The Sex Business: Me and My Sex Doll The Sex Business: OAPs on the Game The Sex Business: Teens Selling Sex
17 June 2019, 22:00, 18 June 2019, 22:00 and 19 June 2019, 22:00
Sex Business is an observational documentary series on Channel 5 investigating people's sexual choices.
Ofcom received 44 complaints about the third series1 of The Sex Business
The programmes included
interviews with: (i) sex workers and images of real sexual activity between the sex workers and their clients; (ii) adults who participate in pornographic films and images of real sex acts; and (iii) people working in the sex doll industry and images of
real sexual activity between adults and sex dolls. In summary, the complainants considered that the sexual activity shown in these episodes was unsuitable for broadcast on Channel 5 at 22:00.
Rule 2.3: “In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context”; and
Rule 1.19: “Broadcasters must ensure that
material broadcast after the watershed, … which contains images and/or language of a strong or explicit sexual nature, but is not ‘adult sex material’ [as defined in Rule 1.184…], is justified by the context”.
Ofcom's decision: Breach of rules 2.3 and 1.19
Ofcom considered that the content featured in the three episodes and detailed in the Introduction was of a strong and explicit sexual nature. Channel 5 also
accepted the programmes contained challenging material. The programmes featured real (not simulated) sex acts, including: oral sex, sex with sex dolls and between sex workers and clients, anal sex and masturbation. In addition, the episodes included
images of female genitals, erect penises and anal areas as well as sexually explicit language.
Ofcom considered that this was strong sexual content that had the clear potential to cause offence. We therefore went on to consider
whether the broadcast of this content was justified by the context
Ofcom considered Channel 5's representations, that very careful consideration was given to the footage to be included in the series and the way in which it should
be included. The Licensee said that the more extreme footage obtained was not included in the episodes. In addition, it said that blurring and other devices, such as footage shot at a distance, had been used to minimise offence. However, in Ofcom's view,
none of the images were shot at a sufficient distance or angle so as to limit their graphic nature. In addition, the images were not adequately masked with blurring and genital and anal areas and ejaculate were clearly visible. In some cases, no masking
was applied at all, resulting in close-up images of female genital areas and erect penises. Furthermore, some of the footage included was filmed by the sex workers or contributors as they were engaged in sexual acts. In Ofcom's view this resulted in
clear close-up point of view images showing the actual penetration of the male genitals into the sex dolls and a sex worker performing oral sex on a client's erect penis.
Given the strength of the graphic sexual content broadcast
in this series, Ofcom disagreed that scheduling at 22:00 was necessarily appropriate for the broadcast of such strong sexual material, particularly on a freely available public service channel. Ofcom's research Attitudes towards sexual material on
television showed that stronger sexual material became more acceptable after 22:00 but especially after 23:00. This indicates that the more explicit the sexual material is, the greater requirement there is for careful contextualisation, which may include
In Ofcom's view the sexual images and language in this documentary were of a very strong sexual nature. The insufficient masking of the images and the inclusion of close-up and mid-range shots resulted in this
sexual content being of a graphic and explicit nature. Some of the more graphic images, such as the ejaculate and oral masturbation of an erect penis, were also shown twice within the episode. Although the documentary genre provided editorial
justification for the broadcast of sexual material, this was strong and explicit sexual material, broadcast on a public service channel without mandatory restricted access. Ofcom therefore concluded that these episodes were likely to have exceeded the
expectations of the audience at this time, even for an observational documentary dealing with sexual themes with a serious and observational editorial purpose. Therefore, viewers were likely to have considered that this stronger sexual material required
the strongest contextual justification and broadcasting the series later in the schedule after 23:00 could have helped to provide such justification.
Our Decision is therefore that the offensive content in these programmes
exceeded generally accepted standards and was not justified by the context, in breach of Rule 2.3.
It was Ofcom's view that by scheduling strong sexual material at 22:00, Channel 5 had not ensured appropriate protection was
provided to under-eighteens and had not reduced the likelihood of children viewing content that was unsuitable for them. For the reasons above, it is therefore Ofcom's Decision that the content also breached Rule 1.19
In light of
the previous breaches relating to the second series, and our Decision in this case of breaches of Rules 1.19 and 2.3 in this third series, Ofcom intends to request that Channel 5 attends a meeting to discuss its compliance approach to the scheduling of
sexually explicit content
Channel 4 has released the trailer for the network's upcoming drama, Adult Material, based around the porn industry, starring Rupert Everett and Joe Dempsie.
