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2015: April-June

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Updated: Motherducker!: Kanye West takes requests for your favourite offensive words...

BBC have fearful contingency plans to censor the rapper's 10:15pm performance at Glastonbury

Link Here 14th July 2015
BBC bosses have been finalising contingency plans in case they can't air a lot of Kanye West's set from Saturday night's Glastonbury headline slot because of strong or 'offensive' language.

They want to avoid a repeat of ITV's embarrassment which saw the channel mute the audio during his performance of All Day, due to repeated mentions of the word 'nigger'. A BBC source said:

The set list can change at the last minute, so who knows what Kanye could say on stage?

There are contingency plans in place. A warning will be broadcast ahead of his set, advising viewers to expect bad language, but as he comes on at 10.15pm there's hope it will be acceptable post-watershed.

Given his excessive swearing at the Brits, there will be a lot of nervy execs during his performance.

But they'll have to play it by ear on the night.

Update: O go on...just a couple

28th June 2015. See  article from

West said the word 'nigger' twice within minutes of his headlining set, during the tracks Nigger in Paris and Black Skinhead.

The rapper also got the crowd to participate in his latest track All Day. The chorus for All Day features the word 'nigger' repeatedly.

Update: Motherducker!

30th June 2015. See  article from
See BBC subtitled video from YouTube

Given the post-watershed hour, the BBC decided not to bleep Kanye West for his Glastonbury performance, the BBC did though embarrass itself over a puerile attempt at censoring the strong language for the subtitles.

BBC Subtitles tried a new approach by replacing offensive words with words that sounded similarly but didn't include profanity.

This way, they got motherducker and shut the lock up and ligger / ligga and so, so many more hilarious words. Whoever was working on BBC Subtitles that night eventually lost heart and replaced all with the generic [HE RAPS].

These ludicrous substitutions certainly amused some viewers and fun was to be had by all on Twitter.

Meanwhile 44 whinged to TV censor Ofcom about the strong language.

Update: BBC official statement

1st July 2015. See  article from


We received complaints from some viewers who were unhappy with some of the language used by Kanye West during his headline set.

BBC Response

The performance was broadcast after the watershed and clear warning notices were given that it may contain strong language -- both at the start of the show and again, with a caption placed on screen just as Kanye's act started.

Update: Ofcom complaints dismissed

14th July 2015. See  article [pdf] from

Ofcom have noted that the 46 complaints received about strong language at Glastonbury have been dismissed and will not be taken up for further investigation.



Plunging Viewing Figures...

Ofcom decides not pursue censorship of sexy dresses on Britain's Got Talent

Link Here30th June 2015
TV censor Ofcom will not be investigating complaints about sexy outfits worn by Britain's Got Talent judges Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon.

Some 89 viewers whinged to the censor and a few more contacted ITV, claiming that the pair's outfits with plunging necklines, were inappropriate for a family show .

An Ofcom spokesman explained:

We assessed a number of complaints about the clothing worn by two female judges being unsuitable before the watershed, but won't be taking the matter forward for investigation. In our view, the dresses appropriately covered the judges and they were not portrayed in a sexualised way.

Amanda Holden previously spoke about the whingers saying in The Sun:

I don't give a shit. Well. It's important we listen to everyone's voice but 50 complaints in 10.5million viewers is a 0.000005 per cent share. Plus, I think an Amanda Holden Chest Appreciation Society would have more than 50 members.



Less Human...

Channel 4's Humans has been censored compared with the more sexy original

Link Here28th June 2015

Channel 4's latest hit drama Humans is based on a Scandinavian series called Akta Manniskor (Real Humans). But while the characters and the plot are almost identical, the UK version is markedly less sexy.

The Swedish version features several sexual encounters between humans and machines which will not feature in the remake, while scenes featuring nudity have been toned down. Co-writer Sam Vincent told The Mail on Sunday:

There is no nudity in the British version. We do not want to be perceived as being exploitative.

Last week, teenager Toby try to touch the breasts of robot synth Anita, played by Gemma Chan. But she stopped him, declaring it inappropriate. However, in the Swedish version, Anita allows him to rub her intimately. In another scene from the original, a male cyborg touches his female owner's breasts over the breakfast table before the couple are shown making love. This too is absent from the British version. And in another moment cut from the UK remake, the Swedish Anita removes her top and examines her breasts in a mirror.



Obituary: Patrick Macnee...

Hanging up his umbrella for the final time aged 93

Link Here26th June 2015
Patrick Macnee, was an English-American actor. He was best known for his role as the secret agent John Steed in the television series The Avengers and The New Avengers.

