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2019: Oct-Dec

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Updated: Rudderless up Schitt's Creek...

4Music is censoring Schitt's Creek but viewers cannot work out why

Link Here25th December 2019
Schitt's Creek is a LGBT themed comedy being broadcast on Channel 4's 4mUsic Channel at 9pm.

The TV series is one imagined in a world where there is not homophobia, with the lead character pansexual David Rose, played by show creator Dan Levy.

People have been discussing cuts online but it is not clear what the rationale is to the onconsistent censorship. A Twitter user explained:

4Music showed Schitt's Creek with cut dialogue between David and Patrick, specifying that verbiage about sleeping together had been omitted. But their kiss is there. And episodes earlier talk of Moira sleeping with Roland remains. And Moira still says 'fuck,' so some curious censoring.

The next episode where Jake kisses David 204 no kiss -- But Patrick and David still kiss. Again with odd censoring.

Are they limiting my gay content? Can I only see PG-related kissing boys, but no talk of having sex? And no other boy can come along kissing on them?

Series creator and star Dan Levy joined in the debate:

Is this true 4 Music? the show creator tweeted to the British television station. Censoring kissing and intimate dialogue? He later noted that the censorship was not only highly disturbing and dangerous but that removing the kiss between David and Jake took out a big laugh from the scene!

Update: Just a ghastly mistake...we'll do better next time...honest!

25th December 2019. See article from

As always when companies are caught censoring they claim that it was all a big mistake and that they'll do better next time. 4Music have responded in the usual manner, tweeting:

To all our Schitt's Creek fans: sorry the show you saw at the weekend wasn't as we planned, this was 100% human error. We do often edit shows for different time slots and David's kiss with Jake was inadvertently lost from the episode that we played.

This will be sorted for all future broadcasts of this episode.



Top 10 TV programmes of the decade...

Ofcom reveals the most complained about programmed

Link Here19th December 2019
Most complaints to Ofcom this decade:
  • Celebrity Big Brother , Channel 5 - 30, 31 August, 1 September 2018. 25,327 complaints about the incident involving Roxanne and Ryan
  • Loose Women , ITV - 29 August 2018. 8,002 complaints, including 7,912 about an interview with Kim Woodburn
  • UKIP: The First 100 Days , Channel 4 - 16 February 2015. 6,187 complaints, most saying the portrayal of UKIP was misleading, offensive and biased
  • Sky News - 27 September 2018. 3,463 viewers alleged bias and defamation of character in the editing of an interview with Tommy Robinson
  • The X Factor , ITV - 11 December 2010. 2,868 complaints that performances by Rihanna and Christina Aguilera were too explicit for broadcast before the watershed
  • Channel 4 News - 29 March 2019. 2,717 complaints after presenter Jon Snow said, after a day of Brexit rallies, that he had "never seen so many white people in one place"
  • Love Island , ITV2 - 1 July 2018. 2,644 viewers raised concerns about emotional distress to contestants, specifically Dani Dyer
  • The Wright Stuff , Channel 5 - 6, 7, 8 December 2011. 2,358 complaints that Matthew Wright and a guest made light of a murder in the Hebrides
  • Big Brother , Channel 5 - 24 June 2015. 2,024 complaints about comments made by contestant Helen Wood about fellow housemate Brian Belo
  • Sky News with Kay Burley - 5 June 2015. 1,838 complaints about the tone of Kay Burley's interview with Merlin Entertainment chief executive Nick Varney after the Alton Towers rollercoaster crash

Ofcom found that none of the top 10 broke its broadcasting rules. All were on commercial channels.




TV censors sledge Sky Cricket over strong language caught by on field microphones

Link Here16th December 2019

The Ashes, Sky Sports Main Event, 24 August 2019, 13:50
Live Vitality T20 Blast Cricket, Sky Sports Main Event, 4 September 2019, 20:10
Ashes Cricket, Sky Sports Ashes, 14 September 2019, 13:40

Ofcom received complaints about the broadcast of offensive language across three separate live cricket matches.

