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Update: Censor Double Speak...

Indian TV 'regulators' have a whinge at double entendre in comedy

Link Here29th December 2012
Full story: TV Censorship in India...India considers the regulation of TV for adults

The Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) has issued an advisory to India broadcasters whingeing at double entendres in comedy.

According to BCCC staff, there is a lot of double-meaning language being used in comedy shows, and sometimes it crosses the line towards vulgarity on various channels, and they have received complaints regarding it. AP Shah, BCCC Chairperson, spouted in a statement:

Comedy is an intrinsic part of our life and it is only natural that TV channels produce and telecast programmes that are humorous and light-hearted. The BCCC, however, feels that the line that divides healthy comedy from vulgarity, obscenity and double-meaning language must be strictly adhered to.

This is necessary to ensure that the social message sent across through various comedy shows to millions of viewers does not overstep this all-important threshold. We are confident that the channels which telecast comedy shows will keep this in mind.

The organisation, a self-censorship body for non-news general entertainment channels, has also asked channels to pay special attention to the issue of the supposed sexualisation of children on television shows.



Criticising Ofcom for Investigating Religious Teachings...

Noor TV up for Ofcom sanctions after presenter preaches that those showing disrespect to Mohammed should be killed

Link Here 18th December 2012

Noor TV, 3 May 2012, 11:00

Noor TV is a digital satellite television channel that broadcasts programmes about Islam in a number of languages, including English, Urdu and Punjabi. It can be received in the United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The channel appears in the international section of the Sky electronic programme guide. Its aim, as stated on its website, is to present a balanced, moderate and true face of Islam to both Muslims and non-Muslim communities across the globe . Its primary target audience is young Muslims, especially young people who have been born in the UK . The licence for this channel is held by Al Ehya.

A viewer alerted Ofcom to statements made during the programme that appeared to the viewer to be inciting people to commit murder.

The programme was predominantly in Urdu, was approximately one hour and 30 minutes in duration and featured a presenter, Allama Muhammad Farooq Nazimi. Mr Nazimi answered questions about a wide range of issues and personal conduct relating to Islam and Islamic teachings.

At approximately one hour and 18 minutes into the programme Mr Nazimi answered a question from a caller, who was identified as brother Yasir Nahif ( Mr Nahif ), who asked:

What is the punishment for the individual who shows disrespect for Prophet Muhammad?

In response to the question from Mr Nahif, we noted the following remarks [amongst others] made by Mr Nazimi:

There is no disagreement about this [the punishment]; there is absolutely no doubt about it that the punishment for the person who shows disrespect for the Prophet is death. No one [among the Islamic scholars] disagrees about this. No one disagrees about this. The Koran, hadeeth [orally transmitted quotes of Prophet Muhammad], the actions of the companions of Prophet Muhammad, all testify to this [punishment] and there is no room for doubt in it. Whoever shows disrespect for Prophet Muhammad will be given death penalty. The procedure for carrying out the death penalty is that if there is an Islamic government operating in a country, then the Islamic government will carry out the implementation of this punishment to the one who shows disrespect for the Prophet. However, if there are no Islamic laws [implemented], if Islamic Law is not being abided by, if the Islamic Law is being shredded and is in tatters - and this environment prevails in Pakistan, then [drops the sentence]. You saw a few months ago, a man specifically said that the Islamic law which was especially designed to protect the sanctity of Prophet Muhammad, whom Allah praises and protects, was a black law. By saying so, he slighted the law and committed insolence against Prophet Muhammad. Then what happened? You saw what happened. The man who did it [killed the Governor] is Mumtaz Hussein . He is a Ghazi and we can absolutely not say that his act was a wrong act [because] the Koran and hadeeth [orally transmitted traditions], testify that the punishment of the one who shows disrespect for the Prophet is death.

Ofcom considered:

Rule 3.1: Material likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder must not be included in television or radio services.

Rule 4.1: Broadcasters must exercise the proper degree of responsibility with respect to the content of programmes which are religious programmes.

Al Ehya put forward various points arguing, in summary, that the statements made by the presenter were not likely to encourage or incite crime and did not reach the benchmark of criminal liability. The Licensee suggested that Ofcom was taking a hard line and prejudiced view of this particular programme .

The Licensee said first that any impact that the statements made by the presenter might have had on young Muslims would have been totally limited because at 11:00, the time at which the material was broadcast, younger people would have been at school or college.

Second, Al Ehya went on to suggest that there was nothing new or unknown in the statements made by the presenter relating to the implementation of Islamic law: they are set out in the Koran and it is a requirement that they are taught to young Muslims. Further the Licensee referred to various instances of violence and sacrifice in the Christian Bible, and suggested Ofcom was approaching this situation in quite a different way in that which it might if any Priest of the Christian Church was reading segments of the Bible that contained such remarks .

Third, the Licensee said that [w]hilst radicals and extremists exist Ofcom - in assessing the statements in the programme - showed scant regard to the fact that nothing has been said which is not in the everyday teaching of the contents of the Holy Koran and other Holy documents. The interpretation of those is clearly something which is of the individual and becomes dependent on the circumstances of the particular Country lived in . It went on to say that [y]ounger people in the UK tend to speak English rather than Urdu and observe the laws of the UK in relation to their religion .

The Licensee also criticised Ofcom for referring to examples of: [V]iolence in other [Western] Countries where blasphemy of the Prophet had taken place (by non- Muslims) 8 ...Noor resents the implication that [the] broadcast [of the problematic statements] is likely to incite or create a situation in the UK or Western countries of a similar type of recrimination...[T]he violence in those Countries only exemplifies that it is a known factor of the Holy Koran.

Ofcom Decision: Breaches of Rules 3.1 and 4.1

We considered that the broadcast of the various statements made by the Islamic scholar outlined above was likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime.

A number of the remarks in Ofcom's opinion amounted to direct calls to action. In particular, we interpreted some of Mr Nazimi's comments to be a generic call to all Muslims (and not just members of the Muslim community within Pakistan) encouraging or inciting them to criminal action or disorder by unambiguously stating that the appropriate penalty for showing disrespect to Muhammad was the death penalty. He stated that they (all Muslims) had a duty to kill anyone who criticises or insults the Prophet Mohammed where the government had failed to take action, and praised Mumtaz Hussein for taking the law into his own hands and murdering Salmaan Taseer. We noted that such actions were couched as being justified, and even required, as a duty on all Muslims, according to the tenets of Islamic law and theology. We believe that on a reasonable interpretation of the presenter's remarks, he was personally advocating that all Muslims had a duty to carry out the actions he suggested.

In considering the likelihood of the inclusion of these statements in the service encouraging or inciting the commission of crime or leading to disorder, we also carefully considered the context within which the presenter's words were broadcast. The self-stated purpose of Noor TV is to provide a service aimed at the Asian community both within the UK and in the Middle East and Asia, and in particular young people who have been born in the UK . As noted already, the fact that Mr Nazimi gave his views directly to camera would, in our view, have been likely to have given additional authority to what he was saying, as he explained Islamic teachings to a Muslim audience without interruption or any challenge being given to his views.

Ofcom is mindful that scriptures and sacred texts of various religions refer to acts of violence and punishments which by today's standards may be considered extreme and unacceptable by society as a whole. While the Code does not prevent teachings of this kind being referred to, or discussed, in programmes, it is important that they are not presented in a way that would incite or encourage viewers to an extent that would breach the Code. In Ofcom's view the presenter's statements in this case were held out to be the unequivocal teaching of the Koran, which Muslims had a duty to obey. The teachings were not presented in a balanced or wider context and further, the potentially mitigating material that was included could not reasonably be understood to limit the scope of the remarks to only countries where Islamic law applied.

Ofcom reached the view that Al Ehya had broadcast material likely to encourage or to incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder. Accordingly, Ofcom has found the Licensee in breach of Rule 3.1 of the Code.

We considered that the broadcaster did not exercise the proper degree of responsibility with respect to the content of this religious programme. The programme was in breach, therefore, of Rule 4.1 of the Code.

The breaches of Rules 3.1 and 4.1 in this case are regarded by Ofcom as serious breaches of the Code. This is because Ofcom views any incident where a licensee has allowed content to be broadcast that is likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder as a significant contravention of the Code.

Ofcom therefore puts the Licensee on notice that we will consider these breaches for the imposition of a statutory sanction.

Breaches of Rules 3.1 and 4.1



Parents TV Council Recommends...

TV-14 rated The Walking Dead

Link Here16th December 2012

US nutters of the Parents TV Council (PTC) waxed lyrical about The Walking Dead series shown on AMC cable network:

This program contains violent content which may be too intense for some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised. announced the warning before The Walking Dead

Should a program which is so filled with violence, bloodshed, and gore that it requires a disclaimer be considered appropriate for 14 year olds?

Cable network AMC thinks so.

Yet another zombie apocalypse story -- well, the word inspired isn't exactly appropriate, but modeled after -- movies like Night of the Living Dead , the program features a tiny group of human survivors trying to survive in a world filled with animated, flesh-eating cadavers. While the critical establishment lauds the show's intense character interaction and emotional drama, one suspects that far more of its popularity originates with the program's horrifically gory and realistic violence.

To be stopped, the zombies must suffer trauma to their brain -- thus giving the program an excuse for graphic scene after graphic scene of people being decapitated, impaled, and otherwise smashed in the head with axes, makeshift swords, arrows, tire irons, baseball bats, and whatever other implements come to hand. Naturally, each such incident must be shown in extreme (and explicit) close-up, with blood spraying, bone and brain matter splattering, and the attackers being covered in gore.

Now the PTC has embarked on a letter writing campaign:

Last week, the PTC took the entertainment industry and the TV ratings oversight board to task for their laxity! Thousands of PTC members from around the country got no response to the letters they sent the AMC cable network, asking it to reconsider the inaccurate TV-14 rating on The Walking Dead. As a result, PTC President Tim Winter wrote to former Senator Gordon Smith, Chairman of the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board, and urged the organization to address the blatant mis-rating of the AMC program.



Update: Divine Intervention...

Turkish TV censor fines TV channel for airing an episode of the Simpsons featuring God and the Devil

Link Here15th December 2012
Full story: Blasphemy in Turkey...Blasphemy repressing Turkish people

Turkey's TV censor has fined a television channel for insulting religious values after it aired an episode of The Simpsons that shows the religious character God taking orders from the Devil.

Radio and television censor RTUK said it was fining private broadcaster CNBC-e 52,951-lira ( £ 18,600) over the episode featuring the devil asking God to make him a coffee.

Elected a decade ago with the strongest majority seen in years, prime minister Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK party have overseen a period of unprecedented prosperity in Turkey. But concerns are growing about authoritarianism and critics of the government say it is trying to impose Islamic values by stealth.



Update: Negative MP...

Russian MP proposes that TV should consist of 70% propaganda

Link Here12th December 2012
Full story: TV Censorship in Russia...Russian TV censors easily wound up

A Russian MP has produced a bill that would limit what he describes as negative TV content to 30% of air time in a move to ensure people are fed a diet of propaganda

The draft law defines what is acceptable and what should be kept away from viewer's eyes. Journalists should inform people rather than show explicit bloody details in news, the author of the initiative, Oleg Mikheyev told Izvestia daily.

The MP insists the point of the law is not to introduce censorship... .[BUT] ... In his opinion, people just cannot deal with all the negative information they get from the media.

Reports from sites of accidents and terrorist acts that provide close-up view of injured people cause psychological trauma, Mikheyev spewed.

Under the proposal, such content, as well as videos of violence against animals, acts of suicide and paedophilia should be completely banned. Heads of TV channels and journalists who violate the law would face up to six years behind bars.

The propaganda idea was welcomed in the ruling United Russia Party, which may soon develop its own more specific version of the bill. A person should be informed without scenes of violence and horror, a senior member of the party, Valery Trapeznikov noted.




Chalk doodle in the background of a news interviews winds up the easily outraged in Slovakia

Link Here7th December 2012

A chalk doodle penis drawn on a blackboard has caused 'outrage' in Slovakia after the image was broadcast to the nation in the background of a news interview

Head teacher Maria Franikova was being interviewed in her classroom at a school in Poltar, Slovakia, about an upcoming strike. But the programme's editors failed to spot the chalk drawing lurking in the background, featuring a man with a penis as a nose.

The TV station only realised after a few angry nutters rang in to whinge.

One Mr Angry, Miroslav Spak, said:

I don't know whether this was a secret message from the teachers to the government or whoever. There are enough dickheads in politics without creating more



Updated: Spitting Communion Blood...

Irish TV comedian winds up the church over skit with boxing, spitting and Holy Communion

Link Here6th December 2012

An unholy row has broken out between the Catholic Church and impersonator Mario Rosenstock over an RTE sketch about Olympic champion Katie Taylor that appears to mock Holy Communion.

The Catholic Communications Office (CCO) has formally complained to RTE and demanded an apology over the boxing-themed sketch set in a church, which showed a man spitting into a bucket -- in the manner of a prize fighter -- before receiving Holy Communion. Church spokesman Martin Long wrote in a letter to RTE

Any objective viewer would certainly see the offence caused in ridiculing the reception of Holy Communion, the Eucharist, which is the Body of Christ. To make fun of this sacred act is sacrilege and is offensive to the core belief of every Catholic.

Rosenstock said he was disappointed with the church's reaction. He denied that the parody shown on his Mario Rosenstock Show last Monday night was aimed at the church.

It was clearly based on the phenomenon that is Katie Taylor and how her success has permeated every facet of Irish life.

On a more serious note, it seems to me that there is a bigger game afoot. After the Prime Time Investigates controversy over Fr Reynolds, does the church now believe it can go around and start telling RTE what they can and cannot show?

Further comments on Rosenstock's website noted:

Mario Rosenstock has put himself on a collision course with the Catholic Church by refusing to apologise for a sketch which prompted complaints to RTE. And he predicted the church will be upset further by a skit involving Mother Teresa to be aired tonight.

The clip will recreate the historic interview the venerated nun gave to broadcaster Gay Byrne during the early 1970s, but with the major Catholic icon behaving less than saintly during commercial breaks.

If they thought we went too far with the last sketch, I dread to think what they will make of this, Mr Rosenstock told the Irish Independent in reference to a boxing-themed sketch which aired on last week's show.

Update: Whinges Rejected

6th December 2012.See  article from

TV Broadcaster RTE has rejected a complaint from the Catholic Church over a sketch by comedian Mario Rosenstock, but accepted it might have unintentionally caused offence.

The Catholic Communications Office (CCO) made a formal complaint to RTE over a skit which depicted a man spitting into a bucket before receiving Holy Communion. The CCO claimed it ridiculed:

the reception of Holy Communion, the Eucharist, which is the Body of Christ.

RTE's head of broadcast compliance, Peter Feeney responded in a ltter to the bishops that the station rejects the complaint, stating the target of the sketch was not the church but:

satirised popular enthusiasms, in this case enthusiasm for boxing following Katie Taylor's success in the summer Olympics.

RTE's view is that the complaint is ultimately not valid. Insofar as the item was not directed against the sacramental moment depicted, but against general social behaviour using the Mass as an exaggerated setting, the letter says.

The spokesman added that comedy and satire should by its nature startle and surprise, even at times shock and that RTE had an obligation to maintain and defend creative latitude in this regard. It added that in its view, exclusion of such occasional treatment would be likely to have an unduly restrictive impact on comedy and social satire.

CCO spokesman Martin Long said the church would now consider RTE's reply before deciding if it would take the matter to the Irish TV censors of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.



Babes in Australia...

Interesting article outline how Australian TV tried out babe channel programming

Link Here29th November 2012

Australia's TV censor has thrown out complaints made against Channel Nine for broadcasting live phone sex content on its infomercial channel.

BabeTV Live went out on Extra in Queensland and regional NSW after 10pm on 8 October, with some viewers complaining that the exploitative and degrading content should have come with a (softcore) R18+ adult rating.

BabeTV Live features two scantily clad female presenters who encourage viewers to call in at a cost of $4.75 per minute, using provocative language and suggestive actions. Before it begins, the message the following program is for ADULTS ONLY appears on screen.

In its findings on its website, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) ruled that BabeTV Live is advertising, since the presenters continually refer to the phone number displayed on the screen, including direct verbal requests to the camera to phone in, using phrases such as 'call me'. Even though BabeTV Live aired for four hours and 43 minutes, ACMA maintained that the content was advertising.

This is considerably longer than the usual duration of a televised advertisement. However, the Act does not specify the minimum or maximum duration of content to qualify as advertising or sponsorship material.

To the point of Nine airing explicit content on Extra, one complaint read:

I would have thought it breaches the general licence conditions that state 'licensees will not transmit datacasting content that has been classified as RC or X18+ by the Classification Board, and that R 18+ must be modified or subject to a restricted access system'. This program is clearly in the 18+ category supported by the fact that you need to be 18+ to participate!