Macnee insisted on, and was proud of, never carrying a gun in the original series; when asked why, he explained, I'd just come out of a World War in which I'd seen most of my friends blown to bits.

Macnee's other significant roles have included playing Sir Godfrey Tibbett opposite Roger Moore in the James Bond film A View to a Kill (1985)

Macnee played on several films in melon farming genres particularly during the period 1981 to 1992:

1981 The Howling
The Hot Touch
The Creature Wasn't Nice
1982 Young Doctors in Love
1983 Sweet Sixteen
1984 This Is Spinal Tap
1985 A View to a Kill
1988 Waxwork
1989 Eye of the Widow
Lobster Man From Mars
Masque of the Red Death
1992 Waxwork II: Lost in Time



Tat for Tit...

The BBC's PC censors rename Titty from Swallows and Amazons to Tatty

Link Here25th June 2015
When BBC Films announced it was to remake Swallows and Amazons, it stressed that the production would stay true to Arthur Ransome's classic. At least as far as political correctness would allow. The pluckiest of the Walker children has been renamed after it was decided a character called Titty would offend the easily offended, and so the character has been renamed Tatty.

Ransome based the characters on a real-life family, the Altounyans. One of their number, Mavis, was nicknamed Titty after the Joseph Jacobs' children's story Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse.

Christine Langan, head of BBC Films, alluded to the ludicrous political correctness and commented that the film harks back to a pre-health and safety generation .

The film will be released next year.



The Wrong Words...

BBC whinges about strong language in its show, The Wrong Mans

Link Here21st June 2015

The BBC were a little bit PC and refused to specify what exactly was being complained about in the broadcast of The Wrong Mans . It seems likely that it was the Season 2 episode: Action Mans + Wise Mans. The words to the Twelve Days of Christmas are interrupted by screeching tyres and a siren, resulting in a shocked utterance: Jesus fucking Christ!

The BBC comments:


A viewer who had otherwise enjoyed this post-watershed comedy thriller complained about a sequence in which a character expressed astonishment by coupling Jesus Christ with one of the strongest swear-words.


Research makes clear that viewers and listeners find the combination of the strongest swear-words with holy names significantly more offensive than either when used separately. The phrase in question calls for stronger editorial justification than was apparent in this case.

Complaint upheld

Further action

The finding has been shared with BBC Television's Compliance Managers and senior management. They have been reminded that any proposal to use the phrase in question would require very strong editorial justification.



Unequal for UK cinema and home video...

But hopefully The Equalizer is uncut on UK cable and satellite TV

Link Here30th May 2015
The Equalizer is a 2014 USA action crime thriller by Antoine Fuqua.
Starring Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas and Chloë Grace Moretz. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

A former black ops commando who faked his death for a quiet life in Boston comes out of his retirement to rescue a young girl and finds himself face to face with Russian gangsters.

The film was passed 15 for strong bloody violence, sex references, strong language after BBFC advised pre-cuts for:

  • 2014 cinema release
The BBFC commented:

This work was originally seen for advice. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive an 18 certificate but that their preferred 15 classification could be achieved by making cuts to reduce the violence in two scenes. When the finished version of the film as submitted for formal classification, edits had been made to reduce sequences of violence, including detail of a stabbing with a corkscrew and a garroting. The formal submission was consequently rated 15.

Unfortunately the same cut version was submitted for UK DVD and Blu-ray and so is still cut and 15 rated.

However Paul now comments that UK TV  is hopefully showing the uncut version:

The version of The Equalizer I've just watched on Now TV, and I would assume the same as the one on sky, is uncut. I've scrutinized over it with the moviecensorship comparison and it's well worth a look to confirm.



Updated: Extreme proposals...

Theresa May's plans to pre-censor TV revealed

Link Here23rd May 2015
Theresa May's plan to introduce counter-extremism powers to vet British broadcasters' programmes before transmission was attacked by a Conservative cabinet colleague, a leaked letter has revealed. Presumably May's censorship proposal is targeted at muslim TV channels broadcast in the UK or perhaps wider religion based channels but it is too politically incorrect to mention the target of these proposals.

Sajid Javid described the Home Secretary's proposal to give Ofcom extra powers to censor extremist content as a threat to freedom of speech and reducing Ofcom to the role of a censor.

Javid pointed out that other countries which have imposed similar powers are not known for their compliance with rights related to freedom of expression and the Government may not wish to be associated with such regimes .

He sent the letter on March 12 when he was Culture, Media and Sport Secretary to inform the Prime Minister that he could not support May's counter extremism strategy and sent a copy to the Home Secretary. In the letter published by the Guardian, Javid wrote:

Extending Ofcom's powers to enable it to take pre-emptive action would move it from its current position as a post-transmission regulator into the role of a censor.