In the live coverage of The Ashes on 24 August, a player who had just been bowled out could be heard shouting fuck off...fucking prick...fuck you as he walked off the pitch, while the commentators discussed the bowler's achievement.

In the live coverage of T20 Blast Cricket on 4 September, a player shouted fuck .

In the live coverage of Ashes Cricket on 14 September, a commentator said they haven't got a fucking clue.

Sky explained that during the 24 August broadcast the use of an on-board camera microphone led to the strong language being captured. It said that upon realising this, the production team cut to a replay and did not return to the player.

The Licensee said that the use of a stump microphone during the 4 September coverage, which allows for dramatic sounds to be captured as the ball strikes the wicket, picked up background language from the batting player nearby.

Sky said that the incident on 14 September occurred due to the commentator David Gower believing his microphone had been muted following his passing of commentary duties from the studio to the match team. It said that upon realising this, the production team muted all microphones and requested that Gower's fellow commentator Shane Warne offer an immediate on-air apology, which was delivered immediately. It said that this apology would have lessened any offence that may have occurred.

Ofcom Decision

Ofcom took into account that the language had been broadcast live in error and that the Licensee had taken steps to prevent recurrence. However, in the case of The Ashes broadcast, the most offensive language was delivered in an aggressive manner and appeared to be directed at an individual (fuck off...fucking prick...fuck you).

Ofcom found both incidents to be breaches of their censorship rules.

Of David Gower's mike error:

Ofcom took into account that the language had been broadcast live in error and the steps taken by the Licensee to prevent recurrence. We also took into account that an on-air apology was delivered immediately. Ofcom's Decision therefore is that this matter is resolved.



Doll Domination...

Pussycat Dolls earn 419 whinges to Ofcom for a performance on X Factor

Link Here3rd December 2019

The Pussycat Dolls' raunchy performance on X Factor: Celebrity has sparked 419 complaints to TV censor Ofcom. This puts the programme on course to win the accolade of being the the most complained-about TV moments of the year.

Nicole Scherzinger, Carmit Bachar, Ashley Roberts, Jessica Sutta and Kimberly Wyatt performed a medley of hits in tight skimpy outfits .

But some viewers were 'shocked' by their raunchy clothes and dance moves airing before the 9pm watershed.

One insisted the S&M style dance moves wouldn't have been out of place on an adult channel. Another ludicrously likened the performance to something you'd see at a strip club




The BBC write a few words after a 6 month deliberation about Jo Brand's battery joke

Link Here2nd December 2019
The BBC have been considering complaints about Jo Brand's gag about pouring acid over Nigel Farage. Surely a sensitive issue for the BBC as they have to tread lightly around the blatant bias that it would have been universal outrage and a career ending punishment  had it been a man making the same joke about a woman.

ANyway after 6 months deliberation the BBC has announced:

Heresy, Radio 4, 11 June 2019 28 November 2019


Reflecting on recent incidents involving the throwing of milkshakes as a form of political protest, Jo Brand said

I'm kind of thinking why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid...that's just me. I'm not going to do it, it's purely a fantasy but I think milkshakes are pathetic. I honestly do -- sorry .

20 listeners complained that the joke was offensive and/or likely to incite violence.


In view of Ms Brand's immediate disavowal and the context of the programme's wider message in favour of more civility in political discourse, the ECU did not consider the joke likely to incite violence, but accepted that, against the background of a significant problem with acid attacks, it was capable of causing offence beyond what was editorially justified, and should not have been edited out before transmission.

Partly upheld



Rest in Peace Peace TV...

Ofcom suspends broadcasting licence after repeated broadcast of religious material inciting murder

Link Here28th November 2019
Full story: Ofcom on Religion...ofcom keep religious extremism in check
Ofcom issued a draft notice to suspend the broadcasting licence of Club TV Limited, after its channel Peace TV Urdu repeatedly rebroadcast material that we had previously found incited murder.