The broadcaster said that BabeLive TV had not been classified because it was live-to-air content -- so the Classification Board could not have seen it before it went to air.

Nine said that BabeLive TV followed MA 15+ guidelines, and had taken steps to ensure this sort of content did not get any racier than material suitable for viewers above the age of 15.

Nine stated its rules for presenters of this sort of content to ACMA:

  • They must be wearing no less than bra and panties/swimwear/etc. and no see-through underwear or nipple covers.
  • Breast cleavage may be visible but not the whole breast, no nipples and no nipple shadow.
  • No pubic hair or nude genital area.
  • No nude rear.
  • No actual or implied sexual activity between the Presenters.
  • May include sexually suggestive touching or position but cannot include the handling, kissing, licking or sucking or sex toys or phallic-like objects.

Nine also said that it had introduced new, stricter rules for presenters, as follows:

  • The Presenters must not touch each other at any time, including kissing.
  • The Presenters must not mention, talk about or refer to any sexual acts or sexually [suggestive] acts.
  • The Presenters must not consume any drink or food on camera.

Even though Nine did not breach any of ACMA's rules, the broadcaster has since stopped airing BabeTV Live.



Offsite Comment: Spare a Thought for Indian TV Viewers...

Link Here10th November 2012
More than 50 per cent of the Dialogue was beeped out during Friends with Benefits

See article from



The BBC Recommends...

Don't Stop the Party by Pitbull

Link Here8th November 2012

Rapper Pitbull has had his latest music video banned by the BBC.

The promo for Don't Stop The Party sees the chart-topping star partying with an array of bikini clad women on board a luxury yacht and includes sexy but modest bedroom scenes. A partly-naked girl strokes herself on a bed and another drinks from a vodka bottle showing the well known brand.

The video is still being viewed online and now has almost five million views since it was posted on YouTube ten days ago.



Update: Growing Up...Slowly...

Singapore allows R21 rated films such as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo to air on Video On Demand

Link Here21st October 2012
Full story: Film Censorship in Singapore...Media Development Authority

Movies rated R21 in Singapore have been made available on pay-TV in private homes for the first time.

The Media Development Authority (MDA) has given the green light for StarHub and SingTel to offer R21 content on their video-on-demand platforms.

SingTel's mio TV will be now be offering R21 movies such as the crime thriller The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011), the gay-themed drama A Single Man (2009), superhero flick Watchmen (2009) and horror flick The Hills Have Eyes (2006).

Material that is rated by MDA as R21 is deemed suitable for adults aged 21 and older. Previously the highest rating for pay-TV content now was M18.

The Censorship Review Committee had recommended in its report that year that R21 content be allowed on subscription TV and video-on-demand with a strong caveat that a simple-to-use parental lock mechanism is available . It added that if R21 content is made available, the operators should lock it by default.

The Government accepted the proposal.

As to whether R21 content might be made available for sale on DVD and video, Amy Chua, MDA's director of content and standards for broadcast, Internet and publications, said:

We would like to assess how consumers view this service on video-on-demand before we think of introducing it on other platforms.



Lebanon Recommends...

US TV series, Homeland

Link Here20th October 2012

A Lebanese minister has threatened to sue the makers of hit US TV series Homeland for misrepresenting Beirut in a recent episode of the show.

Back to Beirut , the second episode in the new series of Homeland showed a terrorist meeting on Hamra Street, a Hezbollah stronghold. The episode was actually shot in Israel.

Lebanese Tourism Minister Faddy Abboud claimed filming did not depict reality :

It was not filmed in Beirut and does not portray the real image of Beirut. It showed Hamra Street with militia roaming in it.

He added that the real Hamra Street was actually a popular neighbourhood of shops and cafes.

Abboud claims that the depiction of the city could have a negative impact on tourism:

This kind of film damages the image of Lebanon - it is not fair to us and it is not true.

We want to take action, we want to write to the filmmakers and producers and demand an apology. And we are planning to raise a lawsuit against the director and the producer.

Abboud was also offended that filming for the episode took place in Israel rather than Beirut itself. But filming in Beirut would have been difficult since Homeland's co-creator, Gideon Raff, is Israeli and Israel's citizens are barred from visiting the city.



No News is Bad News...

BBC World News jammed in Syria

Link Here20th October 2012

BBC World News and other international broadcasters are being deliberately jammed by forces inside Syrian, according to the corporation's foreign editor.

Jon Williams said that the BBC's international TV network was being blocked:

BBC World News [is] being deliberately jammed from within Syria. Unclear who responsible, but blatant violation of international TV regulations.

A statement frm the BBC said:

The BBC, together with a number of other broadcasters, is experiencing deliberate, intermittent interference to its transmissions to audiences in Europe and the Middle East. Impacted services include the BBC World News and BBC Arabic television channels and BBC World Service radio services in English and Arabic.

Deliberate interference such as the jamming of transmissions is a blatant violation of international regulations concerning the use of satellites and we strongly condemn any practice designed to disrupt audiences' free access to news and information.



Update: Propaganda Censored...

Hotbird satellite kicks off Iranian channels including Press TV

Link Here19th October 2012
Full story: Press TV...Political censoship merges with TV censorship

Arqiva and Eutelsat have jointly agreed to terminate broadcasts via Eutelsat's Hot Bird satellites of channels belonging to Iran. Ten TV channels in total were switched off on Monday, October 15.

The move includes Iran's international English langauge news channel Press TV, as well as the Arabic news channel Al-Alam.

The Paris based satellite operator said in a statement:

This decision was based on reinforced EU Council sanctions and a confirmation by France's broadcasting authority that the Sahar 1 TV channel that broadcast in IRIB's multiplex of television and radio services should be permanently switched off. IRIB has been informed of the termination of its contract. Transmissions consequently ceased this morning through the Hot Bird transponder.

The removal of the channels affect viewers in Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East but not Iran.

Update: Censors Complain when their Propaganda is Censored

19th October 2012. See  article from

Denouncing the hypocritical Western suppression of free speech, hypocritical Iranian media officials expressed 'outrage' over a decision by Europe's largest satellite providers to cease transmission of Iran's 19 state-operated satellite television and radio channels that broadcast to Europe and parts of the Middle East.

The decision came as the European Union expanded its list of sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear program. The satellite blackout has deprived the Iranian channels of an audience abroad that represents 200 million households.

Without mentioning Iran's censorship of many Western media outlets, the official Iranian reaction was that Europe had attacked its own values of freedom of speech. Ezzatollah Zarghami, the head of Iran's state-run radio and television organization, said:

They must understand the time of censorship is over. They want to prevent our views from being heard, but they will fail.



Stately Censorship...

Greek state TV censored gay kiss from Downton Abbey

Link Here18th October 2012

  Greek state television cut out a gay kiss from the British drama Downton Abbey . The scene involved a kiss between a visiting duke and Downton's footman Thomas Barrow.

Viewers complained about the edit on social networking sites and the country's main opposition party called it an obvious case of censorship . In a statement, the Syriza party described the omission as:

an extreme act of homophobia and discrimination which... we cannot characterize as unprecedented.

The episode in question started late at night at 22:05 local time.

Costas Spyropoulos, managing director of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation squirmed about the censorship:

The love affair between the two men... was not censored ...[BUT]...

The kiss was not shown because of the time the programme was broadcast and the corresponding parental guidance warnings.



But UnPC at Al Jazeera TV...

Gary Lineker quips about praying muslims as eating grass

Link Here9th October 2012

Gary Lineker has been forced to apologise after accidentally ridiculing two Muslim footballers during a match commentary on TV.

When the players celebrated a goal by dropping to their knees and bowing their heads in the Islamic prayer position, Lineker said it looked as though they ate grass .

He was commentating on Al Jazeera TV, which is mainly aimed at audiences in the Middle East and has a huge Islamic audience.

According to football website, London-based Imam Ajmal Masroor said:

The players are not asking anyone else to join in their worship, they are making a gesture in thanks to God -- saying they are "eating grass" is outrageous.

Lineker wrote on his website:

I'm sorry but I'm not aware of every player's religion.



Update: A Culture of Inappropriateness...

Afghanistan TV channels in trouble for supposedly inappropriate music videos

Link Here18th September 2012
Full story: TV Censorship in Afghanistan...Afghanistan TV, an unsuprising target for censors

The Afghan Ministry of Culture and Information has brought legal proceedings against two popular entertainment television channels.

The ministry said Setara TV and Saba TV had broadcast inappropriate content, including revealing foreign music videos.

The ministry said the content violated a new media law, which bans programs that are deemed an affront to Afghan culture.



The Diplomacy of Censorship...

Ofcom consider complaint about Russian propaganda channel

Link Here11th September 2012

Russia Today, 21 August 2011, 13:01 and 14:06
The Diplomacy of Defence|
Russia Today, 5 February 2012, 17:30

Russia Today is a global news and current affairs channel produced in Russia, and funded by the Russia Government. In the UK, the channel broadcasts on the Sky satellite platform. The licence for Russia Today is held by TV Novosti.

A complainant alerted Ofcom to two separate news items, featuring the reporter Lizzie Phelan, which the complainant considered were not duly accurate or duly impartial. In summary, the complainant said that Lizzie Phelan made claims that...the [Libyan] rebels obviously lack any popular support and her report was not a factual news report .

Ofcom provided several examples. Eg in the news item broadcast on 21 August 2011 at 12:01, Lizzie Phelan said the following about the NATO air attacks:

This is all part of the strategy to create mass panic and mass confusion here, because NATO has obviously failed in its military strategy to create a military solution here and so instead what we are seeing is a massive psychological operation going on to try and weaken the Libyan Government in that way .

Ofcom considered the material raised issues warranting investigation under Rule 5.1 of the Code, which states:

Rule 5.1: News, in whatever form, must be reported with due accuracy and presented with due impartiality .

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 5.1

After a long report Ofcom concluded:

In this case, it is clear that viewers were presented only with viewpoints supportive of the Russian Government's policy on this particular matter of political controversy and matter relating to current public policy (NATO missile deployment in Eastern Europe), thus denying viewers some knowledge of crucial alternative viewpoints on this issue. Therefore, in our view, to record a breach of Rule 5.5 would not be a disproportionate infringement of the Licensee's right to freedom of expression. Ofcom therefore considered The Diplomacy of Defence breached Rule 5.5 of the Code.



Censor Bullshit...

Google initially censor political TV advert over bleeped 'bullshit'

Link Here5th September 2012

The Green Party have won a public-relations battle with Google in the US, forcing the company's television advertising division to book time for a commercial in which its presidential candidate uses the (partly bleeped) word 'bullshit' to describe the policies of the major-party candidates.

Google TV Ads, which fills advertising slots for television stations, initially rejected the commercial in an e-mail to the party's ad agency, citing the use of inappropriate language by Jill Stein, the Green nominee. No doubt trying to avoid violating the Federal Communications Commission's vague standards for what constitutes indecency on television, Google TV Ads instructs clients to avoid bleeped-out expletives where curse words are still identifiable from the audio.

The Green Party then called on its supporters to:

Tell Google TV Ads Not to Censor Our Ads! Never mind that these ads already comply with F.C.C. regulations regarding appropriate content, what Google does not seem to understand is that federal law prohibits broadcasters from censoring ads submitted by candidates for public office.

Google TV Ads relented and agreed to pass the ad on to broadcasters.



Update: Pending Further Discussion...

India orders film censors to do their job and certify films for TV

Link Here1st September 2012
Full story: TV Censorship in India...India considers the regulation of TV for adults

The Indian film industry, which has been battling to overturn a unilateral censor board decision to ban A-rated films from television, can heave a sigh of relief, at least for now.

This newspaper has learnt that the Information & Broadcasting Ministry has stepped in to resolve the deadlock by asking censors to continue cutting films for the small screen until suitable amendments are made in the Cable Television Act.

Once these changes are in place, however, the censors may get their wish that a majority of the re-certified movies can be shown on TV only after 11 pm. The censors contend that some of these films, no matter how extensive the cuts, deal with themes that are unsuitable for younger audiences.

The idea of an 11pm watershed for adult A rated films was demanded by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). When the TV companies refused to play along with the idea, the CBFC protested by working to rule and refusing to certify any adult films for TV. A CBFC certificate is a legal requirement for films shown on TV.

Update: A Gathering of TV Censors

21st September 2012. See  article from

To put an end to controversies on the lines of the TV telecast of the Vidya Balan starrer Dirty Picture , an umbrella body is being mulled that will pre-censor films to be telecast on television.

The self-regulatory body comprising representatives from the film industry, Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), information and broadcasting ministry and the Broadcast Content Complaints Council (BCCC) will decide whether the film in question is suitable for TV telecast on the basis of content and also fix a particular time slot.

This proposal which is at an initial stage has come from the CBFC and is being positively considered by the BCCC and the I&B ministry, said an official on condition of anonymity.

Update: A more representative committee

18th October 2012. See  article from

We've learnt Censor Board Chief Leela Samson flew down to Mumbai and met up with filmmakers Yash Chopra, Mukesh Bhatt, Ramesh Sippy, Siddharth Roy Kapoor, Ashutosh Gowariker, Harry Baweja and top producers from the South at Hotel Sahara Star in Andheri East. CBFC CEO Pankaja Thakur was also present.

Most importantly, a decision was taken at the meeting to form a separate committee to review films that are rejected by the censor board for TV viewing.

The committee will comprise members from different walks of life and will include directors, actors, judges, social activists, teachers as well as CBFC representatives.

Once the CBFC identifies the objectionable movies, the committee will then take a call as to what time they should be slotted, whether prime time or post 11pm. The committee will reserve the right to reject a film that they find totally unfit for small screen viewing.



Update: Fag End TV...

Russia opts for all day, and nearly all night, children's TV

Link Here31st August 2012
Full story: TV Censorship in Russia...Russian TV censors easily wound up

A Russian national TV channel is going to censor The Simpsons . In light of a new law banning displays of violence, drinking, and smoking on TV before 11pm, the young adult-targeted channel 2x2 will remove all scenes with the show's violent spoof cartoon The Itchy & Scratchy Show starting Friday. 

The channel's general director Lev Makarov told AFP:

We will retouch in an ironic way all the programs where there are scenes that fall under the new law.  For example, we will black-out the screen and write a jokey message in a rolling caption.

Makarov said the animated series South Park , on the other hand, will not be aired before 11pm because creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone insist on killing Kenny in almost every episode.

The classic Soviet-era children's cartoon Nu, pogodi! featuring a hapless wolf trying to catch a crafty rabbit, is another victim of the new censorship law. It features a character with a lit cigarette or ten, dangling from his lips.

Longtime fans of Nu, pogodi! are dismayed at the news that it may be relegated to late-night time slots due to the prodigious tobacco use by its star.

The new law supposedly aimed at protecting children under the age of 18 from programming featuring drinking, smoking, or drug use comes into force on September 1.



ITV Get a Good Tanning...

It didn't notice the lyrics to The Sun has got his Hat On

Link Here30th August 2012

Calendar News
ITV Yorkshire, 22 May 2012, 06:00

Calendar News is ITV Yorkshire's half-hour early evening local news programme.

The edition broadcast on 22 May 2012 ended with a montage of clips illustrating the exceptionally sunny weather being experienced at that time and accompanied by the song, The Sun Has Got His Hat On .

A viewer alerted Ofcom to the broadcast of offensive racial language in the first two lines in the second verse of the song:

The sun has got his hat on, hip-hip-hip-hooray
The sun has got his hat on and he's coming out today
Now we'll all be happy, hip-hip-hip-hooray
The sun has got his hat on and he's coming out today

He's been tanning niggers out in Timbuktu
Now he's coming back to do the same to you
So jump into your sunbath, hip-hip-hip-hooray
The sun has got his hat on and he's coming out today

Ofcom considered Rules:

Rule 1.14 The most offensive language must not be broadcast before the watershed.

Rule 2.3 In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context.... Such material may include, but is not limited to, offensive language, ... discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of...race...).

ITV explained that the music was selected for the montage by an editor from the news library on the assumption that the title and words of the song were appropriate to the theme of the montage. It was assumed, because the tune and opening verse are very well known, that the rest of the song was equally innocuous. ITV said that the editor and other newsroom staff were completely unaware that the original version of the song contained the offensive language. Unfortunately, given this mistaken assumption, the whole song was not reviewed before being selected for the montage, nor was the edited item reviewed by the news producer before broadcast.

Shortly after the broadcast and the bulletin had come to an end, it was recognised that inappropriate language had been used. Calendar News took swift action to prevent the repetition of the language in a further broadcast, ensuring that the offensive language was dipped on the ITV1+1 service. Also an apology was broadcast on the later news bulletin that day stating, Finally Calendar would like to apologise for a piece of music we transmitted at the end of tonight's six o'clock programme, which contained offensive language. It was transmitted in error.