The Sun described the trailer as:
seriously racy, giving viewers a look at what to expect from the series, which focuses on the porn industry.
Set in modern Britain, the four-part series looks into the adult entertainment business from the point of view of a female performer. Lead character Jolene Dollar (played by Hayley Squires) has worked in the industry her entire adult
life and has seen it change from dodgy backroom dealings to a legitimate way to make some serious money.
We received complaints about the dance routine of The Pussycat Dolls.
The Pussycat Dolls are well known for their dance routines and outfits and we announced at the start of the show that they would be appearing. Their performance then came towards the end of the programme, just before 8pm
As with all performers, we worked with the band to ensure their performance was suitable for the programme. We felt it was appropriate for the time slot and wouldn't fall outside the expectations of most viewers. However, we
appreciate that some viewers didn't agree.
The programme also included a film which looked at cosmetic procedures which are being purchased by children, without the need for parental consent or appropriate checks. We believe this
film highlighted an important issue. We have noted that some viewers felt that these two items shouldn't have been included in the same programme.
Studio 66 TV is interactive daytime chat advertising broadcast on the service Studio 66, which is available as part of a standard satellite subscription package. The content
consists of presenters inviting viewers to contact them via premium rate telephony services (PRS). Studio 66 is available without mandatory restricted access and is situated in the adult section of electronic programme guides ('EPGs').
Ofcom received eight complaints, each about a different broadcast. In six of the cases, the complainants considered that the presenters were dressed inappropriately and were behaving in a sexualised manner. In two cases, the
complainants considered that the behaviour of the presenters was inappropriate for broadcast.
Example Pre-watershed content 27 August 2019, 10:43 • The presenter’s nipple protruded through the top of her dress for
approximately 20 seconds. The presenter also pulled her dress over her hips, gyrated and stroked her buttocks.
Example Post watershed content 13 August 2019, 21:15 • The presenter exposed and stroked her breasts for
approximately 45 seconds, and subsequently exposed her buttocks towards the camera.
Ofcom considered pre-watershed BCAP rule 32.3:
“Relevant timing restrictions must be applied to
advertisements that, through their content, might harm or distress children of particular ages or that are otherwise unsuitable for them”.
Ofcom considered post-watershed BCAP rule 4.2:
“Advertisements must not cause serious or widespread offence against generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards”.
Ofcom Decision: Breach of rules 32.3 and 4.2
Ofcom's published guidance on the advertising of PRS chat services specifically states that when broadcasting daytime chat broadcasters should:
ensure that presenters are wearing appropriate clothing, that adequately covers their bodies, in particular their breasts, genital areas and buttocks; and
not broadcast images of presenters touching or
stroking their bodies in a suggestive manner, in particular avoiding breasts, thighs, crotches and buttocks.
In addition, the guidance makes clear that shots of bare breasts should not be broadcast before 22:00
Ofcom considered that the content across the six daytime broadcasts and that broadcast at 21:15 on 13 August
2019 did not reflect the elements of the Chat Service Guidance listed above. It featured presenters who were positioned and dressed in such a way that resulted in significant exposure of their buttocks, thighs or breasts.
Therefore, our decision is that the seven broadcasts breached Rule 32.3 of the BCAP Code.
Rule 4.2 of the BCAP Code requires that advertisements must not cause “serious or widespread offence against generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards”.
Ofcom has made clear in a number of
published decisions the type of material that is unsuitable to be broadcast in ‘adult chat’ advertising content which is available without mandatory restricted access. Our published guidance specifically states that Licensee’s must “at no time broadcast
images of any real or simulated sex acts”.
The content broadcast on 15 September included a presenter simulating sex acts. In Ofcom’s view, this material was clearly capable of causing offence.
decision is that this broadcast was in breach of Rule 4.2 of the BCAP Code.
On 7 October 2019, in Issue 388 of Ofcom's Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin, Ofcom recorded a breach of Rule 32.3 of the BCAP Code against the Licensee
for the pre-watershed broadcast of material featuring five presenters who behaved inappropriately and were inadequately dressed. This followed on from a previous decision published on 8 April 2019, in Issue 376 of its Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin,
where Ofcom recorded a similar breach of Rule 32.3.
The previous breach decisions against the Licensee published in April and October 2019 are the subject of ongoing sanctions proceedings. In all circumstances, we regard the
breaches set out in this decision as serious and will also consider them for sanction.
9th March 2020.