Ofcom has a duty to suspend a broadcast licence if we are satisfied that the licensee has broadcast a programme likely to encourage or to incite the commission of crime; that it has therefore contravened its licence conditions; and that the contravention justifies the revocation of the licence.

On 18 November 2019, having received Ofcom's draft suspension notice, Club TV surrendered its licence. Its sister company Lord Production Inc Limited, which held the licence to broadcast the English language Peace TV service, also surrendered its licence at the same time.

The Peace TV and Peace TV Urdu services are no longer broadcasting.



A step too far...

BBC receives about 200 complaints about a same sex dance routine

Link Here23rd November 2019
Strictly Come Dancing's recent same-sex routine had sparked almost 200 complaints .

The corporation's Audience Services arm received 189 complaints after Graziano Di Prima and Johannes Radebe danced together during a performance from Emeli Sandé.

The report published by the BBC states that complainants said it was offensive to feature two men dancing as a pair. 

TV watchdog Ofcom also confirmed to HuffPost UK it had received one complaint, but their protocol is that people should speak to the BBC's executive complaints unit first.



A warning to babe channel broadcasters...

Ofcom announces a targeted monitoring exercise to ensure that babe channels are following the rules

Link Here19th November 2019
Full story: Babe Channels...Ofcom have it in for free to air babe channels

Note to Broadcasters

Daytime chat and adult chat television services

Recent complaint assessments and investigations1 about television channels promoting telephone chat services have highlighted concerns about the sexual nature of content on some of these services. This note reminds broadcasters responsible for such services of Ofcom’s guidance on daytime and adult chat services.

Channels promoting audience interaction through premium rate services are subject to the BCAP Code as they are long-form advertising services. The BCAP Code contains rules that ensure audiences, including children, are protected from material that may cause them harm or is offensive.

Ofcom’s guidance published in July 2013 states that channels offering ‘daytime chat’ and ‘adult chat’ services must be placed within the ‘adult’ or similarly identified section of a platform’s electronic programme guide. The guidance also clearly sets out what Ofcom considers to be acceptable to broadcast on these services, both before and after the watershed.

During daytime chat content, presenters’ dress and behaviour should be non-sexual in tone and apparent intent. Therefore, presenters should wear clothing that adequately covers their bodies (in particular their breasts, genital areas and buttocks). Presenters should not wear revealing underwear, swimwear, gym wear or fetish clothing.

Between 21:00 and 05:30 on cable and satellite platforms and midnight and 05:30 on terrestrial platforms, broadcasters may promote adult chat services. Adult chat broadcasters should ensure that the transitions to more adult material at 21:00, and from adult chat to daytime chat at 05:30, are not unduly abrupt. For example, no shots of bare breasts should be broadcast before 22:00. Additionally, the guidance lists examples of content that these broadcasters should avoid altogether. These include images of presenters’ anal, labial or genital areas, real or simulated sex acts and sexually explicit language.

Ofcom has made clear to licensees in published decisions what sort of material is unsuitable in daytime chat or adult chat advertising content broadcast without mandatory restricted access.

Ofcom is putting daytime chat and adult chat broadcasters on notice that as a result our concerns about these services’ compliance with the BCAP Code, we are commencing a targeted monitoring exercise of all services broadcasting daytime and adult chat content. Ofcom will consider any breach relating to the broadcast of sexual content on these services to be potentially serious and will consider taking appropriate regulatory action, which could include the imposition of a statutory sanction.



A stereotypically self deprecating Brit...

'Inappropriate' classic sitcoms already banned from BritBox

Link Here8th November 2019
Full story: UK Internet TV censorship ...UK catch-up and US internet streaming
BritBox, the new internet TV  joint venture from the BBC and ITV will not include classic homegrown series that are deemed to be inappropriate for fragile modern audiences.