Ofcom Decision: Complaint Resolved

Ofcom research on offensive language1 clearly notes that the word nigger is generally considered by audiences to be among the most offensive language. Therefore the use of this word before the watershed without any justification was a clear breach of Rules 1.14 and 2.3.

Ofcom however took into account that: ITV identified the error almost immediately on transmission, took steps to dip the sound during the repeat on ITV1+1, broadcast an apology during the later news bulletin the same day and took various further measures afterwards to ensure there was no recurrence of this problem.

In view of the action taken by the broadcaster, Ofcom therefore considers the matter resolved.



The New Normal...

Utah TV station continues an old normal dislike of gay programming

Link Here28th August 2012

NBC Utah affiliate KSL-TV has pulled the upcoming Ryan Murphy sitcom The New Normal from its fall lineup, calling the series as inappropriate on several dimensions.

The show, which follows a mother who serves as a surrogate for a Los Angeles-based gay couple, stars Ellen Barkin. It's booked for 9:30 pm slot But Utah's KSL-TV doesn't want anything to do with it during family viewing-time.

Herndon Graddick president of the perennial whingers of GLAAD said:

Same-sex families are a beloved part of American television thanks to shows like Modern Family , Glee and Grey's Anatomy . While audiences, critics and advertisers have all supported LGBT stories, KSL is demonstrating how deeply out of touch it is with the rest of the country.

KSL-TV is part of Deseret Management Corporation, the for-profit operating company of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.



Counting Pixels...

Parents Television Council report on pixellated nudity on US TV

Link Here26th August 2012

The Parents Television Council (PTC) has released results of a survey regarding nudity on US prime-time broadcast television.

During the 2011-2012 season there were 76 occurrences of obscured nudity on 37 shows compared to 15 occurrences in 14 shows the previous year, representing a 407% increase in incidents.

In light of the findings, PTC president Tim Winter sent a letter to congressional members asking them to urge the Federal Communications Commission to move forward in clearing the backlog of 1.6 million unadjudicated indecency complaints.

In 2006, Congress passed the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act in response to growing outrage from the American people over the broadcast networks' abuse of the publicly-owned broadcast airwaves. Yet since that time, we have seen a concerted effort on the part of the networks to constantly push the outer limit of what may be considered appropriate for the broadcast medium.

During prime time hours across all broadcast networks, use of the bleeped or muted f-word increased from 11 instances in 2005 to 276 instances in 2010 -- an increase of 2,409%... It's not just the language that's getting coarser. PTC research has found a staggering increase in the frequency and explicitness of pixelated nudity on the broadcast networks during primetime hours.

We call on you to give the FCC your full support for decency enforcement; to urge the FCC to move forward with all due haste in clearing the backlog of 1.6 million unadjudicated indecency complaints; and to give the FCC the tools it needs to ensure enforcement actions are meaningful and appropriate... Because Our Children Are Watching.

Methodology: September 1 to May 31 was the study period. This analysis excludes animated nudity or suggested full nudity and only includes scenes in which individuals are completely unclothed and only the sexual organs are blurred from the viewer. The analysis includes network specials, but excludes traditional news and sports.

Major Findings:

  • During the 2011-2012 season there were 76 incidents of full nudity on 37 shows compared to 15 incidents in 14 shows the previous year, representing a 407% increase in incidents.
  • Almost 70% of the scenes that depicted obscured nudity during the 2011--2012 study period were on shows that aired before 9:00 pm and as early as 7:00 pm. In comparison, 50% of the obscured nudity scenes aired after 9:00 pm the previous year.
  • Out of 76 instances of obscured nudity during the 2011--2012 study period, only five of those depictions occurred on shows that contained an S descriptor alerting parents to the obscured 'explicit' adult content.
  • Relative to obscured full-frontal nudity, one instance occurred during the 2010--2011 study period and by the same time the following year, 64 instances of obscured full-frontal nudity had aired. This represents a 6300% increase in one year.
  • During the 2010--2011 study period, black bars, logos, and/or conveniently placed objects in a scene were used to block the view of sexual organs from the viewer 87% of the time. In contrast, during the 2011--2012 study period, 74% of the incidents of full nudity used blurring or pixilation to cover sexual body parts.



Update: TV Tantrums...

India's film censors end service to cut down adult rated films for TV

Link Here25th August 2012
Full story: TV Censorship in India...India considers the regulation of TV for adults

India's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) told Mumbai Mirror that it has decided to stop re-certifying A-rated films for TV, thereby making them ineligible for television screening.

It's a decision that is now threatening to derail several top-of-the-line production houses which make a chunk of their profits from the advance sale of satellite rights.

A number of big-ticket films, including Aamir Khan's home production Delhi Belly , Anurag Kashyap's Gangs of Wasseypur (parts 1 and 2) and Vikram Bhatt's Hate Story are waiting for CBFC clearance. The satellite rights of many of these films have already been sold to broadcasters for big money.

When contacted, the censor board's CEO Pankaja Thakur confirmed that the re-certification had stopped already:

We're no longer modifying and certifying films to make them suitable for TV viewing, she said. This was not a part of the Cinematograph Act. We would like it to be included in the Act, but that is up to Parliament.

The controversy began last month when objections were raised with the manner in which The Dirty Picture had been modified for TV, with a case filed against its telecast.

The CBFC then told the film producers that they should specify to TV channels that all modified A-rated films should only be shown only after 11 pm. This suggestion was accepted for The Dirty Picture , but the producers of Jannat 2 , fearing a loss of revenue in satellite rights, challenged the CBFC's guideline in the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT). The FCAT ruled in the film producer Mahesh Bhatt's favour, and told CBFC that it could not decide the slotting of films on TV.

Thakur explained that the CBFC were miffed at not being able to inflict transmission times and had decided to work to rule:

The modification of A-rated films was a facility that the CBFC was extending to the film industry to help them show their movies on TV. If we were doing something extra for them, we had a right to attach certain riders to it. Since this 11 pm condition is unacceptable, we have decided to go strictly by the original Act. We want the role of the CBFC to be redefined. If we are supposed to modify or re-certify films for TV viewing, it should be specified in the Act.

The film industry is now starting to panic. Insiders say that satellite rights of a movie constitute nearly 40 per cent of its gross earnings. A producer said:

If the film cannot be telecast, won't the channel want a refund? And hereafter, won't Adult films have no buyers whatsoever?

Mahesh Bhatt added:

This is a very serious matter. The film industry will have to lock horns with the government. We might require judicial intervention, or the entire economics of the film industry will go topsy turvy.



Offsite Article: Goodies: censored tapes exposed...

Link Here19th August 2012
A generation of children were weaned on the wholesome teatime humour of The Goodies madcap antics. Now, 30 years on, the unseen clips that Australian censors discarded on the cutting room floor have emerged for the first time.

See article from



Updated: Low Taste TV...

Chinese TV censors introduce further restrictions

Link Here18th August 2012
Full story: TV Censorship in China...TV censors SARFT

China's TV censor has introduced a raft of new restrictions for broadcasters which ban remakes and adaptations from online games, and cut back on humor and family spats in TV series.

The six guidelines issued by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) also require less violence, organized crime and low taste, and that TV series dealing with the Communist Revolution clearly distinguish between friend and foe, local media reported. Serials adapted from online novels are also not encouraged.

Foreign series are not allowed at peak viewing times between 7 pm and 10 pm, and cannot account for more than 25% of daily schedules. No foreign TV shows with over 50 episodes are allowed.

The new restrictions became effective a few days ago.

Update: Change of Censorial Heart

18th August 2012. See  article from

Two weeks ago, the folks over at SARFT announced a ban on six aspects of television drama, including banning shows adapted from web novels and web games. Or at least, we thought they did. Now SARFT say that story is false.

SARFT's vice bureau chief in charge of TV drama Wang Weiping said: It is impossible that the head office would come out with a ban like this.

However it's weird that the bureau waited so long to deny these reports. In fact, when the story was first breaking, an official representative from SARFT spoke to the Beijing News and answered at least one question quite cryptically but apparently did not deny that the report itself was accurate.

So it seems there has been a change of mind.



Updated: Banning the Best Bits...

Pakistan cable TV companies blank out news of Supreme Court case

Link Here14th August 2012
Full story: TV Censorship in Pakistan...TV under threat from morally minded courts

At a joint meeting of Pakistan's cable operators and TV channel-owners, it was decided that they would all blank out Supreme Court proceedings from a case against them.

The court is hearing a case accusing the TV companies of airing obscenity and supposedly illegal Indian channels.

It was decided that even top news anchors would be bound by their respective managements not to touch these issues.

Almost all owners or senior executives of top Pakistani channels including ARY, Geo, and Express agreed to follow the decision of the Cable Operators Association.

According to sources, cable operators had threatened TV channel-owners that if they did not follow the decision, their channels would be put at the end of the tuning list in distribution networks across the country. The cable operators made it clear that they would not accept any demand for the closure of illegal Indian channels particularly Star Plus and Sony which brought them money.

Update: Supreme Obscenity

14th August 2012. See  article from

Pakistan's Supreme Court has directed the TV censors of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to set the parameters for discouraging programmes and advertisements supposedly showing obscenity on TV channels.

A three-member bench heard proceedings regarding nutter accusations of obscene and other objectionable material. The court gave four weeks to PEMRA for completing the process and directed to clearly define obscenity and submit a compliance report.

Appearing on notice, Acting PEMRA Chairman Dr Abdul Jabbar informed the court that he took all possible measures for discouraging obscenity on TV channels, adding that there were many complaints against obscenity on cable. He told the court that PEMRA had fined TV channels spreading sectarianism, besides issuing notices to cable operators and TV channels for running advertisements and programmes containing obscenity.

The Criminal Justice of Pakistan asked the chairman that serving notices on TV channels was nothing but eyewash and that effective measures should be taken on urgent basis.

Update: Words in Parliament

29th October 2012. See  article from

The National Assembly has unanimously passed a resolution expressing serious concern over the broadcasting of illegal foreign channels through cable network, the supposed growing trends of obscenity and indecency through local channels and the unchecked flow of blasphemous and vulgar material through the internet into Pakistan in violation of the Constitution and the relevant laws.

The resolution, moved by the PML-N appreciated that the Pakistani media itself has initiated a debate on the issues of illegal foreign channels and obscenity while the Supreme Court has also taken suo moto notice of the same.



Update: Whinge Counters...

Indian TV censors make their first annual report

Link Here13th August 2012
Full story: TV Censorship in India...India considers the regulation of TV for adults

India's newly formed council of TV censors has made its first annual report to the Indian Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

It said that it had received 717 specific complaints, of which 47% were about supposed obscenity and nudity while 16% were regarding depiction of violence. 7% complaints related to TV content supposedly hurt religious and cultural sentiments. The report said that nearly 16% of specific complaints pertained to the theme of crime and violence and many of these were against shows based on actual crime cases.

Referring to the complaints related to sex, obscenity and nudity, the Broadcasting Content Complaint Council report said that a large number of such complaints were found to be violating Indian Broadcasting Federation's self-regulatory guidelines. The report said:

The BCCC directed some channels that since these programmes were not suitable for telecast during general viewing hours, they should suitably modify the content and air such programmes during restricted viewing hours.

In some cases, channels completely took programmes off air.

The main concern was use of vulgar language by participants and the alleged obscene acts performed by them during the shows.



Bodies in Motion...

NBC compilation video of female athletes taken down after nutter complaint

Link Here12th August 2012

US broadcaster NBC removed a video from its website after receiving claims that it objectified women.

The video is entitled Bodies in Motion , and is a compilation of clips depicting female athletes often in slow motion, with the shots frequently focusing on the women's backsides and chests.

The video is accused of being designed to leave males with their tongues wagging rather than celebrate the athletic prowess of women at the Olympics.

The video, which was heavily criticized by sites like Jezebel and Think Progress, represents a departure from the human interest stories and family-friendly broadcast style NBC has embraced throughout the London Games. The realization that this was not the image they wanted to portray, coupled with the backlash they faced, probably led to the removal of the video.



Forbidden TV...

Indonesian religious groups suggest halal approval for TV programmes

Link Here3rd August 2012

An Islamic council in Indonesia wants the country's TV censors to consider certifying TV programs as religiously acceptable.

But the country's broadcasting commissioner has ruled out certifying TV programs based on whether they're acceptable to Islam.

The West Java branch of Indonesia's Islamic Council is suggesting a certification system like used for foods, to show whether programmes are religiously permitted, or halal.

The West Java Broadcast Commissioner, Nursyawal, says that's not going to happen. He says it's up to Islamic Clerics to issue their own fatwa or religious law forbidding certain programs.



Updated: The 1936 Berlin Olympics?...

Journalist suspended from twitter after criticising US TV coverage

Link Here1st August 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control

Here are three things that NBC prevented their public from being able to watch on network television so far this Olympic Games: live footage of the opening ceremony; live footage of Saturday's swimming showdown between Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte; live footage of the USA men's basketball dream team.

A fourth thing they do not want people to see is the email address of Gary Zenkel, the executive responsible for this shambles. And a fifth thing is my Twitter feed, which over the weekend contained a couple of dozen occasionally uncouth observations about their coverage, several of which were accompanied by the trending hashtag: #NBCfail.

Twitter's guidelines forbid users from publishing what they call private information, including private email addresses . There is plenty of sense in this. But I did not Tweet a private email address. I Tweeted a corporate address for Mr Zenkel, which is widely listed online, and is identical in form to that of tens of thousands of those at NBC.

I was not contacted by NBC or Twitter before my account was suspended.

...Read the full article

Update: Twitter Account Restored

1st August 2012. See  article from by Guy Adams

[Shortly before 6pm London time] I had received an email from Twitter support, announcing that I was no longer verboten in Twitter-land:

Your account was suspended because a complaint was filed stating that you had violated our terms of service, it read. We have just received an updated notice from the complainant retracting the original request. Therefore, your account has been unsuspended, and no further action is required from you at this time.


[Twitter] has yet to properly address growing suspicions that its decision to suspend my account was motivated by a business relationship with NBC. The firms are running a cross-promotion throughout the Olympics. Was that why it chose to ignore its own rules?

Yesterday, the website, which is supposedly dedicated to the democratic flow of conversation, did admit it had actually contacted its corporate partner urging it to complain so that my account could be shut down in the first place. A mea culpa on its blog said last night: We want to apologise for the part of this story we did mess up. The team working closely with NBC around our Olympics partnership did proactively identify a tweet that was in violation of the Twitter rules and encouraged them to file a support ticket with our trust and safety team to report the violation... Our trust and safety team did not know that part of the story and acted on the report as they would any other. We do not proactively report or remove content on behalf of other users no matter who they are. [But close enough that's exactly what they just did!].

Extract: So what are Twitter's censorship rules

1st August 2012. See  article from

Twitter's rules, available via its help centre , say:

  • Users must not impersonate others in a manner intended to mislead or deceive others.

  • Tweeters are not allowed to infringe companies' trademarks by either assuming their name or logo as part of their profile. Related Articles

  • Members of the service must not publish other people's private and confidential information -- such as credit card numbers or home address -- without their express permission.

  • People will be permanently suspended from the site if they perpetually send spam or abuse -- which is defined as specific threats of violence against others .

  • And tweeters must not infringe copyright rules, use the site for illegal purposes (adhering to the country's laws from which a person is tweeting) or misuse Twitter verification badges (which denote an account's authenticity with a blue tick).

  • Twitter users must not use obscene or pornographic images in either their profile picture or user background.

...Read the full article



Extract: Fear Factor...

Drinking donkey semen banned in the US but lapped up in New Zealand

Link Here30th July 2012

Come mid-August New Zealand television audiences will have the rare privilege of seeing the shock horror episode of Fear Factor that has been banned in that home of the depraved - the United States of America.

What was it that could possibly offend audiences on a show that regularly challenges contestants to eat or drink repellent creepy crawlies and vile piles of gut-heaving substances that every normal instinct would have you recoiling from?

And the answer to that question is - dare I say it or even write it - donkey semen. Truly: donkey semen. Any semen would be controversial but donkey semen seems particularly wrong, and the idea of humans - dare I say it or even write it - swallowing it is the stuff of bad porn movies.

And these are not just shot or sherry glasses of the offending liquid. These are large Viking tankards of the stuff, and regurgitation is prohibited. If a contestant vomits it up, they cannot proceed to the next challenge, thus forfeiting the dosh.

...Read the full article



Strategically Placed Jugs...

Video shows examples of TV censorship in Iran

Link Here28th July 2012

Iranian journalist Reza Valizadeh, who worked for some four years as a reporter, presenter, and producer with Iran's radio and television, explained in a 2010 interview with Persian Letters how foreign movies and documentaries are altered on state TV to make them appropriate and Islamic in the eyes of Iranian decision makers.