Presumably in response to the censure by Ofcom, Stiudio 66 has closed and terminated its
Dance of the Seven Veils is a 1970 UK music biography by Ken Russell. Starring Christopher Gable, Judith Paris and Kenneth Colley.
An imaginary portrait of composer Richard Strauss.
Ken Russell's film about Richard Strauss, has been banned for 50 years but is screening at the Keswick film festival on 29th February.
It was banned 50 years ago after one screening. The BBC TV documentary shocked with its portrayal of
the German composer as a vulgar, pompous man with Nazi sympathies.
Mary Whitehouse, the self-appointed moral guardian, got hot under her collar about its sex scenes, while questions were asked in the House of Commons.
Then the Strauss
family complained about the use of the composer's music, before applying a ban, through copyright, which only expired a week ago.
The screening at the Keswick film festival, will also feature another Russell cause célèbre, A Kitten for Hitler.
This short was prompted by Melvyn Bragg, who wondered if the film-maker could conjure up something purely to offend. Made in 2007, the eight-minute film is the story of a Jewish kid who, feeling sorry for the unloved Fuhrer, goes to Germany to give
him a kitten.
It sounds not so far away from the Mark Meechan joke about a Nazi saluting pug which resulted in a 2018 conviction for a 'hate crime'.
Ofcom has imposed a £75,000 fine on Talksport Ltd in relation to its service Talk Radio for failing to comply with our broadcasting rules, and required the service to broadcast a summary of our findings.
Between 16 March
and 6 August 2018, Talk Radio broadcast three episodes of the George Galloway programme dealing with the following issues: the poisoning of Yulia and Sergei Skripal in Salisbury on 4 March 2018, and allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.
In Ofcom's Decisions published on 28 January and 25 March 2019 in issue 371 and issue 375 of the Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin, Ofcom found that each of the three programmes failed to maintain due impartiality and had breached
Rules 5.11 and 5.12 of the Broadcasting Code.
Ofcom has also imposed a £20,000 fine on Baltic Media Alliance Limited in relation to its service NTV Mir Baltic for failing to comply with our broadcasting rules. The
broadcaster must also broadcast a summary of our findings on the channel.
On 2 April 2018, Baltic Media Alliance Limited broadcast a news programme, Today, which included a discussion about the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia
Skripal in Salisbury on 4 March 2018.
In Ofcom's Decision published on 11 February 2019 in issue 372 of the Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin, Ofcom found that the programme failed to maintain due impartiality and had breached
Rules 5.1, 5.11 and 5.12 of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code.
There seems to be a bit of a backlash building against the general PC denigration of British people and their culture. In particular the BBC is being seen as a major institution that has taken to belittling Britishness.
A good example has been
provided by a Horrible Histories Brexit special. The programme itself is a musical comedy aimed at kids, but its core purpose seems to be teach kids that British history is horrible and that the nation has contributed nothing of note to mankind.
BBC ran a short skit on Brexit day that depicts Queen Victoria of not realising that her British tea is not actually British, but is imported from India. The clip was presented by comedian Nish Kumar who introduced the video with a reference to Britain's
The clip has been viewed three million times on Twitter, largely as a result of the controversy it attracted.
Andrew Neil, of the BBC, was a notable voice attacking the clip on Twitter. He commented:
This is anti-British drivel of a high order. Was any of the licence fee used to produce something purely designed to demean us?
It was reported that TV censor Ofcom has received 300 complaints about the issue.
Update: The BBC says that the Anti-British skit was not meant to be anti-British
This 9 minute long special, available on iPlayer, was a montage of old clips taken from previous series. Some viewers may only have seen the CBBC tweet which linked to the full episode, but only included the final clip from the programme -- a song about
British Things which was first broadcast on CBBC in June 2009.
The programme was intended as a light-hearted and fun acknowledgement of a momentous day in Britain's modern history, i.e. leaving the European Union and included
sketches about the Norman Invasion, the German origins of the Royal Family, and 15th century Italian fashion. Regular viewers of the programme -- now into its eighth series -- will be familiar with the tone of these comic sketches. None of them were
meant to be anti-British or anti-European.
The song British Things, from 2009 , was intended to reflect that we are a nation, like many others, that enjoys a patchwork of traditions and culture from other countries as well as our
own. The song accurately reflects the fact that many goods common in Britain during the Victorian era were harvested or produced by slaves in other countries. The contribution Britain made to ending the slave trade prior to this period has been featured
in other Horrible Histories episodes.