This would involve a fundamental shift in the way UK broadcasting is regulated, away from the current framework which is designed to take appropriate account of the right to freedom of expression.

Whilst it is absolutely vital that Government works in partnership with individuals and organisations to do all it can to ensure that society is protected from extremism, it must also continue to protect the right to freedom of expression and ensure that these proposals do not restrict or prevent legitimate and lawful comment or debate.

Cameron last week outlined plans to fast-track powers to tackle radicalisation, including a commitment to give Ofcom a strengthened role in taking action against channels which broadcast extremist content, alongside banning and disruption orders for people who seek to radicalise others or use hate speech in public. It is not clear whether the Government has revisited May's plans since taking office, or whether they could be included in next week's Queen's Speech.

Update: Cameron confirms plans for TV pre-censorship

23rd May 2015. See  article from

David Cameron seems to have confirmed plans to allow Ofcom to censor television programmes. The measure is presumably targeted at religious/muslim channels showing interviews with extremists. Ofcom will be given powers to pre-censor such content before it airs.

Cameron has now said that the Home Secretary's counter-extremism proposals, which are expected to be a centrepiece of next week's Queen's Speech, were sensible . Hhe said:

Our proposals on extremism are extremely sensible and I think need to be put into place. Ofcom has got a role to make sure we don't broadcast extremist messages through our media as well.

Cameron last week outlined plans to fast-track powers to tackle radicalisation, including a commitment to give Ofcom a strengthened role in taking action against channels which broadcast extremist content, alongside banning and disruption orders for people who seek to radicalise others or use hate speech in public.

A Downing Street spokesman said the proposals would be part of next week's Queen's Speech.



Pandering to the easily offended...

Ofcom reports on audience attitudes to TV, internet TV, and radio

Link Here20th May 2015
Ofcom has published a survey on audience attitudes to TV and radio. This covers what people find 'offensive' on TV and radio, their awareness of and attitudes towards censorship, and their understanding of advertising and product placement. Unsurprisingly the survey supports Ofcom in its role in 'protecting' viewers, especially children.

The survey reported that most people (79%) had not been offended by anything on TV in the past year. However, one in five had found something offensive, rising to a third (33%) for people aged 65 and over. Those aged between 16 and 24 were least likely to be offended (9% compared with 33% of over 65s). Of course these figures exaggerate the 'offensiveness' of TV as they include people who have reported, minimal offensive programming ,or even just one incident in a year.

Of those who had been offended, bad language (44%), violence (41%) and sexual content (41%) were the top issues. Adults below 45 years old were more likely to say they had been offended by some type of discrimination (29% compared with 19% of over-45s).

On average, about half of all people thought current levels of sex (57%), violence (47%) and swearing (52%) on TV were acceptable. 43% felt there was too much violence, 40% too much swearing, while 28% said there was too much sex.

The vast majority of adult TV viewers (90%) knew about the 9pm watershed, with 57% saying about 9pm was the right time while 27% said the watershed should be later.

The report found a clear understanding about broadcast content is controlled via censorship rules, with 82% of adults aware that TV is censored. Most adults felt the current levels of TV and radio censorship were about right (61%), or did not have an opinion (18% for TV and 33% for radio).

Ofcom noted that it has a duty to 'protect' viewers from supposedly harmful and offensive material on TV and radio, as well as TV like content on internet connected devices.

Ofcom also notes that it is working with government, other censors, and industry bodies to bring about a common framework for media standards applying to TV, on-demand and radio. This will help ensure people are 'protected' and understand what is censored, and the protections in place.



Offsite Article: The midwife knows best...

Link Here5th May 2015
Jessica Raine whinges at TV bosses for their penchant for violence against women in crime dramas

See article from



Update: Have I Got Election News For You...

UKIP complains about comments on TV comedy quiz

Link Here30th April 2015
Ukip have reported Have I Got News For You to police over a comment made about Nigel Farage. However commentators have noted that the disputed comments about Farage came after 13 minutes of mocking the Tories, Labour, Lib Dem and SNP campaigns.

The complaint arose from last Friday's edition when journalist Camilla Long spoke about visiting Farage's constituency of South Thanet in Kent. She said:

I went there more than Nigel Farage. By the time I arrived there he'd only been a few times.

When asked by Ian Hislop whether she thought Ukip would win the seat, Long replied:

I don't think they are, I don't think he's going to get a seat at all.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC, Farage said:

Even through to a programme on Have I Got News For You last week where comments were made about an individual in a constituency, namely me, that I just don't think would have been said about any other candidate in the country.'

According to ITV Nnews, Ukip's advisors claimed the comments were inaccurate and that their broadcast breached the Representation of the People Act.