Romantic dialogue is often changed. For example, it isn't proper for a woman to say to her partner, 'I love you.' It isn't considered decent. It's clear how dialogue about sexual proposals is dealt with -- they are changed to marriage proposals. Also, we see that beer becomes lemonade on state television and whiskey becomes orange juice. Also, dialogue about politics is often changed.

The Gooya website has reposted some images by an Iranian film publication, Cafecinema, depicting censorship on state television, which is tightly monitored by hard-liners.

Notice that in some cases the women's necklines have been covered through different methods and in other cases the woman has been excised completely, apparently because of her closeness to men in the shots. Alcohol has also been removed in one of the images.



Updated: A Red Rag to the Portuguese...

Green Party proposes law to ban bullfighting from TV

Link Here14th July 2012

Portuguese MPs have slammed proposed law changes to end the showing of bullfights on Portugal's public television channels.

The proposal put forward by the Green (PEV) and Left Bloc (BE) parties includes removing all public support for shows that inflict physical and psychological suffering or lead to the death of animals involved in bullfights, that bullfighting should no longer be aired on public service channels and the activity should be classed as an illicit show.

The Green party said in a statement:

Society should be heading in a direction of abandoning practises that are not compatible with the increasing statute of protection given to animals.

The party also proposed for bullfighting to be classified for over 18s only when aired on television:

This is a measure that aims to defend TV audiences, but also to protect children and youngsters from shows that do not teach respect for animals.

MPs from nearly all opposing parties criticised the proposals during a debate on Wednesday, calling it cultural censorship .

Update: MPs shout Ol é and vote to retain bullfighting on TV

14th July 2012. See  article from

Proposals by the Left Bloc (BE) and the Greens (PEV) to change the laws that regulate the showing of bullfights on television have been crushed by a majority in Parliament, meaning the controversial sport will continue to be shown unrestricted on national public channels.

PAN, the Party for Animals and for Nature, slammed the lively opposition to the bill, saying:

Anyone who witnessed the debate about these matters couldn't help but be surprised by the behaviour of the MPs on the CDS-PP, PSD (Social Democrats) and PS benches, who, among boos, jeers and shouts of ole, made the BE's and PEV's speeches about their law-projects practically inaudible.

PAN condemns the lamentable attitude of these MPs, recalling that they were elected to represent all Portuguese, not only those who are fans or part of the bullfighting industry.

The Portuguese Federation for Bull-related Associations, Protoiro, described the outcome as a resounding victory for Portuguese bullfighting and freedom. On its Facebook page Protoiro claims that the proposals were quashed by 85% of parliament saying:

This is the third defeat suffered by anti-bullfighters who, in just six months, have seen all of their initiatives completely trounced.



Update: Chinese TV Has No Balls...

News programme pixellates Michelangelo's David

Link Here12th July 2012

A Chinese television news programme censored footage showing Michelangelo's David by by covering the statue's genitals with a digital mosaic.

The statue was exhibited in Beijing as part of celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the National Museum of China.

The move stirred a debate on internet, with general mockery of CCTV's lack of respect toward the work.

CCTV later removed the mosaic when it rebroadcast the programme.



Update: One Hundred Cuts...

The Dirty Picture suffers in the name of a primetime TV broadcast

Link Here11th July 2012
Full story: TV Censorship in India...India considers the regulation of TV for adults

The Dirty Picture has been passed for daytime TV broadcast after nearly 100 cuts.

The controversial A (18) rated film had already suffered 59 cuts for a U/A certificate that would allow it to be shown on TV after 11pm.

Sources said the producers of the film approached the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) volunteering an additional 40 cuts for a U certificate. Certain words have been muted while 3-4 minutes of the film have been chopped off.

The Information and Broadcasting ministry had previously stepped in to stop screening of The Dirty Picture on prime time TV after an April 19 order of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had asked the ministry to ensure that the telecast of the movie did not violate guidelines.

The I&B ministry had then turned to CBFC for advice which had said the U/A certificate given to the film after several cuts meant that parental guidance was a must. CBFC had also asked the ministry to tell all channels, which are planning to telecast U/A rated movies in near future , to do so only after 11 pm.



Done to Death...

Egyptian TV censors cut rape scene from Ibn Al Mawt

Link Here9th July 2012

The Egyptian Censorship Committee has refused to give approval to the rape scene of Egyptian actress Ola Ghanem in the new television drama Ibn Al Mawt (Son of Death), which is scheduled to be aired during the coming Ramadan season.

Sources within the committee revealed that perceived violations by the committee are with the scene showing Ola being sexually assaulted by a group of men while wearing inappropriate clothes.

Ola was outraged over the decision of the committee especially since the scene was the toughest and most arduous to film in entire drama.

Update: Smoking Cuts

11th July 2012. See  article from

The Egyptian television has started a censorship campaign against all Ramadan series which will be broadcasted this year.

The TV censor has deleted smoking cigarettes and shisha scenes from Keed Al Nisaa 2 series, in addition to Nabila Obeid's shot in a swimsuit and Fifi Abdou's strong language.

Smoking shisha scenes in Al Zawja Al Rabiaa were considered supposedly meaningless and were removed. And most scenes in Ser Aalani were deleted for smoking which the censor claims doesn't relate to the essential meaning of the series.



Update: Revealed as Tits...

The Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction legal case comes to an end with the TV censor's massive fines being declared as invalid due to its unannounced policy change

Link Here1st July 2012
Full story: FCC TV Censors...FCC wound up by nudity and fleeting expletives

The long legal battle between CBS and the Federal Communications Commission over Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show is over.

The Supreme Court has refused to hear the FCC's request to reinstate a $550,000 indecency fine against CBS for the halftime performance featuring Jackson and Justin Timberlake, who at the end of a song tore a piece of Jackson's top, exposing her bare breast to an audience of about 90 million.

So the legal trail end at the last judgement in November when an appeal court in Philadelphia upheld its earlier ruling that the FCC's indecency fine against the network was invalid. The court didn't say whether the incident was indecent but said the FCC's fine represented an undisclosed change in the enforcement of its policy with regard to fleeting images and hence could not be enforced.

In a statement, CBS said it was gratified to finally put this episode behind us and noted that at every major turn of this process, the lower courts have sided with us. The network added that since the Super Bowl, it has added delays to all live programming to prevent similar incidents from happening.



Expecting a Good Tanning...

An ITV news programme didn't notice the lyrics to The Sun has got his Hat On

Link Here28th June 2012

TV censors at Ofcom is investigating ITV1's Calendar show over the use of the word 'nigger' in background song lyrics.

On the 22 May Calendar News, ITV1's regional news in the north and east broadcast a video clip celebrating sunny weather. The report featured a montage of pictures of people enjoying the sun and was set to the 1930s song The Sun has got his Hat On.

However the TV company didn't listen very closely to the lyrics:

The sun has got his hat on, hip-hip-hip-hooray
The sun has got his hat on and he's coming out today
Now we'll all be happy, hip-hip-hip-hooray
The sun has got his hat on and he's coming out today

He's been tanning niggers out in Timbuktu
Now he's coming back to do the same to you
So jump into your sunbath, hip-hip-hip-hooray
The sun has got his hat on and he's coming out today

Ofcom has launched an investigation into whether ITV broke UK broadcasting rules relating to harm and offence.



Update: US TV Censors Can't Change their Rules on a Whim...

Fox and ABC win reprieve from fines for fleeting strong language and nudity, but TV censorship by the FCC will continue

Link Here22nd June 2012
Full story: FCC TV Censors...FCC wound up by nudity and fleeting expletives

Broadcasters have won the latest round in their long running battle with US TV censors over the limits of decency on the small screen.

In a Supreme Court judgment, the justices sided with Fox and ABC against the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) over the broadcasting of momentary expletives and nudity.

The ruling related to two separate incidents in which the FCC moved against broadcasters for indecency transmitted before the 10pm watershed. The first concerned a Fox broadcasting of the Billboard Music Awards in 2002 in which Cher said fuck on live TV, followed by a similar expletive by Nicole Richie at the same awards the following year. The second was a 2003 episode of NYPD Blue , in which the actress Charlotte Ross exposed her backside for seven seconds.

The FCC fined ABC $1.4m for indecency, but this seemed to be a sudden change in policy in response to pressure from moralist campaigns.

The supreme court found that in both cases the broadcasters had been given insufficient notice to be aware that they were in breach of the rules. Previous decisions by the FCC, the court noted, had taken no action against TV networks for isolated and brief moments of nudity. The judgement said:

Regulated parties should know what is required of them so they may act accordingly; and precision and guidance are necessary so that those enforcing the law do not act in an arbitrary or discriminatory way. When speech is involved, rigorous adherence to those requirements is necessary to ensure that ambiguity does not chill protected speech.



Updated: Culture of Whingeing...

Thailand's culture minister easily offended by blurred out breasts on Thailand's Got Talent

Link Here21st June 2012

Thailand's Culture Ministry will call a meeting with organisers of Thailand's Got Talent after the popular programme aired a female contestant painting on a canvas with her bare breasts blurred out on national television on Sunday.

Minister of Miserable Culture, Sukumol Khunploem, said that the programme had high ratings and people of all ages watched it. She said that he programme was televised when children were likely to be watching:

There must be limits on artistic expression. I was shocked when I saw the clip. The ministry will meet the organisers of Thailand's Got Talent to get an explanation.

However the show was a recording and not a live broadcast and the organisers edited out inappropriate content, she added.

Family values campaigner Rabiabrat Pongpanich said Thailand's Got Talent focused too much on business and the broadcaster should censor the act before the actual audition. She seems to have mixed up her tenses when she spouted:

The Thai society does not accept this. The police will consider whether this is obscene. This also shows that the Thai society is ailing and it's becoming a sex-consuming society.

One of the three judges claimed the act was inappropriate to the country's culture and expressed her disappointment with many of the audience who voiced their support for the 23-year-old contestant. But the other two judges said the woman passed the audition, saying the act was another type of artistic expression.

Update: A Talent for Publicity

20th June  2012. From

The art or obscenity scandal over the latest episode of Thailand's Got Talent television show now threatens to expose grave violations of media ethics as allegations came out that the contestant in question had been hired to go on stage.

Following strong criticism of the show's Sunday episode showing a female contestant paint on canvas with her bare breasts, Thai Rath newspaper reported yesterday that Duangjai Jansaunoi had been hired by the show's producers - Workpoint Entertainment.

The news report quoted a close friend of the contestant as saying that Duangjai had been paid Bt10,000 (S$403) to help boost the show's ratings, but she did not know what she had to do until just before the show was recorded. The friend went on to say that Duangjai was not an independent artist as claimed but a nude model in real life.

Meanwhile, Workpoint Entertainment CEO Panya Nirankul dismissed the allegations in an interview on the Reung Den Yenni TV show , saying that he had asked around and concluded that Thailand's Got Talent producers had nothing to do with it. He explained that agents hunted down many of the contestants, which might be the reason behind this controversy.

Update: A Cacophony of Miserable Moralists and Censors

21st June  2012. From

Channel 3 operator Bangkok Entertainment Company (BEC) has been fined Bt500,000 ( £ 10,000) by Thailand's TV censors of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) for allowing a female contestant to paint on canvas with blurred bare breasts on the prime-time show Thailand's Got Talent.

Perapong Manakij, chairman of NBTC's subcommittee on programming and content, said that the TV station had failed to cut inappropriate content in its prime-time programme, so a high fine had to be levied under the 2008 Broadcasting Act.

Pravit Maleenont, the boss at BEC, said that he was sincerely sorry for this mistake and promised it would not be repeated. The company was implementing all measures needed to prevent such problems in the future, he added.

The ever whingeing Culture Minister Sukumol Kunplome called on the show's producers and the television station to take responsibility for allowing the contestant to go bare breasted on television (albeit all blurred out).

The police are also investigating whether the incident falls under the frame of lewd acts. Police spokesman Piya Utayo said Metropolitan Police that if it is deemed a lewd act, the police would punish those who had supported the contestant to behave in this way.

Narathip Phumsab, member of the Moral Promotion Centre's board, said this was a major concern and it should not just be blamed on the media - organisers and everybody involved should take responsibility.



Rated Y7 for Older Younger Children...

US TV networks announce that TV ratings will be applied to their online content

Link Here17th June 2012

US TV networks have announced plans to provide access to the TV ratings system for online content. A statement explained:

Parents will now be able use the TV ratings system when children access broadcast television programs on the Internet. The networks are making the ratings information available for all full-length entertainment programs that stream on the websites that they control.

Participating networks include ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, TeleFutura, Telemundo, and Univision. These online ratings are set to be in place by 1st December 2012, and each company will develop their own systems.

Details about the show - like violence or sexual content - will appear at the beginning of full-length programs as well as in the programming descriptions, according to a statement. There will also be links to ratings information.

TV ratings are currently governed by the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board. The current ratings are TV-Y, TV-G, TV-PG, TV-14, or TV-MA. They are further broken down to warn parents about suggestive dialogue, crude language, sexual situations, violence, or fantasy violence.

The Parents TV Council don't sound too impressed though

17th June 2012. See  press release from

The Parents Television Council? today welcomed the decision by TV networks ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, Telefutura, Telemundo and Univision to expand their ratings to online content, a move PTC encouraged in a 2010 online video study. However, PTC cautioned that the decision rings hollow without reform to a system that lacks accuracy, consistency, transparency and accountability.

Unfortunately, if the online rating system is similar to the current television rating system, then this move is a distinction without difference. PTC has proven time and time again that the TV content ratings system is a facade, citing inaccurate and inconsistent ratings designated by the networks themselves with no accountability. In fact, in today's statement, it is made clear that each network will have its own system, which will no doubt promote even more inconsistency and inhibit reliance by the very parents who need the technology. Programmers and distributors can -- and must -- do better.



Heads will Roll...

George W Bush appears as a decapitated head on a spike in Game of Thrones

Link Here15th June 2012

American politicians are calling for a boycott of HBO's fantasy series Game of Thrones after the creator's despicable decision to include former President George W. Bush's severed head in several scenes. In the tenth episode of the first season, Bush's decapitated head is seen impaled on a wooden spike, covered in filthy long hair.

HBO and the show's creators, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, have apologized for the incident. Benioff and Weiss, who noted the appearance in the series' DVD commentary, insist it wasn't a political statement - just a prop. They said:

We use a lot of prosthetic body parts on the show: heads, arms, etc. We can't afford to have these all made from scratch, especially in scenes where we need a lot of them, so we rent them in bulk

HBO said in a statement that the scene was:

unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste. We made this clear to the executive producers of the series who apologized immediately for this inadvertent careless mistake. We are sorry this happened and will have it removed from any future DVD production.

Craig Eaton, chairman of the Brooklyn Republican Party, was disgusted by the former president's appearance on the show. He told Mail Online:

I think that it's despicable. As a country, Democrats, Republicans, we have to have respect for the office and the individuals. Once we lose that respect, the United States looks weak. Think about what people outside the country think when they see how Americans are disparaging their own former presidents.

Americans of all political persuasions should stand up and demand that things like this should not continue. They should boycott watching this particular show.



Censorship be Damned...

Ezra Levant announces fight back against easily offended Canadian TV censor

Link Here15th June 2012

Canadian TV censors are telling Sun News Network's Ezra Levant to shut his mouth, but The Source host is vowing to shut them down instead.

Here's my new goal: within one year, to have the broadcast standards council abolished or rendered so absolutely powerless that it's a laughing stock, to repeal the censorship provisions of the broadcasting regulations, Levant told his viewers after he got a lecturing letter from the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC).

Today marks the day we begin to de-normalize The Broadcast Censors Council, let's all do it, let's call for the abolition, let's mock their stupid rulings, like their attempt to ban the Dire Straits song. What a bunch of idiots.

The CBSC is a board of volunteers who police private broadcasters' work and respond to complaints from viewers.

They say they got 22 complaints after Levant told a Chiquita fruit company executive chinga tu madre [Latino insult, 'go fuck your mother'] after the banana sellers boycotted fuel from Canada's oilsands.

Veteran broadcaster and Conservative senator Mike Duffy is joining Levant in his mission to get rid of the CBSC.



Stadiums of Hate...

Ukraine complains about BBC Panorama documentary about football racism in the host countries for Euro 2012

Link Here14th June 2012

Ukraine has launched a bitter attack on the BBC, with senior officials describing a controversial Panorama documentary that claimed racism was rife in the country as an unacceptable provocation.

The Panorama programme was a direct assault, Oleg Voloyshn, the foreign ministry spokesman in Kiev, said, accusing the BBC of lowering expectations and deliberately trying to sabotage the tournament. He added: It was a kind of provocation. Voloyshn acknowledged there was racism in Ukraine but added:

It's in every country. And it's a smaller problem than was shown in the film.

We don't have real racism en masse in Ukraine. We have nationalists. They are anti-Russian, anti-Polish and anti-European. But the biggest problem so far has been between Russians and Poles. And the Poles are already in the European Union.