In numerous sketches over many years Horrible Histories has extolled great British achievements, British ingenuity, inventions in science and agriculture, the genius of our writers and
artists, culture and great British achievements. Indeed, the most recent series included a whole episode highlighting Queen Victoria's role in supporting the pioneers of early film technology. Other specials have celebrated the 800-year anniversary of
Magna Carta, and the work of William Shakespeare.
The introduction to the full programme states that ....the UK is leaving the European Union and at the end that Britain in the European Union is now history. We feel it is clear to
viewers that the reference to leaving Europe means the European Union.
The National Pig Association has submitted a formal complaint to Ofcom regarding the Channel 4 programme How to Steal Pigs and Influence People .
The group said that because of the programme , Channel 4 could be considered complicit in the
theft of pigs. The NPA found it astonishing that it showed 23-year-old pignapper Wesley Omar stealing five pigs on separate occasions. The complaint letter says:
Wesley already has a criminal conviction for theft of a
pig from a previous incursion which was reported in the programme, so the production company were clearly aware of his record.
NPA believes that Channel 4 has acted incredibly irresponsibly in this instance and should therefore be
held accountable in some way. At the very least, they should furnish the police with information concerning any criminal activity gathered during the course of the programme production.
The NPA goes on to say that the programme - particularly the
title and the promotion before the broadcast - explicitly glamorises illegal activity.
Therefore, we would be grateful if Ofcom would consider whether it has breached Rule 3.1 of the Broadcasting Code (material likely
to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder must not be included in television or radio services or BBC ODPS).
In an episode of the comedy programme Heresy , broadcast on BBC Radio 4, the comedian Jo Brand made comments about milkshakes being thrown at politicians, suggesting battery acid could be used instead.
The BBC assessed
complaints it received under the BBC First process that the comments were highly offensive and likely to incite violence. The BBC upheld the complaints about offence, but not those about incitement.
Ofcom then received six
complaints which had completed the BBC First process. We carefully assessed these complaints against the Broadcasting Code, taking into account the broadcaster’s and the audience’s rights to freedom of expression without undue interference.
We concluded that Ms Brand’s comments had clear potential to offend listeners. However, we considered a range of contextual factors, including the likely audience expectations of this well-known comedian, and long-running comedy
programme, which aims to challenge generally accepted ideas through satire. We also took into account that Ms Brand immediately qualified her comments, making it clear they should not be taken seriously or acted on. For these and other reasons set out
below, we have concluded that the complaints do not warrant further investigation by Ofcom.
Actor Laurence Fox caused a bit of a stir when not going along with the progressive line that it is racist to criticise Meghan Markle.
The heated exchange result in 250 complaints to Ofcom but even the complaints had something extra to add to the
debate. According to the Express the main issue of the complaints wasn't targeted at what Fox said. Instead the complaints were directed at the audience response which was generally supportive of Fox's line of debate, especially when Fox took issue with
the audience members recourse to the clichéd claim of 'white privilege'.
Well the audience on meant to take the side of those opposing political correctness so the BBC was accused of selecting an audience that was not representative of the area
(Liverpool) and so leading to a pro-Conservative bias in the discussion on racism.
It was pointed out in other articles that maybe the BBC bias in audience selection may have worked in the other direction. The audience member who accused Fox of
'white privilege' is well known to the BBC and has appeared on topical BBC shows eg discussing what the papers say.
Not the complaints will go anywhere. They will already be in Ofcom's waste paper bin already, who'd want to get involved
arbitrating in such a debate anyway?
A silly joke on Tuesday's episode of ITV's Good Morning Britain has resulted in 1095 complaints to Ofcom.
Piers Morgan and co-host Susanna Reid were discussing the Queen's eldest grandson Peter Phillips appearing in a TV advert for state milk in
China. Morgan said:
Oh Peter, for god's sake man! before accusing him of exploiting his royal status. At the next royal event, can you imagine Christmas at Sandringham is like - 'I'm sorry your majesty, but I only
drink yang yank yong ying ming milk.
After a video of the advert Morgan added:
Ok then - ching chang chong, ok I got it.
Reid scolded her co-star:
For god's sake... taking the mick out of languages is rather 1970s
An Ofcom spokesperson confirmed that 1,095 complaints had been made and said in a statement:
We are assessing
the complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate.
Again this is Ofcom code for being in the waste paper bin already.
Digital Spy reports that the episode has been removed from the ITV
Channel 4's How to Steal Pigs and Influence People documentary has drawn more than 300 complaints, Farmers Weekly has revealed.
Dozens of angry farmers and people in the agricultural industry have contacted the TV censor Ofcom after the
programme aired on 14th January.
