, will show footage of eight erections as men pose for naked photographs while discussing male issues.
Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has previously said there is no ban on showing erections on TV, but it would have to be justified by the context.
A Jamaican minister is set to make a formal complaint over a BBC Three sketch from the show Famalam , which she has described as outrageous and offensive. Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica's minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, tweeted:
This is outrageous and offensive to the incredible country which I am proud to represent along with every Jamaican at home and within our diaspora... I will immediately be writing formally on this! #StopThisShow
Ramocan told HuffPost UK:
It is unbelievable that the, BBC an institution with an international reputation for trustworthy broadcasting, could find itself in the gutter of promoting such harmful and
destructive pornographic material that can only serve to damage the morals and values we seek to encourage in our young people.
This broadcast which serves to tarnish and insult the image of Brand Jamaica must be immediately
pulled from the BBC programme. I call on all well-thinking listeners and viewers to join us in this call.
Nathaniel Peat, Global Jamaica Diaspora Council lead for the south UK and chairman of Jamaicans Inspired said:
The program is over sexualised, regressive, discriminatory, derogatory and has stereotypical racist tropes especially at a time when Black Lives matter has highlighted the need for a more balanced and better portrayal of black people
in the media.
It is deeply upsetting that the national broadcaster has chosen to promote this highly explicit content on a public forum such as twitter that has exposure to youth as young as 14, what type of image does this set in
their minds when there already is a lack of positive black role models that are seen in the British media.
The clip has also been slammed by high commissioner of Jamaica to the United Kingdom Seth George Ramocan, who claimed it serves
to tarnish and insult the image of Brand Jamaica.
A preview of the segment titled Jamaican Countdown , a parody of the long-running game show Countdown , includes jokey language used towards the female character selecting numbers and
letters. Part of the sketch also shows the silhouette of a man, referencing the stereotype of black men having large penises.
The programme is made with a cast of black British actors, and presumably the programme makers too.
The BBC posted
the following response on its website:
Famalam is a well-established, award-nominated BBC Three sketch comedy show that is now in its third series. It stars some of the UK's best comedy talent and explores aspects of
contemporary life from a black perspective.
Like many sketch comedy shows Famalam finds humour in a wide range of scenarios and regular viewers who are familiar with the tone of the show will know that it has a reputation for
challenging stereotypes and confronting social issues. We can assure you that the intention of this sketch isn't to diminish Jamaican people or Jamaican culture, and nor is there any intention to cause offence.
The Latvian TV censor has banned the Russian propaganda channel RT (formerly named Russia Today). The channel was also recently banned in Lithuania.
Latvia's National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) on July 21 banned RT claiming incitement to
hatred. It was prompted by a 60 minute broadcast on July 10, in which remarks on Ukraine are described as hate speech. Ivars Abolins, head of the NEPLP, said:
We believe it is an incitement to hatred against Ukraine,
against the Ukrainian people. We are absolutely convinced that the European Commission will also agree with our view, and if a second infringement is detected within a year, Rossija RTR can be banned on the territory of Latvia.
responded citing a statement from the Association for International Broadcasting which strongly criticised the Latvian media regulator. A letter from AIB commented:
We wish to protest in the strongest terms on what
appears, on the face of it, to be a political decision that has no regulatory legitimacy.
The banning of the RT channels appears to flow from the misinterpretation by the Council of the ownership structure of RT and the alleged
control of RT by Dmitry Kiselyov who is sanctioned by the European Union.
We draw to your attention that RT disputes the reason for the Council's ban on its licensed channels and that it has not been granted the right to present
evidence of the ownership and control of the company. This is an extraordinary omission by a media regulator in a western democracy.