The documentary, Euro 2012: Stadiums of Hate , was broadcast on May 28. It showed a group of Indian supporters being punched and kicked at a Ukraine league match, and showed Polish fans chanting anti-semitic slogans. The graphic footage prompted the former England defender Sol Campbell to urge England fans to stay away from Euro 2012 or risk coming home in a coffin .

The BBC has robustly defended the programme. It says it was made in accordance with strict editorial guidelines. Writing last week in a blog, Panorama's editor, Tom Giles, vehemently defended the documentary against Polish and Ukrainian criticism:

We feel strongly that our reporting was both legitimate and fair ... The programme made clear that we were investigating the behaviour of some football supporters and political hooligans -- not the peoples of the countries themselves.



A Few Whingers...

FCC reports on TV complaints for the first quarter of 2012

Link Here5th June 2012

The US TV censors of the FCC reported that there were 'only' 1,023 complaints about broadcast indecency or obscenity during the first quarter of 2012.

The quarterly totals were:

  • general criticism 726,
  • indecency/obscenity 1,023, and
  • other 1,854.

On the indecent/obscene front, 231 were received in January, 386 in February and 406 in March.



Update: Uncensored...

Indian government whinges that TV channels are broadcasting films without the mandatory censorship certificate

Link Here4th June 2012
Full story: TV Censorship in India...India considers the regulation of TV for adults

About 382 movies were broadcast by 38 different channels without displaying the mandatory certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in the month of January 2012.

This has upset the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry which has now asked the Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF) to ensure that all channels display the censor certificates while telecasting films and ensure that rules are followed.

According to the official sources, the Electronic Media Monitoring Cell (EMMC) of the ministry had in a report pointed out the non-display of these mandatory certificates by TV channels on 382 occasions.

Officials said that the ministry had reasons to be annoyed that the practice of sidestepping censorship law  had become widespread. Sources said that not just the private players, but even the national broadcaster Doordarshan in January this year had telecast a movie without displaying the CBFC certificate.



Update: Just for Laughs...

Australia's TV censors at ACMA clear Network 10 who broadcast an excerpt of Tim Minchin's Fuck the Pope song

Link Here30th May 2012

On 6 May 2011 the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) received an unresolved complaint regarding a segment of the program Just for Laughs: Montreal International Comedy Festival broadcast on 30 March 2011 by Network TEN.

The complainant considers the segment's content was offensive and vilified the Pope and the Catholic community. The complainant was not satisfied with the response of the licensee and referred the matter to the ACMA for investigation.

Just for Laughs: Montreal International Comedy Festival is a one-month comedy festival that occurs annually in Montreal, Canada, and features a cast of worldwide stand up comedians and comedic performances.

The segment complained about was a short highlight clip presented in the lead up to a performance by Australian comedian and entertainer, Tim Minchin. The clip ran for 1 minute and 34 seconds and featured an interview between Paul McDermott and Tim Minchin, and a 12 second excerpt of a song clip produced by Tim Minchin entitled Fuck the Pope . The song clip contained animations of caricatures representing the Pope dancing together with other clergy. The interview included:

Paul McDermott: How is Fuck the Pope going by the way?

Tim Minchin : It's good.

PM : I saw about 2 seconds of it on YouTube when it went up, and then it went into forbidden ... you know zone .

TM : Yeah forbidden zone .

Song excerpt : There are other fucking songs there are other fucking ways I'll be a religious apologist on other fucking days. The fact remains if you protect a single kid fucker, then pope or prince or plumber you're a fucking mother fucker.

PM : That's a lovely little animation you've got. Who did that?

TM : Yes, a guy called Frasier Davidson, he's a brilliant animator. And I wrote that song in the peak of another wave of allegations and I was feeling furious, the way you do. Um I wrote that song, and I thought, I'll never be able to play that live. It's kind of, it's just going to have to be a viral thing. So I got it animated. But I did the Hay on Wye festival which is a book festival, so it was a very intellectual audience and I got a mid-song standing ovation which I've never had before.

ACMA Finding: Not in breach of the code

There is no question that the song expressed derision and scorn towards the Pope and clergy. This is evident from the title of the song; the subject of the song; the reference in the song to anybody that protect[s] a single kid fucker being a fucking motherfucker ; and repetitive use of the term fucking . The delegate appreciates the complainant was personally offended by the broadcast and that its contents would also have caused offence to members of the public, including of the Catholic community.

The song excerpt and comments are made in the context of an interview with the comedian who openly opposes the stance that the Pope publicly took regarding recent allegations of child sexual abuse against the Catholic clergy. The segment does not engage the audience in a discussion on the beliefs or religious practices of the Pope, the Catholic clergy or of the Catholic community. The ordinary, reasonable viewer would understand that the references to the Pope and the Catholic clergy were part of the moral of the song, which applied to perpetrators of child abuse generally, and to those who cover it up.

Furthermore, it is noted that the song excerpt was brief (12 seconds in a 1 minutes and 34 second segment). Although the language included the terms fucker and motherfucker , and repeated use of the word fucking , the accompanying animated visuals were mild. The commentary surrounding the song was an explanation of the production and performance, including an acknowledgement of its controversial nature, which overall served to ameliorate the severity of tone expressed by the song in segment:

It is unlikely the segment (notwithstanding the language in the song directed at the Pope), was so harsh or extreme that it would perpetuate or provoke severe ridicule, intense dislike or serious contempt against the Pope, or Catholics on the grounds of religion. For these reasons, the delegate is of the view that in the circumstances of this broadcast, the material complained about has not breached clause 1.9.6 of the Code.



Mick Jagger Deep Down in the Shit...

Broadcasters black out Mick Jagger song even after US TV watershed

Link Here21st May 2012

S ome NBC affiliates apparently didn't like it when host Mick Jagger used some strong language in political song on Saturday Night Live.

Near the end of Saturday's season finale, the Rolling Stones frontman performed Tea Party , a bluesy number featuring guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck. Jagger told the audience he wrote the song, which is about the current presidential campaign and its candidates who have to strategize a bit. And then something along the lines of: You're gonna end up deep down in the shit.

The word 'shit' led some stations to cut away early to commercials, according to numerous Twitter users. However, other stations, including KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, ran the whole number uncensored. 

Saturday Night Live airs during the FCC's safe harbor hours of 10 p.m. to 6 am when broadcasters can broadcast material deemed indecent. NBC was not obligated to censor the song at the national level, but local station managers could use their discretion.


18th May

 Offsite Article: Hit and Miss...

Link Here
Hit and Miss bares some interesting questions about nudity on television. Nudity on screen can often seem unnecessary or gratuitous, but Sky Atlantic's new drama suggests this isn't always the case

See article from


17th May   

BBC Viewers Force Fed Cookery Shows...

BBC receives 400 complaints about foie gras featuring in the Great British Menu programme
Link Here

Hundreds of complaints have been made to the BBC after two chefs competing on its Great British Menu programme were shown preparing dishes including foie gras.

Johnnie Mountain made foie gras ice cream while Aiden Byrne served black cherry and foie gras terrine in an episode screened last week.

Production of foie gras, made by force-feeding ducks or geese until their livers are enlarged, is prohibited in the UK, although it is still a legal ingredient.

In a letter to the BBC director general, Mark Thompson, Yvonne Taylor, senior programme manager for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) said:

Foie gras is uniquely cruel in that it is one of the few 'foods' that is produced by intentionally inflicting illness on animals.

Viva, which promotes vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, has written an email for supporters to send to the BBC. Part of it says:

Foie gras is not produced in Britain, as the government has made it clear that its production would contravene existing animal welfare regulations, but sadly it is still perfectly legal to import it.

The BBC said it had received 418 complaints following the programme. The BBC said in a statement:

There is currently no ban on the use of foie gras in the UK, and while we appreciate it is a controversial matter, many people do enjoy it. As long as foie gras remains legal and freely available there is the possibility that it could be used as an ingredient in cookery programmes, just as it remains on restaurant menus around the world. If it were to be banned we would of course no longer allow it to be used.


14th May   

Updated: A Watershed for Indian TV...

Indian government reported to have decided to ban all adult and parental guidance films from TV until 11pm
Link Here
Full story: TV Censorship in India...India considers the regulation of TV for adults

A popular film called The Dirty Picture was released in India with an A (18) certificate. It was massively cut by the film censors for a UA (PG) rating so that it could be shown on TV in daytime. However it seems that it was cut enough for the moralists and the daytime showing caused a bit of a stink in India.

Now sources from the Information & Broadcasting Ministry say that a decision has been taken to prevent all films with an A (adult) or a UA (parental guidance) certificate to be screened during daytime. A source said:

At a high-level meeting recently in the I & B Ministry it was decided that only films certified for universal exhibition would be screened during daytime on television. Films that are certified A or UA can only be screened post 11 pm.

But the TV and film industry are not happy. An industry explained that producers nowadays sell satellite rights of their films for huge amounts of money. A major part of a film's revenue comes from the television premiere. If the screening-time of films with an A and UA certificate on television is restricted to post 11 pm, satellite revenue would be accordingly reduced since the viewership would be seriously dented.

Many interested parties are now keenly waiting an official statement from the ministry.

Update: Separate TV Censorship

6th May 2012. See  article from

The government is all set to introduce a separate rating system for films being telecast on private TV networks. The decision on the new rating system, which will co-exist with the one for films released in theatres, was taken after a meeting between officials of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and the information and broadcasting ministry.

Sources said CBFC chairperson Leela Samson has given in-principle approval for the idea, and a detailed set of guidelines will be framed soon.

Update: Still Arguing

14th May 2012. See  article from

Tense television broadcasters can breathe a sigh of relief. It seems the proposal to not screen Adults films on television may not be implemented at all. According to sources, there was a serious proposal to completely ban Adult films from television and thereby do away with the procedure of re-certification for television.

Television broadcasters went into a panic mode. A hush-hush high-level meeting between CBFC members and television broadcasters was called and the heated discussion lasted till late in the night.

The outcome, however, was in favour of the broadcasters. According to very reliable sources, the proposal to ban A films completely from satellite television has been revoked. Instead some very censorial guidelines regarding the telecast of A films on television are likely to be laid down.

The source said: The procedure of re-censoring 'A' films for television is likely to continue. However even when films are passed with a 'UA' certificate strigent rules would have to be applied. These include prominent scrolls declaring the relevance and full significance of the 'UA' certificate and warnings about cigarette smoking being injurious to health.

The CBFC, it is reliably learnt, would make its recommendations to the I&B ministry that the UA certification for the television broadcast of feature films be allowed to continue. But with several new additional censorship rules.


9th May   

Condoning Murder...

DM Digital censured by Ofcom for inciting violence and is to be considered for sanction
Link Here

Rehmatul Lil Alameen
DM Digital, 9 October 2011, 18:30

DM Digital is a television channel primarily aimed at an Asian audience in the UK, which features broadcasts in a number of languages including English, Punjabi, Urdu, Sindhi, Kashmiri and Hindi. The service is also received in the Middle East and parts of Asia. The licence for this channel is held by DM Digital Television Limited.

The programme above, which was in Urdu and was approximately one hour in duration, featured a presenter who introduced an Islamic Pir (a religious scholar) who delivered a live televised lecture about points of Islamic theology with reference to the shooting dead in early 2011 of the Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer by his bodyguard Malik Mumtaz Qadri. Salmaan Taseer had been a vocal critic of Pakistan's blasphemy law.

 This law punishes derogatory remarks against notable figures in Islam and carries a potential death sentence for anyone who insults or is judged to blaspheme against the Prophet Mohammed. At certain points the presenter of the programme made comments or asked the religious scholar for clarification.

A viewer alerted Ofcom to statements made during the programme that it was acceptable to murder any person thought to have shown disrespect to the Prophet Mohammed, and that the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community was an acceptable target for murder. The Ahmadiyya religion is a comparatively small Islamic movement founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiyani that grew out of mainstream Islam in the nineteenth century, whose followers believe themselves to be true Muslims.

Ofcom noted in particular the following remarks from the Islamic scholar's lecture:

Under the guidance from Islamic texts it is evident that if a Muslim apostatises, then it is not right to wait for the authorised courts; anyone may kill him . An apostate deserves to be killed and any man may kill him. For this, you do not need to contact the authorised courts. Because the prophet did not question Omar's act.

...if someone denies the existence of God, you may have a defensive war with them but if someone insults the Prophet, you should not be defensive but you should aggressively attack them. You should go to their homes and fight them there .

The man who has killed [Salmaan Taseer] has done an act of great love and proved his loyalty. It was his duty to do so. Some people say that he was supposed to guard [Salmaan Taseer] but a man's first duty is to protect his father and Abu Ubaydah killed his own father because the latter denied the apostolate of Prophet Mohammed….When Abu Ubaydah killed his father, Allah praised him because he had killed in the love of the Prophet Muhammed. Such an act does not fall into the category of terrorism .

I hail those who made this law [i.e. Pakistan's blasphemy law] which states that one who insults the Prophet deserves to be killed – such a person should be eliminated .

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rules, in particular Rule 3.1

We are also aware of various and very serious threats and attacks made in Western countries in recent years against individuals or entities perceived as insulting or making pejorative remarks about the Prophet Mohammed . The possibility of remarks like those of the Islamic scholar in this case encouraging crime or disorder is therefore in Ofcom's opinion likely.

Ofcom concluded that the statements quoted above when assessed in context did amount to direct calls to action and were likely to incite or encourage crime or to lead to disorder. It is clear from the statements above that the scholar went beyond merely stating what the blasphemy law of Pakistan was. He did not issue any direct death threats, but he commented on and praised the law in such a way that, in Ofcom's view, his comments were likely to encourage crime or disorder against those perceived to insult or make pejorative remarks about leading Islamic figures and the Prophet Mohammed in particular, and against apostates. In Ofcom's opinion this result was likely whether the remarks were seen by Muslim viewers of Pakistani origin who were already aware of Pakistan's blasphemy law or not.

Ofcom considered this a breach of Rule 3.1:

Material likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder must not be included in television and radio services

The breach of Rule 3.1 in this case is regarded by Ofcom as a serious breach of the Code. This is because Ofcom views any incident where a licensee has allowed content to be broadcast that is likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder as a significant contravention of the Code. In this Broadcast Bulletin, Ofcom has also recorded serious breaches of the Code against DM Digital, which Ofcom is also considering for the imposition of a statutory sanction .

Ofcom therefore puts the Licensee on notice that we will consider this breach for the imposition of a statutory sanction.

POAF Conference
DM Digital, 25 November 2011, 19:00 and 4 December 2011, 21:00

Ofcom also found another programme from DM Digital similarly in breach of their rules and is also to be considered for sanction.


6th May   

Update: Soap Censor...

Sri Lanka is to appoint a script censor for TV soaps and ration the number of episodes that these can run
Link Here

The Sri Lankan government is to appoint a censor for teledramas shown on private and state television, the Media Ministry said.

Media Ministry Secretary W. B. Ganegala told The Sunday Leader that the cabinet has already decided that a script of the teledrama should be passed by the Censor Board, before the teledrama is produced. He said that this is to ensure there are no racial comments made or foul language used.

In future the Media Ministry is considering censoring visuals in teledramas as well, Ganegala further added.

Meanwhile the Media Ministry is to also reduce the number of episodes on mega teledramas shown on state television. Ganegala said that mege teledramas will be reduced to a maximum of 100 episodes as some run well over 200 episodes and as a result new teledramas are not produced. He said that a teledrama director or producer will in future have to wait six months to produce a new teledrama on state television.

The Media Ministry will also carry out research on teledramas that are being produced for local television to see if they meet  government requirements.


6th May   

Request Filed in the Circular Filing Cabinet...

Voice of America asks Indonesia to ease up on their censorial ban of live broadcasts by foreign media
Link Here

The US government's broadcast arm has called on the Indonesian House of Representatives to amend several broadcast regulations to make it easier for foreign media to operate in the country, a legislator has said.

Eva Kusuma Sundari, an opposition legislator, said the request was made by Norman G. Goodman, chief of the Voice of America's Indonesian service.

Eva, who took part in the visit, said the contingent's discussions with Goodman and other stakeholders focused on scrapping an article from the Broadcast Law that prohibits foreign media from carrying out live broadcasts.

The VOA officials argued the prohibition prevented most of its viewers and listeners from getting information but is irrelevant today because anyone with Internet access can watch live news streams online, Eva said.

We advised VOA to submit their proposals in writing so the House can formally follow up on them later, she said in Jakarta.


2nd May   

Censor Rally...

Malaysian satellite TV censors BBC news report
Link Here

Malaysian satellite service, Astro, has admitted to censoring BBC news coverage of police action at an opposition rally.

Astro broadcast operations senior vice-president Rohaizad Mohamed explained to The Malaysian Insider that the 2:16-minute clip was cut in accordance with national censorship regulations. Rohaizad said that Astro reserved the right to edit content from international providers and channels as it sees fit.