The documentary featured vegan activists stealing and freeing pigs from farms. The main focus was an incursion on an unsuspecting Lincolnshire pig farm by animal rights movement Meat the Victims , led by
vegan activist Wesley Omar, who shared the footage online to a number of followers.
The overall response to the programme was said to be unsympathetic from the public, who questioned the motives of the vegan activists after they admitted the
heists would increase their following on social media and attract thousands of pounds in crowdfunding.
A spokesperson for Ofcom told Farmers Weekly: We have received 313 complaints about the C4 programme, How to Steal Pigs and Influence People.
Gavin and Stacey will be performing their own rendition of the Pogues' Fairytale of New York in the Christmas Special.
In the anticipated upcoming episode, a singalong down the Dolphin with the gang will see the fan favourites sing along to the
controversial Christmas anthem, including its use of the word 'faggot' instead of working around it.
Peter Tatchell, LGBT rights campaigner is urging the BBC to reconsider and edit the word out.Hhe told The Times:
would send completely the wrong signal. It will give comfort to homophobes everywhere. The BBC would not screen a Christmas song with the n-word in it. It would be deemed deeply prejudiced and unacceptable. So why the double standards when it comes to
A BBC spokesperson responded:
Fairytale of New York is a very popular, much loved Christmas song played widely throughout the festive season, and the lyrics are well established with the
The BBC has reportedly received 866
complaints for the use of a homophobic slur in the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special. The one-off episode was watched by 11.6million viewers when it aired, but some were upset when 'fagott' was not omitted from Nessa and Bryn's rendition of Fairytale
on New York .
The BBC has now published an official response:
Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special, BBC One, 25th December 2019
We were contacted by viewers who were unhappy that a certain lyric from the song Fairytale of New York was sung during the programme.
Fairytale of New York is a well-established,
much-loved Christmas song which tells the story of a troubled couple in 1940s New York. The descent of their relationship is reflected in the increasingly abusive and offensive terms they use to address each other; insults which are intended to reflect
the language that such characters might have used in that era. The origin of the word includes a definition which describes it as a contemptuous and antiquated word for laziness, and the author of the song has cited this inference behind his inclusion of
While the word faggot is now widely acknowledged as having the potential to offend, the song never suggests or implies that this is, or was ever, an appropriate way to address another person, nor does it link it to
Nessa and Bryn were seen singing the original lines and we can assure you there was no intention to offend viewers. We understand that some people will find it offensive in any context but we also recognise that the
song is widely played and enjoyed in its original form. Ofcom have previously stated that they feel it is unlikely that audiences would widely perceive [the song] as a serious attempt to denigrate the homosexual community.
Have I Got News For You, BBC One, 20 December 2019
Presenter Charlie Brooker joked about allegations of anti-Semitism:
According to many commentators the Labour Party is on a state of denial...but at
least it's not about the Holocaust
The BBC responded to complaints:
We've received complaints from people who were offended by Charlie Brooker's joke which referenced the Holocaust.
HIGNFY looks at the biggest news stories each week and in this episode that included the General Election. Charlie Brooker's comment was a reference to the allegations of anti-Semitism which have plagued the Labour party since
2016. It was in no way directed at victims of the Holocaust or their families, however, we have noted that some people felt it was inappropriate.
We received complaints from viewers who had concerns about some of the content featured in the Phil Mitchell/Jack Branning storyline.
We're aware that any scenes of violence and unpleasantness can sometimes be upsetting for some of our audience but occasionally it's necessary to the narrative. EastEnders has a long established relationship with its audience who have
come to expect big dramatic moments such as these. Our regular viewers will know that Phil and Jack share a very turbulent history and that the scenes in question were part of an ongoing storyline where Phil learned that he was not the father of wife
Sharon's baby, and wrongly believed that Jack was.
We are always extremely mindful of the content within an episode and the time slot in which it is shown. All of our content must be editorially justified and we're always careful
to film and edit scenes in such a way that they do not exceed reasonable expectations for the programme.
It's also important to note that EastEnders is a fictional drama but, like society, it's made up of many different character
types. We feel the scenes in question are crucial aspects of the overall storyline and Phil's intent on seeking revenge whatever the cost over this betrayal, and that they were not included gratuitously.
The content and placing of
EastEnders has been carefully considered at a senior level, and although we know that children do watch, it isn't aimed at them. We believe that the general tone and content of EastEnders is now widely recognised, and that parents can make an informed
decision as to whether they want their children to watch it.