Kent Police confirmed they received a complaint, but said they would not be launching an investigation. A spokesman told Chortle:

Kent Police received a complaint regarding comments made on a television broadcast last week. It was suggested that the comments breached the Representation of the People Act. The matter has been reviewed by officers but there's no evidence of any offences and there will be no further action.



Chasing Paradise...

Where one can enjoy life without interfering miserable censors

Link Here22nd April 2015

Filmmaker Barry Wilkinson writes about the showing of his short film on  MADE in Bristol Television:

Here's a funny story for you. My new film Chasing Paradise was shown on TV last night. It went out before the watershed at 8:30pm. I told them it had one f-word in it. Anyway, they said yes, it will be censored. Watched it last night and lo and behold... they forgot to censor it. They got in trouble as apparently there were several complaints made to OFCOM. This morning they were meant to show a repeat at 10am and 7pm, but it was replaced with a different program. Haha.



Update: Clear Censorship...

Sky cancels Scientology documentary over fears of libel claims via Northern ireland

Link Here19th April 2015
Plans to broadcast HBO's Church of Scientology exposť, Going Clear , have been shelved by Sky Atlantic in a virtual repeat of events two years ago, when UK publishers abandoned publication of the book on which the new TV documentary is based.

Sky originally indicated that the Alex Gibney-directed film, which alleges abusive practices at the 'religion''s US headquarters, would be transmitted in the UK earlier this month in step with its American release.

However, the Observer has learned that because Northern Ireland is not subject to the 2013 Defamation Act, the broadcaster could be exposed to libel claims from David Miscavige, the leader of the church, or others. This appears to have caused the company to postpone transmission, if not to cancel it entirely.

Sky is unable to differentiate its signal between regions, rendering the same programme potentially exposed to pre-reform libel laws in Northern Ireland, but shielded in Britain where, among free-speech safeguards and reforms designed to limit frivolous claims or libel tourism , people or organisations must now show serious harm to reputation.

Scientology leaders said in a statement:

The Church of Scientology will be entitled to seek the protection of both UK and Irish libel laws in the event that any false or defamatory content in this film is broadcast within these jurisdictions.



It's no joke at the BBC...

A multi-level bureaucracy of joke inspectors at the BBC

Link Here5th April 2015
Viewers may be surprised to learn about the lengths the BBC must now to go to get a simple joke on air, with boxes to be ticked right up to the director-general.

An editor at BBC comedy has disclosed the careful compliance procedures as executives fear causing a national scandal with a politically incorrect joke. He said some jokes had to be checked personally by the director of television and even Lord Hall himself.

Speaking at a Bafta event about free speech and television, Chris Sussman, an executive editor for comedy at the BBC, said the corporation is now extra-wary of causing offence in a post-Sachsgate and Twitter world. He told an audience:

At the BBC, it's been a difficult few years and I think that is reflected internally in terms of the processes and procedures we go through when we're making programmes. Certainly since I've been there it's been, I would say, a tougher environment than it has been for a while. To get a certain joke on air, to get a joke approved, we have to go through quite a lot of layers.

We have editorial policy advisors, we have legal advisors, we have to run jokes past the channel. In certain circumstances they'd have to run jokes past the director of television. I've been involved in a programme where it's gone all the way up to the director-general.

He added that all jokes were now considered on the basis of whether they were funny enough to justify any potential offence caused.



Attitudes to Online and On Demand Content...

Ofcom publish report noting that parents are most worried by their kids watching violent internet video

Link Here2nd April 2015

Parents are more worried about their children being exposed to violent videos than pornography or bad language, according to new research. A report from Ofcom reveals that violent images tops the list of concerns for parents when it comes to their children watching footage on the internet.

The report by the TV censor ranked the concerns of parents, with 39% of those who had expressed worries naming violence as a key issue, sexually explicit content and bad language followed shortly after with 33% and 28% respectively.

Vivienne Pattison, director of moralist campaign group Mediawatch-UK, said:

The people that I speak to are terribly concerned because of tablets and smartphones because people can just wander off with them.

This is a whole new level of challenge that parents have never had to deal with before. Devices are so small now and they move, we're still working this out and we're playing catch up.

She added that she was not surprised violence came out on top of the list and said the results chime with her own research.

The Ofcom report, Attitudes to Online and On Demand Content , claimed that more than one in ten people who had watched videos online has seen something that concerned them. An Ofcom spokesman said:

We know children now watch programmes in a variety of ways, and on different devices, and we recognise this poses new challenges for parents and regulators. This is why we're working closely with the Government and other bodies, like the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, to ensure children are protected across different media.

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