In fact Astro broadcasts foreign channels with a two and a half minute delay so as to give TV censors time to cut content that they do not like.

And like a true natural born censor, Mohamed whinged that it was somehow the BBC's fault for broadcasting material that needs to be censored. He whinged:

We are surprised and somewhat disappointed that our long-standing partner, the BBC, when, issuing its statement, did not take cognisance of the duty of Astro to comply with local content regulations.

The disputed clip contained shots where Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim spoke to reporters. The rally, which saw local police fire tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters.

According to the YouTube link available in the statement, BBC's coverage of Bersih 3.0 had been shortened by several seconds to exclude clips of short interviews with two protesters. In the first censored interview, a man, believed to be Chinese, had told the BBC that the police took unprovoked action at protesters despite efforts to negotiate. In the next interview, an Indian man had explained his reason for joining the rally for free and fair elections, which had turned violent at nearly 3pm on Saturday.


2nd May   

The Air was Thick with Bleeps...

BBC America bleeps strong language when premiering The Thick of It Season 3
Link Here

Viewers have complained after The Thick of It was highly bleeped during its Season 3 premiere on BBC America.

Series creator Armando Iannucci heard of the censorship on Twitter.

I gather the swearing was beeped on Thick of It? Anyone know if that's true, he tweeted. BBC America tells me nothing.

Writer Simon Blackwell wrote on Twitter:

Apparently BBC America bleeped The Thick Of It . Must have sounded like a lorry reversing into a heart monitor.

A BBC America spokesman later confirmed:

BBC America abides by basic cable television common practice in the US in using bleeps to cover profanity in its programmes.

Bleeps were used during The Thick of It season 3 premiere at midnight.


26th April   

Update: Scary Censorship...

Massively edited made for TV ghost movie not edited enough for daytime TV
Link Here

Secrets in the Walls
Channel 5, 20 January 2012, 15:15

A complainant alerted Ofcom to the pre-watershed broadcast of the film The Secrets in the Walls because of concerns that it contained supernatural and horror themes and images unsuitable for a child audience.

Ofcom noted that this was a made-for-television film about a mother who moves into a new home with her two daughters where, it is later revealed, a young teenage bride had been murdered. Her malevolent spirit now seeks to free itself by possessing the older daughter. The film featured the following scenes:

  • the unexpected appearance of the spirit in front of the daughters and at the window of the house, and their reactions of fear and distress;
  • supernatural activities such as unexplained music from a jewellery box, slamming doors and flickering lights;
  • the older daughter was trapped in the wardrobe screaming and scratching as the light in the wardrobe flickered on and off (it was later revealed that she lost two fingernails from her frantic scratching to get out);
  • an attempted exorcism to banish the spirit from the house; and
  • the possession of the older daughter by the spirit.

Ofcom considered Rule 1.3 of the Code:

  • Children must ... be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.

Channel 5 said that in total 18 edits were made to the film with the aim of reducing the overall horror/thriller tone of the film and this was the version that was broadcast. However, having reviewed this broadcast version, Channel 5 stated:

we are of the view that further significant edits would have been required to make the programme suitable for a 3.15pm timeslot, or, the programme should have been scheduled at a time when children were not likely to be watching. Re-scheduling this version of the programme would have been the preferable solution as further edits...seem likely to compromise the editorial narrative of the programme, distort its meaning and/or confuse viewers.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.3

This film contained themes, sequences and images of menace, threat and suspense as well as specific examples of supernatural activity, exorcism and possession which are typically found in horror films aimed at adult viewers. In one particular example, the mother was asleep in darkness when a shrill scream came from her older daughter's bedroom, piercing the silence. The mother and younger daughter ran to the bedroom and loud scratching and screams for help and I can't breathe could be heard. The light in the cupboard flickered on and off as the mother pulled open the doors to release her daughter, whose hands were injured from scratching at the closed doors to escape. These scenes were accompanied throughout by menacing sound effects and music. Further scenes featured the spirit appearing to the daughters unexpectedly in the mirror and at windows; and an attempt to exorcise the spirit that resulted in the woman conducting the exorcism being knocked down violently.

In Ofcom's view these themes, sequences and images were unsuitable for child viewers and hence in breach of Rule 1.3


26th April   

PC Muppets...

Ludicrous German TV censors whinge at plug for the The Muppets movie
Link Here

Kermit has run afoul of Germany's TV censors at ZAK who found Kermit guilty of illegal product placement in an appearance last year on commercial network Pro7.

The channel used the frog to present its Disney Day of programming. But Kermit also mentioned the theatrical release of Disney's The Muppets . Because the promo was not marked on screen as an ad, Pro7 violated German media law, which bans product placement unless clearly identified as such. Pro7 has admitted the error.

ZAK has also ruled against pay TV group Sky Deutschland for showing ads of sports betting site bwin during its broadcasts of German league soccer matches. Sky had apparently violated the German ban on gambling ads on television. Sky has also argued that the gambling ban does not apply to on air references to bwin.

So more extremely expensive PC bureaucracy that suffocates European industry. Not only does someone have to pay for the mindless censors, the TV companies have to waste money employing compliancy officers and the like to try and avoid censure.

And then when little Johnny is so expensively protected from hearing the word 'fuck' or a plug the Muppets or the latest odds from Ladbrokes, he will likely come across any of these in his next 5 minutes of experiences in the 'real' world anyway.


25th April   

Update: Blurring and Bleeping...

Not enough to save Girls of Playboy Mansion from Ofcom censure for daytime viewing
Link Here

Girls of the Playboy Mansion
E! Entertainment, 27 December 2011, 10:00 to 13:00 and 16:00 to 21:00

Girls of the Playboy Mansion is a reality television series, filmed in the USA home of Hugh Hefner, the American magazine publisher and founder of the adult entertainment company Playboy Enterprises. It features the day to day activities of a group of women who live with Hugh Hefner in his house, known as the Playboy Mansion. The series was broadcast on the cable and satellite television channel E! Entertainment.

During routine monitoring, Ofcom noted various episodes (each of about thirty minutes duration) of the Girls of the Playboy Mansion broadcast consecutively throughout the day and evening on E! Entertainment on 27 December 2011. The programmes featured:

  • at 10:54 a male stripper wearing a pouch thong (his buttocks were blurred and genitals covered) thrusting his buttocks into the face of the mother of one of Hugh Hefner?s girlfriends during a lingerie party at the Playboy Mansion with the accompanying comment: she needed a good ass in her face (this scene and comment were also broadcast as part of a preview at the start of the episode);
  • a number of sequences showing women and female glamour models, posing and being photographed during casting sessions for the 55th anniversary Playmate cover (with naked breasts, genitals and buttocks blurred) in consecutive episodes broadcast between 16:00 and 21:00; and
  • numerous examples of bleeped and masked offensive and most offensive language.

Ofcom considered Rule 1.3 of the Code, which states:

Children must be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.

NBC Universal on behalf of the Licensee apologised for the inappropriate scheduling of this material. It explained that as soon as the Licensee was alerted to Ofcom's concerns about the content, E Entertainment placed a post-22:00 scheduling restriction on the entire series of Girls of the Playboy Mansion until it was fully re-complied and re-edited where necessary.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.3

In Ofcom's opinion these episodes of Girls in the Playboy Mansion were clearly unsuitable for children.

They included prolonged sequences of nudity (albeit with breasts, buttocks and genitals blurred), particularly during the consecutive episodes showing the search for the 55th Playboy glamour model. These sequences featured numerous scenes of the models being filmed as they posed and were photographed during casting sessions for Playboy magazine. In addition, there was a sequence of the lingerie party at the Playboy Mansion which featured numerous scantily clad Playboy glamour models posing for the cameras; and shots of a male stripper wearing a thong thrusting his buttocks in the face of the mother of one of Mr Hefner?s girlfriends, with a commentary: she needed a good ass in her face .

The episodes also featured repeated bleeped and masked offensive language throughout, which (taken together with the scenes of nudity) demonstrated in Ofcom's opinion that these programmes contained themes of an adult nature and were aimed at an adult audience.

Ofcom noted that various episodes were broadcast consecutively at various times during the day on a Bank Holiday during the Christmas period when it was likely that children, some unaccompanied by an adult, might have been watching. Also no announcement whatsoever was made before the start of, or between, any of the programmes to warn viewers in advance about their content. In Ofcom's view this material was clearly not scheduled appropriately.

These broadcasts were therefore in breach of Rule 1.3.

Ofcom recently found that on two separate occasions in September 2011 the Licensee broadcast programmes that breached Section One of the Code3 . In the second of the two recorded breaches in Bulletin 195, Ofcom stated that it had put E Entertainment on notice that it is particularly concerned about the Licensee's compliance procedures and will proceed to consider further regulatory action should any similar incidents occur. Ofcom therefore puts the Licensee on notice that we will consider this breach for the imposition of a statutory sanction.


25th April   

Update: A Dirty Job...

A botched attempt to cut an adults only major film for Indian TV embarrasses the censors
Link Here

The last-minute cancellation of the TV broadcast of Milan Luthria's The Dirty Picture on Sunday afternoon has thrown open a heated discussion within the Central Board Of Film Censorship (CBFC) as to how Adults Only films can be cut for general TV viewing.

A source from the censor board said:

The experience with The Dirty Picture's deferred telecast proves that simply ordering extra cuts in an 'Adults' film is not enough when the very theme is adult.

Those members of the censor board who had viewed The Dirty Picture to certify it for satellite and television screening ordered 52 cuts. But those 52 cuts amounted to no more than 7 minutes of additional cuts. [These were sufficient for the CBFC to award a U/A certificate, previously sufficient for a TV airing].

On Thursday when the Information & Broadcasting ministry reacted to legal proceedings in UP courts against the scheduled telecast of The Dirty Picture on Sunday afternoon at a time when optimum kids and youngsters were glued to the IPL matches, two senior members of the censor board re-viewed the film and found that the content needed further toning down before telecast.

However, at this late stage the film's producers Balaji refused to comply. Censor certificate for telecast in hand, Sony Entertainment confidently marched towards a massive eyeball-grabbing telecast on Sunday afternoon and evening.

Apparently, the telecast was stopped minutes before the schedule playing time at 12 noon on the direct intervention of the I & B Ministry.

And now highly-placed sources in the censor board tell us that the whole The Dirty Picture experience would compel the CBFC to revise its policy regarding Adult feature films.

Pankaja Thakur the CEO of the CBFC said that a change in policy regarding the censorship of Adult films for telecast is around the corner:

In view of the court cases and the programme code that has to be followed by all TV programmes including feature films, CBFC would be forced to look at the whole process of cutting adult films to make it palatable for young viewing.


11th April   

Censors on the Throne...

Game of Thrones censored in mid episode in UAE
Link Here

An episode of Game of Thrones was cut midway through transmission after Etisalat, which runs the eVision television service, deemed it unsuitable.

Viewers were left with blank screens after the show was pulled off air, with many angry at the lack of explanation for the cut.

Game of Thrones, a medieval fantasy series created for the US network HBO, features nudity, sex scenes and swearing. The second series of the show is airing on the OSN First channel, broadcast by the Dubai-based Orbit Showtime Network.

It was broadcast with minimal editing on OSN's satellite service. But OSN channels are also carried by Etisalat's eVision service. Humaid Al Suwaidi, the chief executive of eVision, confirmed the show was dropped due to the nudity:

Those shows are not really suitable for the family because of the nudity scenes.. This is a decision as per the prevailing law in the country.

One western expatriate in Abu Dhabi said the broadcaster had shown the first series of Game of Thrones, plus shows such as Rome and The Sopranos , which also feature some sexual content.

Etisalat's rival, du, said it had not blocked Game of Thrones:

We do not block any OSN content, as users subscribe to their pay TV channels to view certain programmes, said a spokesman. We offer [a] parental control facility to our TV viewers through which customers are empowered to block TV content such as Game of Thrones on their own.

OSN makes only minimal cuts to series or films broadcast on its own channels. But many free-to-air broadcasters, such as MBC, heavily censor content.


8th April   

Updated: Against the Norms of an Intolerant Society...

Malaysia bans all gay characters from state TV
Link Here
Full story: Gay Rights in Malaysia...Campaigning for gay rights

Malaysia has issued a directive to state-owned TV stations ordering them to ban and remove LGBT characters, and says it will expand the order to privately owned stations,

The Information Department has banned shows featuring gay characters, Deputy Information, Communications and Homophobic Culture Minister Datuk Maglin Dennis D'Cruz confirmed. He said the ban was effective immediately but would only start with state-owned TV and radio stations.

If it means cancelling some of the shows, so be it, he told The Star, adding that the decision was to curb the influence of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community.

He also said the decision will be expanded to cover privately-owned stations as well as satellite TV providers. As for foreign productions, he said the Censorship Board will remove episodes from running TV shows and bar movies with gay characters from being screened locally.

The directive appeared on the Information Department Facebook page:

Effective immediately, radio and TV stations are asked to stop screening shows which feature gay, effeminate men as well as characters that go against the norm of a religious society because this encourages and promotes LGBT now.

Update: Blather

8th April 2012. See  article from

In the face of justified criticism of Malaysia's homophobic ban an gays on TV, officials have been blathering about the ban, simultaneously both denying and confirming it.

Malaysia has no plan to ban state media programmes featuring LGBT characters ...BUT... retains the right to select suitable content for the public, officials have 'clarified'.

With the message stirring up a hot debate online, Information, Communications and Culture Minister Rais Yaim and his deputy sought to explain the official stance only to cause much more confusion.

There is no ban on any artistic performance by any segment of society, including those acronymed as soft men, Rais wrote on Twitter. The ministry ...HOWEVER... reserves the right to select contents suitable to the general public since the country is a multi-racial, religious and cultural one, he added.

Rais's deputy Maglin Dennis D'Cruz added to the contradictory government bollox. Whilst onfirming the ban as a mistake, he noted there is indeed a directive and a guideline will be produced to avoid putting LGBT characters on screen or the air waves.


8th April   

From Cyrus to Ahmadinejad...

Iran has a whinge at a BBC documentary
Link Here

Iran has whinged at the BBC for airing what it said was illegal footage of Tehran in a new documentary examining the history of Iran's relationship with Israel, from the Babylonian exile through the present conflict.

BBC Persian posted Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari's film, From Cyrus to Ahmadinejad , on its website last week, where it is still available for viewing. The Persian-language channel has also organized a showing of the documentary at London's Frontline Club later this month.

The 55-minute film examines Israel's relationship with Iran from the time of Persian King Cyrus the Great, who helped the Jews return to Israel from exile in Babylonia in the sixth century BC, through the Jewish state's covert dealings with Iran both before and after the fall of the Shah in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

A statement appeared on Iran's state-run Press TV's English and Persian websites, saying that BBC Persian was broadcasting the documentary illegally, because of a ban on airing footage taken in Iran.

Iran's anger over Bahari's documentary is also the latest development in an ongoing row over the UK's decision in January to revoke Iran's state-owned Press TV's license to broadcast in Britain, after the Iranian channel aired an interview last year of Bahari obtained under duress during his 118-day detention in a Tehran prison in 2009.


6th April   

Iranian Propaganda Channel Closed Down in Europe...

Germany initiates shut down of the satellite channel, Press TV
Link Here

Under pressure from the German government, media censors at BLM have initaiated an action to remove Iran's international English Channel, Press TV, from SES Astra.

In an email sent to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting officials, Vice President of the SES Platforms Services, Stephane Goebel, noted that the BLM has asked Press TV be immediately removed from the platform.

The authority has claimed that Iran's English-speaking channel does not have a license for broadcast in Europe. Goebel added that his company will be no longer able to keep the Press TV signal on air and will need to shut down the service without further notice.

The channel was turned of on 3rd April.

Press TV has responded that the decision to remove Press TV is a flagrant breach of regulations and a disproportionate act. The channel has said that it will be demanding compensation unless transmissions are restored by April 5.

Update: Legal Channels

8th April 2012. See  article from

Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Seyed Mohammad Hosseini said that Tehran will not sit silent about the ban on Iran's International English Channel, Press TV, and will pursue the case through legal channels. He said:

We will legally pursue the case with (Germany's) taking Press TV Network off the air. We too enjoy leverages and will use them, and we won't keep quiet,

We don't want to reciprocate this move, rather we will condemn it. We condemn those who claim to be advocates of the free flow of information and democracy but are not ready to tolerate a network of ours.


5th April   

Extract: Does FV Mean Family Viewing or Fantasy Violence?...

Does Anyone Care About TV's Content Ratings?
Link Here

It's been 15 years since the broadcast and cable networks launched TV's parental guidance ratings system under heavy pressure from the government and special interest groups. The ratings themselves were voluntary, but came after the landmark 1996 Telecommunications Act required all TV sets to include a V-Chip device that could block out programming unsuitable for children.