The new £5.99-a-month service, which will also offer shows from Channel 4 and Channel 5, is aiming to compete with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

However, bosses have said a range of classic shows, such as the BBC's Till Death Us Do Part and ITV's Love Thy Neighbour , will not appear on the service because of content deemed racist or otherwise unacceptable.

Reemah Sakaan, the senior ITV executive responsible for launching the service confirmed that Till Death Us Do Part, Love Thy Neighbour, and It Ain't Half Hot Mum will all be absent.

There are numerous individual episodes of some shows that will appear on BritBox eg Only Fools and Horses and Fawlty Towers could be deemed inappropriate for modern viewing. However, it is understood that no Fawlty Towers episodes will be cut from the service, although they will run with warnings about offensive language, (and presumably censor cuts).



More acidic humour...

BBC defends Jo Brand on Have I Got News for You for her observation about the 'fucking' Queen

Link Here6th November 2019

The BBC defended Jo Brand after she used an expletive when describe the Queen during the latest episode of Have I Got News For You.

Brand was discussing the new book by Royal dresser Angela Kelly, and asked: Why does the Queen like wearing bright colours?'  The comedian answered her own question, saying:

Apparently because it helps her stand out in a crowd. That and the fact that she's the fucking Queen.

The remark sparked a few complaints on social media and so the BBC issue a formal response on its website saying:

We've received complaints from viewers who were unhappy with strong language regarding the Queen.

Our response

Jo Brand's joke was aimed at the fact that the Queen's former dresser claims in a book that the Queen wears bright colours to stand out in a crowd, but she should be instantly recognisable anyway as she's the Queen. Although we appreciate that strong language is not to everyone's tastes, we would like to assure you that this language was not directed at the Queen herself.

Have I Got News For You is a satirical entertainment show which offers a humorous take on recent News stories. Regular viewers expect the panellists and presenters to make comments about stories that are in the news and understand that these contributions are intended to be funny. Further Information



Cold hearted...

The Government claims that Channel 4 will have blood on its hands if it broadcasts Smuggled

Link Here4th November 2019
Channel 4 has been warned by the Home Office that it will have blood on its hands if it goes ahead with a programme in which contestants attempt to smuggle themselves into the UK. According to the Telegraph a Home Office 'source' branded Smuggled as insensitive and irresponsible

Presumably the government thinks that the programme will give people ideas that may prove dangerous.

The channel delayed screening the programme two weeks ago after the bodies of 39 Vietnamese illegal migrants were found inside a lorry container on an industrial estate in Essex.

However, the first episode of Smuggled, a two-part series billed by Channel 4 as the largest test of our borders ever conducted by the media, will go ahead tomorrow with four contestants successfully entering the UK illegally.

Among the first quartet attempting to enter the country is one hidden in the back of a motorhome, another secreted behind the driver's seat of a lorry, a third piloting a rubber dinghy and a fourth using a false passport whose photograph bears scant resemblance to its bearer. Hidden cameras record their progress.

Smugglers will be shown on Channel 4 on Monday 4th November at 9pm.



Brownface Blackface...

Bizarre PC censorship from Ofcom about a Pakistani comedy take on Chris Gayle

Link Here21st October 2019

Nawab Ghar
PTV Global, 29 March 2019, 18:25

Nawab Ghar is a situation comedy series on PTV Global which is available on satellite in the UK. PTV Global is an Urdu language general entertainment channel aimed at a Pakistani audience.

The title of this comedy programme translates to The Lord's House, the central character is called Nawab, which translates to Lord. This programme included members of Nawab's family hoping to secure a partner for marriage. Chris Fail, who is presented as a distant relative, visited Nawab's home with his niece in order to arrange her marriage. The Chris Fail characters seems to be a take on the cricketer Chris Gayle.