For most folks, the ratings bugs are just one more thing on an already cluttered TV screen. According to a 2007 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 43 percent of respondents who had purchased a V-Chip-equipped TV since 2000 even knew of the technology, and just 16 percent of parents said they utilized it. The study also found that few viewers understood that V stands for violence, S is sex and D means suggestive dialogue. Even more comical, a percentage of parents polled thought FV --- which warns of fantasy violence on kids' shows like Cartoon Network's Ben 10 --- is an abbreviation for family viewing. Oops.

...Read the full article


1st April   

Hardly Kick-Ass Evidence...

Female violence blamed on 'kick-ass' female roles in the media
Link Here

Portrayals of kick-ass women in the media are being blamed for an increase the number of women involved in violent offending.

Two New Zealand researchers believe the glorification of females in roles showing women exhibiting physically aggressive and violent behaviour are having a negative impact on young women.

The most recent figures from Statistics New Zealand recorded 162 more females were apprehended for violent crimes in 2010 than in 2009. This included apprehensions for assaults, intimidation and threats.

University of Canterbury Criminologist Professor Greg Newbold said more women were going out and committing crimes that were traditionally the preserve of men.

Professor Newbold said the type of female imagery available to women and young girls created an increased likelihood of violent offending among females.

It seems to be driven by images in the media of kick-ass women.

The media is full of women who are incredibly sexy and good-looking, and who are mentally and physically tough. The constant exposure of young girls and women to this type of image creates an association between being beautiful and powerful, and being at the top.

Female youth violence researcher Donna Swift said there were more cases of girls fighting and put footage of themselves on the internet and Facebook. Dr Swift is head researcher of Girls Project - a two-year study of 3500 Year 10 students that is investigating the reasons behind violent behaviour amongst girls. She said that in her experience, many young women turned to violence because it was normalised in their own homes and communities.

Girl fighting often is highly sexualised by the media and males themselves, she said.

One of the most startling we found amongst New Zealand female youths was the change in behaviour exhibited by girls when they reached the ages of 15 and 16 years."


31st March   

Update: Kyle Riles...

Australian media censor censures the Kyle and Jackie O Show
Link Here

Australian radio personality, Kyle Sandilands made derogatory and offensive comments about a female journalist that amounted to a breach of the radio code of practice, Australia's media censor has judged.

Last November Sandilands called a journalist a piece of shit and a fat slag and told her to watch your mouth or I'll hunt you down after she reported on the negative reaction to his TV show the night before.

His derogatory comments, made on November 22, are believed to have cost his employer, Southern Cross Austereo, about $10 million in sponsorship, with advertisers walking from the 2Day FM's Kyle and Jackie O Show in disgust.

The ACMA has begun formal steps to impose a second licence condition on the broadcaster which would prohibit the station from broadcasting indecent content and content that demeans women or girls.

ACMA chairman Chris Chapman said:

The Authority found the comments by Mr Sandilands deeply derogatory and offensive and in all the circumstances a licence condition is the appropriate response.

Although the comments conveyed hatred, serious contempt and severe ridicule on the grounds of gender, they were not considered likely to incite those feelings in others, he said.


14th March   

Updated: Good Christian Bitching...

One Million Moms Recommend ABC's new TV show, GCB
Link Here
Full story: Good Chrsitian Bitches...Nutter wind up

One Million Moms (OMM) is a nutter project from the American Family Association. The Southern Poverty Law Center who monitors such groups designates them as an anti-gay hate group.

OMM's is currently calling for a boycott against Toys 'R' Us for selling the gay wedding issue of Archie. They have also called for a boycott of Dallas-based J.C. Penney store. The reason was the company's new spokeswoman, Ellen DeGeneres who is gay,

OMM director Monica Cole has now told a Christian news website that the group is calling for a boycott of GCB , the new ABC show about drunken, back-stabbing, big-hair, Park Cities ladies. On their website, One Million Moms put out an action alert about the show, which reads:

OMM is disgusted with the new program Good Christian Belles which is blasphemy at its worst! It is based on the book Good Christian B*tches and mocks Christianity repeatedly.

This anti-Christian program blasphemes God, Jesus Christ, God's Church, and the Bible. As Christians, we will not stand for this Christian-bashing program. No other religion has to contend with this ridicule so why should we?

The network's irresponsible behavior must be accounted for. They are deliberately attempting to sabotage our faith. Their actions are damaging and destructive to our religion.

As Christians we must demand respect. Together we will defend our Christian values and beliefs.

And they're already claiming a victory.  Kraft pulled their ad for Philadelphia Cream Cheese a few days ago, which OMM claims the company decided to do after consumer complaints started to pile up.

Update: One Million Moms Ignored

14th March 2012. From

Newt Gingrich has now joined the nutter attack on ABC's GCB , claiming it to be anti-Christian bigotry.

The group One Million Moms has called for a boycott of the show, labeling it blasphemy at its worst. B ut after just two weeks on the air, GCB seems to be doing OK.

It's common for a new series to lose 20% of its audience between the pilot and the second episode. But GCB dropped only 4%, going from 7.56 million viewers in week one to 7.25 million in week two. That's impressive audience retention. Much more importantly, GCB gained share among 18- to 49-year-olds, those coveted, credit card carrying, disposable income-laden consumers.


23rd February   

Worried Parents...

Ofcom censors Swedish TV reality programme
Link Here

Sol, Fest & Oroliga Föräldrar
Kanal 5, 16 September 2011, 19:00 CET

Kanal 5 is a Swedish language channel broadcasting to Sweden from the UK. The licence for Kanal 5 is held by SBS

Sol, Fest & Oroliga Föräldrar (Sun, Party and Worried Parents) is a programme in Swedish in which groups of young people go on their first holiday abroad unaccompanied, unaware that their parents are secretly abroad with them and watching everything that occurs. In this episode a group of young men and women from Sweden travelled to the resort of Ayia Napa in Cyprus.

Ofcom received a complaint about the programme. The complainant said that the  programme contained content unsuitable for young children, such as nudity, urination
and sexual themes.

Ofcom noted that the programme featured the following material:

  • a young woman baring her breasts (which were obscured with blurring);
  • comments of an offensive and sexual nature, including claims by the young men that one of their objectives on the trip was to “knulla horor” (translated into English as “fuck whores”);
  • a young man vomiting after trying a drink;
  • a young man urinating in the corner of a hotel balcony, with his back to the
  • a young man wearing swimming trunks lying down on his back on the deck of a boat while a young woman (wearing a bikini) licked his bare torso, and then straddled him in a sexual position. The camera later cut back to the pair, and the woman had her head placed over the man's crotch, and appeared to
    mime oral sex;
  • frequent swearing and offensive language in both Swedish and English, including the Swedish words “knulla” (translated as “fuck”), “horor” (meaning “whores”), “pissa” (“piss”), “javligt” (“damn” or “bloody”), and the English
    words “fuck” and “motherfucker”; and
  • dancing with sexual movements, such as a young man thrusting his crotch at a young woman's rear.

Ofcom considered

  • Rule 1.3: “Children must... be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.”
  • Rule 1.16: “Offensive language must not be broadcast before the watershed (in the case of television)... unless it is justified by the context. In any event frequent use of such language must be avoided before the watershed.”

SBS accepted that it had made an error , and that a human error made by the scheduling department was behind the failure to edit the programme before broadcast.

And Ofcom recorded Breaches of Rules 1.3 and 1.16


22nd February   

Adele Blurred...

ITV hastily cut short Adele's speech at the Brit Awards resulting in a raised finger
Link Here
Adele has won two prizes at the Brit Awards ceremony in London, but was at the centre of controversy after one of her acceptance speeches was cut short.

Her speech was halted after she picked up the prize for best British album. She also won best British female.

I flung the middle finger. That was for the suits at the Brit Awards, not my fans. I'm sorry if I offended anyone but the suits offended me, she said.

There were boos from the audience as she was interrupted by host James Corden in order to introduce the final perfomers, Blur. Adele then added: Can I just say, then, goodbye and I'll see you next time round. Her gesture was then momentarily visible on the live ITV1 coverage.

ITV later issued a statement about the incident, saying: The Brits is a live event. Unfortunately the programme was over-running and we had to move on. We would like to apologise to Adele for the interruption.


20th February   

Music Censors...

Sri Lanka to introduce a bill to pre-censor song lyrics and TV dramas
Link Here

Sri Lanka Ministry of Culture and the Arts says it plans to bring a new bill soon to censor Teledramas and songs on TV deemed unsuitable for all audience.

With the implementation of the proposed act, the Teledrama producers will have to obtain the approval for the production from the Public Performances Control Board before telecasting it through TV channels.

The song writers will have to submit their lyrics to the Public Performances Control Board and the songs will be inspected by the board even after music is composed, the Ministry says.

Currently the Public Performance Control Board pre-censor only movies and stage drama.


19th February   

The Parents Television Council Recommend...

MTV's I Just Want My Pants Back
Link Here

The Parents Television Council (PTC) is waging what it calls an aggressive campaign in response to MTV's I Just Want My Pants Back , which began airing on February 2. While the show is only rated TV-14, content has already included the prelude to a sexual foursome and a woman asking a man to insert his finger into her arse during intercourse. MTV's head of programming, David Janollari, is on the record saying the network is targeting kids as young as 12 with the show.

PTC is warning parents about the supposedly 'explicit' content and asking the program's sponsors, including Dr. Pepper, T-Mobile and Toyota, if the show's content accurately reflects their corporate image. PTC has also contacted the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board regarding the allegedly erroneous TV-14 rating.

PTC President Tim Winter spouted:

Once again MTV is taking HBO-style content and marketing it to a Nickelodeon-age audience. The network programming executive is on the record saying 12-year-olds are in his crosshairs. And the TV-14 content rating is intentionally misleading for parents and for advertisers. The Parents Television Council will not sit silently and allow this affront to go unchallenged.

We are also reaching out to the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board, asking for a review of the program's content rating. To date, the mystery Board has done next to nothing except cancel meetings and avoid any possible public awareness of its existence. It is high time that the American public receive some level of accountability from those who assign routinely inaccurate content ratings, Winter concluded.


15th February   

Update: Vigilant Censors...

Chinese TV censors ban foreign programming during prime time
Link Here
Full story: TV Censorship in China...TV censors SARFT

China's TV censor has announced that foreign TV shows will no longer be aired during prime time, state media report.

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) says these shows cannot be aired from 19:30 to 22:00. The series also cannot run longer than 50 episodes and should comprise no more than 25% of programming each day . Local TV channels are also not allowed to show too many shows from one particular region, the censor says, without explaining further.

Foreign shows also have to be approved before they are aired and cannot have violent or vulgar content. Stations that violate the new rules face severe punishments , the newspaper reports.

Most foreign TV shows broadcast in China are from Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand.

The move comes after President Hu Jintao told members of the Communist Party last month that officials should remain vigilant against Western cultural influences.


15th February   

Bishops Discouraged...

Spanish public TV station refuses ads encouraging parents to sign up their kids for religious education at school
Link Here

Religious instruction in public schools in Spain is optional, and parents must sign their children up in order for them to attend.

In a statement sent to CNA, Catholic bishops explained that two ads (one in Spanish and the other in Basque) were sent to EITB Television, which were slightly edited and then aired two days later.

The ads featured two mothers discussing the importance of religious education for their children and encouraged parents to sign their children up for religious classes.

The ads were soon pulled off the air by EITB who said that the the public service announcements were incompatible with their advertising policies.

Catholic bishops in the Spanish dioceses of Bilbao, San Sebastian and Vitoria criticized the public television station for pulling the adverts. They called the move a violation of fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and religious freedom. The bishops added that the ad removal reflected a secular outlook that sees religion as something to be excluded from social life which is unsuitable for a public institution at the service of all.


7th February   

I Don't Give a Shit...

M.I.A. continues fine tradition of offending the easily offended during the Super Bowl half time show
Link Here

American broadcaster NBC has apologised after M.I.A. put her middle finger up during her Super Bowl half-time performance.

She made the gesture whilst singing: I don't give a shit, during a performance of Madonna's new single, Give Me All Your Luvin'.

The screen was briefly blurred after M.I.A.'s gesture in a failed attempt to cut out the camera shot. The broadcaster said M.I.A. did not do anything similar during rehearsals and the league had no reason to believe she would do anything during the show.

NBC spokesman Christopher McCloskey Said:

We apologize for the inappropriate gesture that aired during half-time.

The NFL hired the talent and produced the half-time show. Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers.

The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing and we apologize to our fans.


31st January   

Fear Factor...

US network bottles out of a reality show challenge featuring a donkey semen drink
Link Here

Back in December, when NBC was promoting the return of the TV show Fear Factor , the stunt and gross-out reality competition, there was one event that the producers and the host, Joe Rogan, would not discuss. It was extreme even by the standards of Fear Factor , they said at the time, and they didn't know if it would ever be broadcast.

Now we know what stunt they were talking about. Last week TMZ reported that a scene that forced contestants to drink donkey semen had been hotly debated, and then given the thumbs-up by NBC. Apparently dishes featuring on the series are considered a delicacy somewhere in the world.

The episode that included the scene was supposed to be shown last Monday night. But the network apparently changed its mind, and the show was replaced with a repeat..


30th January   

No Holy Cows...

Religious broadcaster somehow deffed out as Poland upgrades to digital TV
Link Here

Tadeusz Rydzyk is one of Poland's most controversial and at the same time most influential priests, building up a media empire over the past 20 years. The conservative Catholic is the moving spirit behind Radio Maryja, the newspaper Nasz Dziennik and the television station Trwam.

While Rydzyk is adored by his adherents, he faces sharp criticism from many others, including the Vatican and many Polish bishops, for what they see as a narrow-minded and intolerant attitude out of tune with the times and Polish society.

But now Rydzyk's media empire is under threat. The Polish Broadcasting Council failed to include Trwam when it issued broadcast licences for the new digital network that is to cover Poland from next year onwards.

The Broadcasting Council doubted whether Rydzyk's Trwam had the necessary financial means to make the leap into the digital era. If an applicant fails to meet the requirements, no licence is awarded. There are no holy cows. We live under the rule of law not under the rule of Father Rydzyk, Dariusz Jonski, spokesman for the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), said in defending the decision.

Rydzyk immediately named those he held responsible for the decision, accusing them of a conspiracy. The Broadcasting Council was dominated by Poland's liberal and left-wing parties, he said. We have the feeling that this has been manipulated. Somebody is behind this, said the conservative priest, who stands accused of being overtly political in his broadcasts.

Poland's conservative nationalist opposition is up in arms at what it sees as a disgraceful decision by the Broadcasting Council. Rydzyk's audience has also mobilized. According to Radio Maryja, they have sent around 100,000 protest letters to the Broadcasting Council. The letters were not in every case models of Christian charity, with some anonymous messages making open threats against members of the council. How dare you serve Satan and foreign interests? You will suffer! one of the letters said, according to Polish media reports.


30th January   

Are You a Moralist?...

Pakistani TV presenter sacked for acting like the religious police
Link Here

A Pakistani TV host has been sacked after an episode of her morning TV programme showed her ambushing young couples and demanding to know whether they were involved in immoral behavior.

Samaa TV host Maya Khan was filmed charging around a park in Lahore, Pakistan, asking youngsters what they were up to, whether they were married or engaged and if their parents knew where they were.

In one particularly cringeworthy scene the 31-year-old host - who has been dubbed the vigil-auntie - demanded to see a couple's wedding certificate after they told her they were married.

The show sparked outrage with viewers branded it - a witch hunt and taking to the internet in their thousands to register their disgust. Within hours of the broadcast on January 17th, several online petitions had sprung up demanding that Khan be sacked. Samaa TV said Khan had been sacked after she refused to give an unconditional apology


29th January   

Updated: Easy Offence of the Day...

TV presenters pick up some trivial flak
Link Here

Colin Brazier, who presents The Live Desk and writes on the Sky News website, blogged that it would save the taxpayer money to send 'problem' families to the Sandwich Islands.

Under the blog post entitled Radical Solution For Troubled Families? , Brazier wrote:

These families -- the word is used pejoratively in many instances to describe a collection of biologically related children and a lone parent -- cost the taxpayer an estimated £ 75,000 EACH YEAR.

But Andrew Neilson, director of campaigns at the Howard League for Penal Reform, took easy offence and told the Evening Standard:

There is a world of difference in the state intervening to improve troubled communities and the state intervening to deport our citizens to far-flung corners of the globe.

That's a Bit Rich

See  article from

India has condemned a comment by US comedian Jay Leno on the holiest Sikh shrine, the Golden Temple of Amritsar. A Leno skit showed the temple as the summer home of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Romney has faced taxation questions over his huge wealth and many Sikhs are angry the temple has been depicted as a place for the rich.