During the visit to Nawab's home, Chris Fail falls in love with Guddo, Nawab's sister-in-law. Ofcom received a complaint about racially offensive references in the above programme. The complainant felt that the programme was racially offensive due to the use of 'blackface'

In this programme, Chris Fail was described as a visitor from Africa. Chris Fail was portrayed as having dark skin (which appeared to have been achieved with dark make-up) and long grey curly hair (a wig) under a black headscarf. In the programme he sang and danced when he started conversations with other characters.

Ofcom considered Rule 2.3:

broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context206Such material may include206offensive language206discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of206race206). Appropriate information should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 2.3

We considered that the more general portrayal of Chris Fail was based on a stereotypical view of a black-African person. The factors that contributed to this included:

• the dark make-up apparently applied to his skin;
• the significance of his name, which we understood to be a play-on-words of the West Indian cricketer Chris Gayle;
• the tribal-style drumming played in the background when he sang and danced; and,
• the way he chanted and shouted over the tribal-style drumming.

we considered that the fact that the programme was a situation comedy with a range of fictitious characters and guests from different backgrounds did not, in itself, provide sufficient editorial justification for a stereotype of this nature to be used.

We considered that the way Chris Fail's character had been broadcast as a clearly stereotypically black-African person did not reflect the care that broadcasters should take in portraying culturally diverse people and was not editorially justified. We also considered that the likely audience of the channel, which is aimed at Pakistani people, some of whom would be living in the UK, would not have expected this portrayal.

Ofcom's Decision is that this potentially offensive material was not justified by the context and was therefore a breach of Rule 2.3.



Updated: Widely supported but not impartial...

BBC debates finding that Breakfast presenter's personal comments about racism were 'inconsistent with the BBC's commitment to impartiality'

Link Here1st October 2019

Finding by the Executive Complaints Unit


Breakfast, BBC One
17 July 2019:



The programme was broadcast on the morning after the US House of Representatives had condemned President Trump's tweeted comments on four Democrat Congresswomen, in which he wrote Why don't they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came, as racist. Following an interview with a London-based Trump supporter who denied that the comments were racist, Dan Walker initiated an exchange with his co-presenter Naga Munchetty. A viewer complained that this had led to the expression of personal opinions which were inconsistent with the BBC's commitment to impartiality.


In the view of the Executive Complaints Unit it was entirely legitimate for Ms Munchetty, when pressed by Mr Walker for a personal response, to reply in terms which reflected her own experience of racism and the racist context in which suggestions that people from ethnic minorities should go back to their own countries are generally made. However, she went on to comment critically on the possible motive for, and potential consequences of, the President's words. Judgements of that kind are for the audience to make, and the exchange fell short of due impartiality in that respect.

Partly upheld.

The BBC has released more detail on the above decision to uphold a complaint against news presenter Naga Munchetty.

The BBC Breakfast host was found to have breached guidelines by criticising Donald Trump's motives after he said four female politicians should go back to places from which they came. The corporation said its editorial guidelines do not allow for journalists to... give their opinions about the individual making the remarks or their motives for doing so - in this case President Trump.

The complained about conversation went

Dan Walker: That was the most telling quote for me last night. I  can't remember who said it but she said I've been told to go home many times to go back to where I've come from in my life but never by the man sitting in the Oval office.

Naga Munchetty: Every time I  have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I  came from, that was embedded in racism. Now I'm not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean.

Walker: You're sitting here not giving an opinion, but how do you feel as someone when you've been told that before, and when you hear that from him?

Munchetty: Furious. Absolutely furious. And I  imagine a lot of people in this country will be feeling absolutely furious that a man in that position feels it's okay to skirt the lines with using language like that.

Munchetty has received messages of support. On Thursday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described the decision as astonishing.

Update: Decision reversed

1st October 2019. See article from

BBC director general Tony Hall has reversed a decision to partially uphold a complaint against Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty.

He told staff that Munchetty's words were not sufficient to merit a partial uphold of the complaint against her.

She had been found to have breached the BBC's guidelines over comments she made about a tweet from Donald Trump about four female politicians of colour.

Hall said he personally reviewed the decision of the complaints unit.

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