The Sikh community has launched an online petition and an Indian minister called the comments objectionable . Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi told reporters:

It is quite unfortunate and quite objectionable that such a comment has been made after showing the Golden Temple.

The Golden Temple is the Sikh community's most sacred place... The American government should also look at this kind of thing.

Freedom does not mean hurting the sentiments of others... This is not acceptable to us and we take a very strong objection for such a display.

Ravi said the Indian embassy would take up the matter with the US state department, the Press Trust of India reported.

Update: Sued

26th January 2012. See  article from , thanks to Nick

Just when it seemed that the world was ready to move on from a poorly received Tonight Show joke that supposedly offended Sikhs a man has filed a suit against Jay Leno, the Tonight Show host, for what he says are racist remarks.

The BBC News reports that Randeep Dhillon, an Indian-American, has filed a lawsuit against Leno in Los Angeles County Superior Court, saying that the routine hurt the sentiments of all Sikh people in addition to the plaintiff. The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, says the joke clearly exposes plaintiff, other Sikhs and their religion to hatred, contempt, ridicule and obloquy because it falsely portrays the holiest place in the Sikh religion as a vacation resort owned by a non-Sikh.

Update: Early Day Motion

29th January 2012. See  article from

Oh dear, even the Houses of Parliament have got involved in this most tenuous of whinges. An MP Virendra Sharma has written an Early Day Motion that has yet to pick up much interest:

That this House notes with concern the sketch on the NBC Jay Leno Show where the most sacred Sikh shrine, the Golden Temple, was disrespected by Jay Leno when it was referred to as GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's summer home;

expresses concern and regret that this depiction of the Golden Temple as a home of the rich shows a complete misunderstanding of the Sikh faith and is derogatory to Sikhs across the world; believes that these comments are not acceptable to all those who believe in respect for all religions;

calls on Jay Leno and NBC to apologise to all Sikhs for this disrespectful depiction of the Golden Temple;

and further calls on the Government to make representations to the US government that while recognising principles of freedom of speech there should be more understanding and respect shown to the Sikh faith.


29th January   

Update: Kissing Banned...

Thai Channel 3 looks to more child-friendly programming
Link Here
Full story: Thai TV Censorship...Kissing and catfights make the news whilst booze and fags are blurred

Thai Channel 3 soap opera fans will no longer get to see any kissing scenes.

The channel is now only allowing love scenes to feature kissing on the cheeks and foreheads, hugging and embracing.

Channel 3 is moving top more child-friendly programming and more children programs.

Channel 3 Executive Prawit Maleenont has banned kissing in soap operas and told soap producers to go the traditional Thai love scene route with only kisses on the forehead and cheek and hugging and embracing.

Production executive for Channel 3 Somrak Narongwichai says this year's soap will reflect social problems and will be more realistic in that characters will have occupations and careers.

But of course less realistic in that lovers will go round kissing each other on the forehead.


21st January   

Update: Ofcom Censors Iranian Propaganda TV...

UK TV censor revokes licence from Press TV citing lack of UK editorial control
Link Here
Full story: Press TV...Political censoship merges with TV censorship

Ofcom has revoked the licence for Press TV to broadcast to the UK.

Ofcom cites The Communications Act 2003. Under section 362(2) of the Act, the provider of the service for the purposes of holding a licence is the person with general control over which programmes are comprised in the service.

Ofcom explained:

In the course of correspondence and meetings with Ofcom, statements made by Press TV Limited about the operation of the Licensed Service failed to satisfy Ofcom that the Licensee had general control over which programmes and other services were comprised in the Licensed Service. Ofcom therefore concluded that Press TV Limited had ceased to provide the Licensed Service in accordance with section 362(2) of the Act and that, accordingly, it was appropriate to revoke the Licence.

The Licence was revoked on 20 January 2012.


21st January   

Updated: Mission Accomplished...

Indian High Commission complains to the BBC over the TOP Gear Christmas Special
Link Here
Full story: Top Gear and the Grand Tour...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers

Top Gear's Christmas Special had a bit of fun in India. The usual irreverent jokes ridiculed India's food, toilets, traditional clothing, trains and history.

The jokes notably included Clarkson riding around the country's worst slums in a 4-litre Jaguar fitted with a toilet, joking: This is perfect because everyone here gets the trots.

Not all the jokes targeted India, there was plenty of self effacing fun too. An advertising banner incompetently pasted to the side of train was split as carriages parted  losing the last 3 letters from: Eat English Muffins 

Even David Cameron participated in the Top Gear fun. He had a cameo role waving off the Top Gear trio on a trade mission as ambassadors of Britain to save the UK from bankruptcy.

At the time the programme got up the nose of the nutter mp Keith Vaz.

Now the Indian High Commission in London has formally complained to the BBC, accusing its producers of deceiving them over the nature of the programme, which was jokingly billed as a trade mission .

Update: BBC Response

18th January 2012. See  article from


We've received complaints from some viewers who felt the Top Gear: India Special was offensive towards the country and its culture.

Top Gear's response

The Top Gear road trip across India was filled with incidents but none of them were an insult to the Indian people or the culture of the country. Our film showed the charm, the beauty, the wealth, the poverty and the idiosyncrasies of India but there's a vast difference between showing a country, warts and all, and insulting it. It's simply not the case that we displayed a hostile or superior attitude to our hosts and that's very clear from the way the presenters can be seen to interact with them along the way. We genuinely loved our time in India and if there were any jokes to be had they were, as ever, reflected back on the presenters rather than the Indian people.

Offsite Comment: Don't give way to the Top Gear-bashers

21st January 2012. See  article from

What Clarkson's audience understands that his shrill critics do not is that he is not to be taken seriously.

I wonder what proportion of the five million viewers of the Top Gear India Special over Christmas was desperate-to-be-offended members of the chattering classes? Skipping the second instalment of Great Expectations, they no doubt sat through the show solely to tweet about how awful Jeremy Clarkson and Co's monkeying about on the road to the Indian Himalayas was.

...Read the full article


15th January   

Work It Off...

US TV comedy gets canned after protests and poor audience reception
Link Here

The US TV network, ABC, has cancelled its new cross dressing comedy Work It after just 2 episodes, according to

The comedy, about two men who dress as women in order to gain employment, was received with dismal Audience ratings. It had also been on the receiving end of nutter criticism from a Puerto Rican grassroots campaign and GLAAD - the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

The Puerto Rican campaign grew out of anger after one of the characters of the show said during the pilot episode: I'm Puerto Rican. I would be great at selling drugs.

Puerto Ricans created a New York City Grassroots organization known as Boricuas for a Positive Image after the show's premier in early January. Their campaign on Twitter and Facebook resulted in 50 people protesting in front of ABC's Manhattan studios. They held signs and chanted: I am Puerto Rican and not a drug dealer.

Meanwhile, GLAAD, and other national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organizations including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) started a media campaign against the show's potential to cause harm to transgender people.

GLAAD and HRC placed a full-page ad in media industry publication Daily Variety as part of a campaign to educate the media industry and the general public around the show. The ad read, By encouraging the audience to laugh at the characters' attempts at womanhood, the show gives license to similar treatment of transgender women.


14th January   

Update: A Handful of TV Complaints...

And New Zealand nutters claim that the county's is going to the dogs
Link Here
Full story: TV Censorship in New Zealand...Easily offended Broadcasting Standards Authority

Sex and strong language on TV shows such as Outrageous Fortune has seen an increase in complaints to New Zealand's Broadcasting Standards Authority over the past five years.

The authority claims increasing complaints reflect the unease some feel at the speed of change in community standards, but nutter group Family First says those standards are being dragged lower by the authority's permissive stance.

The number of complaints received by the BSA which primarily related to issues of taste and decency rose by almost 50% last year to 96 of which 47 were upheld, according to the authority's annual report.

While last year's numbers were inflated by a rash of complaints about broadcaster Paul Henry, the increase was also driven by complaints about frequent coarse language used on Outrageous Fortune and sex scenes from the programme that were shown on 3News at 6.35pm.

Bob McCoskrie, head of Family First, said the trend of increasing complaints on issues of good taste and decency reflected growing public unease about the graphic content and profanity of many TV shows.

A recent survey of 600 young New Zealanders aged 15 to 21 commissioned by Family First reported 57% of females and 45 per cent of males agreed there was too much sex, violence, bad language on TV .

McCoskrie said the survey showed greater concern about sex, profanity and violence on television among older survey respondents:

Our concern is that for the younger ones, 15 to 17, it becomes normalised which is our concern with broadcasting standards full stop in what you allow. The BSA tries to argue that they're representing community standards. We argue that they're creating community standards by normalising it.

But BSA chairman Peter Radich said standards of good taste and decency were changing as they always had:

The pace of change is quickening and this is partly through the influence that the unregulated internet has, more especially on younger people.

Some people find the pace of change unsettling and, as they are entitled to do, they complain. Complaints allow broadcasts to be measured against standards, they allow temperatures to be taken, and for our part, they are welcomed.


13th January   

Breeding Discontent...

Kennel Club campaigns to get critical BBC documentary banned
Link Here

Jewish dog breeders are urging the BBC to cancel a new film about pedigree dogs because a previous film compared breeders to Nazi eugenicists.

Pedigree Dogs Exposed was aired in 2008. After complaints, the TV censor, Ofcom, found that the Kennel Club had not been given a proper opportunity to respond to an allegation about eugenics and a comparison with Hitler and the Nazi Party.

A follow-up programme is being filmed for broadcast later this year on BBC Four, but the BBC said similar comparisons would be avoided.

But Jewish breeders want the programme, produced by Jemima Harrison, to be pulled entirely, because of the distress the original broadcast caused.

In the 2008 film, a voice-over narrates the history of eugenics, (selective genetic breeding), over an image of the Kennel Club HQ and the annual dog show, Crufts. Images are also shown of Adolf Hitler, Nazi rallies and antisemitic signs. After the 2008 screening, Harrison said: The film-makers acknowledge that the link between the eugenics movement and dog-breeding is an extremely uncomfortable one for many, but it is nevertheless factually correct.

Dog breeder Mike Davidsohn and other breeders have set up a Facebook group with more than 1,500 members called Stop the BBC making another PDE .


13th January   

Update: Dictatorship of the Tiny Minority...

India's new TV censor makes first report after 6 months of viewer whinges
Link Here
Full story: TV Censorship in India...India considers the regulation of TV for adults

  Sunny Leone
Biggest reasons for complaint

India's Broadcast Content Complaints Council (BCCC) received 3,441 complaints in six months since its inception in June last year, with biggest attractions for complaint being a Rakhi Sawant hosted programme and the appearance of porn star Sunny Leone in reality show Bigg Boss 5.

The self-regulatory body dismissed most of the complaints, officials said. Just 479 were specific complaints which were considered in remit and were heard by the Counci.

Among these 36 complaints specifically raised issues related to the appearance of Leone on Colors Channel programme Bigg Boss 5. Some of the complainants had claimed that children are being exposed to porn industry as they are getting curious to know who is a porn star.

BCCC upheld the whinges against Leone considering her appearance on Bigg Boss-5 to be promotional material for her own websites. The censor advised the channel to choose future participants with care.

The most complaints, 58, were received about the telecast of a programme Gazab Desh ki azab Kahania which was hosted by Rakhi Sawant on Imagine TV.

A majority of the other complainants objected to depiction of sexuality in television programmes. BCCC took action ranging for advising channels to not telecast programmes during general viewing hours to prohibiting telecast in some cases.


11th January   

Updated: A Long Memory for Fleeting Expletives...

US court to hear case regarding a couple of 'fucks' uttered on TV a decade ago
Link Here
Full story: FCC TV Censors...FCC wound up by nudity and fleeting expletives

Starting this Tuesday, the US Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments in Case No. 10-1293, better known as Federal Communications Commission, et al v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., et al.

The case will revive a discussion, and start a process to determine, on what federal indecency restrictions should be placed on radio and television broadcasters.

The Supreme Court case concerns incidents at the Billboard Music Awards , shown on Fox. At the 2002 show, Cher referred to critics of her work by saying Fuck 'em. I still have a job and they don't. A year later, Nicole Richie said, Have you ever tried to get cow shit out of a Prada purse? It's not so fucking simple.

The FCC concluded that the broadcasts violated its indecency regulations, though the agency stopped short of imposing fines. Federal law lets the FCC levy a $325,000 fine on each station that airs indecent material between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

The case will also look at a scene involving brief nudity on a 2003 episode of NYPD Blue.

Of course, the upcoming ruling will also affect radio broadcasters, who are under essentially the same indecency guidelines as their television counterparts. The Obama administration has stated in court that broadcasters should present a relatively safe medium for...children. One hopes, however, that while this case looks at off-the-cuff profanity, the FCC will begin to move closer to specific guidelines so broadcasters can be certain what is, in fact, deemed indecent and what isn't.

Update: Court hears government case for TV censorship

11th January 2012. See article from

The Supreme Court appeared ready to give government regulators the continuing authority to regulate profanity and sexual content on broadcast television after a lively hour of arguments.

The justices and lawyers all stayed polite, not actually using any obscene words, preferring the legally acceptable f-bomb or s-word to describe the controversial content at issue in the high-stakes free speech dispute.

The court will decide whether the Federal Communications Commission may constitutionally enforce its policies on fleeting expletives and scenes of nudity on television programs, both live and scripted.

In many televised instances, one cannot tell what is indecent and what isn't said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It's the appearance of arbitrariness about how the FCC is defining indecency in concrete situations, she added.

But with so many programming choices on broadcast, cable and satellite TV, All the government is asking for is a few (broadcast) channels where you can say -- they are not going to hear the s-word, the f-word. They are not going to see nudity, Chief Justice John Roberts said.

The court's ruling, which will come in a few months, could establish important First Amendment guidelines over explicit content on the airwaves.


11th January   

Stereotypically Complaining...

Australian Jewish group complains about stereotypes in TV show The Promise
Link Here

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) has complained with the Australian broadcaster SBS about the British-made television series The Promise, which it says conveys anti-Jewish stereotypes.

In a letter to SBS, the Jewish organisation alleges that the series

promotes, endorses and reinforces demeaning stereotypes about Jews as a group. All of the principal Jewish characters (and thus by implication Jews generally) are portrayed negatively and, ultimately, without any redeeming virtues. They are cast as variously cruel, violent, hateful, ruthless, unfeeling, amoral, treacherous, racist and/or hypocritical.

The ancient libel that holds all Jews throughout history to be collectively guilty of killing Jesus has been segued into the equally ludicrous proposition that all Jews are collectively guilty of the wanton shedding of innocent blood, a staple of contemporary Palestinian propaganda. The series also panders to stereotypes about Jews being immoderately wealthy and having acquired their wealth unfairly. The cumulative effect of these consistently negative portrayals of all of the principal Jewish characters and of the series' numerous misrepresentations of the relevant historical background in a way that consistently casts Jews in a negative light is to demean Jews as a group.

The relevant historical events (and their misrepresentation) and the principal Jewish characters are vehicles for attributing negative traits to Jews generally across time and space. 'The Promise' utilizes and reinforces racist tropes about Jews that, but for a brief post-WWII respite, have been embedded in western civilization since pre-Christian times and are not in any way comparable to negative portrayals of other groups.

The four-part series The Promise, written and directed by British filmmaker Peter Kosminsky, tells a fictional story about Erin (played by actress Claire Foy), an 18-year-old British girl who visits her Israeli friend Eliza in Israel in 2005. Erin carries and progressively reads through the diary of her grandfather, Len, which describes Len's experiences while serving as a sergeant in the British army in the 1940s.

First screened in the UK in February 2011 and in France in March 2011, critics and Jewish organizations in both countries condemned the series. The Board of Deputies of British Jews also complained, but Ofcom, the UK's TV censor, said the program was not in breach of any of its guidelines.


8th January   

Update: Traditional Propaganda Virtues...

Censors proud of unentertaining Chinese TV
Link Here
Full story: TV Censorship in China...TV censors SARFT

Satellite broadcasters in China have cut entertainment TV by two-thirds following a government campaign, state news agency Xinhua has reported.

An order by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) to curb excessive entertainment came into effect on 1 January. The number of entertainment shows aired during prime time each week has dropped to 38 from 126, said the censor.

The order, which was issued in October 2011, limits each of the country's 34 satellite channels to two entertainment programmes each week and a maximum of 90 minutes of entertainment content every day from 19:30 to 22:00. Broadcasters are also required to air at least two hours of news programming between 06:00 and midnight. They must each broadcast at least two 30-minute news programmes between 18:00 and 23:30.

Satellite channels have started to broadcast programmes that promote traditional virtues and socialist core values, SARFT said in a statement.

Talent shows and reality TV are among the biggest casualties of the cuts. The list of restricted programmes also included talk shows and emotional stories that were deemed to be of low taste , said the Xinhua news report. However the SARFT statement also said that popular dating shows and soap operas will still be on air during prime time on weekends.

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