TV News

 2017



 Update: Flaming row...

Myanmar complains that a Thai TV drama insults its historic royalty


Link Here 14th March 2017  full story: Lese Majeste in Thailand...Criticising the monarchy is a serious crime
ladys flamesThailand, who have a repressive lese majeste law, which metes out extreme punishments for minor criticisms of royalty, has been accused of insulting Myanmar's historic royalty.

A Thai soap opera that appears to depict Burmese palace intrigue has angered some in Myanmar including a descendant of Myanmar's last king. Soe Win, the great-grandson of King Thibaw, has called for the show to be cancelled as it is insulting . He told AFP:

We have asked Thais this, would they accept it if one of our companies here did the same thing about their country.

But producers of the historical drama, called Plerng Phra Nang (A Lady's Flames) , have insisted it is purely fictional.

The lady in question is Ananthip, a character who schemes to seize control of the kingdom. Some have observed she closely resembles Hsinbyumashin, a real-life Burmese palace consort who orchestrated the massacre of scores of royals so that Thibaw could ascend the throne. Thibaw abdicated and the Burmese monarchy was abolished in 1885, when British forces defeated and invaded Burma.

 

  Eeny Meeny Miny Moe...

Primark withdraws Walking Dead t-shirt and grovels for the offence caused


Link Here 8th March 2017
eeny meeny walking deadA Walking Dead T-shirt has been removed for sale by the British clothing retailer Primark, after a complaint that the shirt was racist and fantastically offensive.

The shirt in question bore the image of a baseball bat and the message Eeny Meeny Miny Moe , a reference to a scene from the AMC zombie drama in which Negan is deciding who in the protagonist group to kill with his barb wire mace.

In the scene, Negan continues the phrase with, Catch a tiger by his toe .

Ian Lucraft complained to Primark saying:

We were shocked when we came face to face with a new t-shirt with a racially explicit graphic and text. It was fantastically offensive and I can only assume that no one in the process of ordering it knew what they were doing or were aware of its subliminal messages.

A Primark spokesperson grovelled an apology for the shirt, saying that any offence that the shirt caused was wholly unintentional:

The T-shirt in question is licensed merchandise for the U.S. television series, 'The Walking Dead,' and the quote and image are taken directly from the show. Any offense caused by its design was wholly unintentional and Primark sincerely apologizes for this. Primark has pulled the product from sale.

The t-shirt is widely available with several similar designs also on sale.

 

  Question More...

NatWest bank reverses its decision to censor the Russian propaganda channel, RT


Link Here 31st January 2017
russia today international logoNatWest has reversed its decision to close the UK bank accounts of the Kremlin-backed news channel RT, formerly known as Russia Today.

The bank wrote to the company that provides RT services in the UK last October, saying it would no longer provide banking services following a review and the decision was final.

However, in a statement this week, NatWest said it had reached a resolution with RT. Natwest is part of the RBS Group which is largely owned by the British state.

NatWest has not said why it decided to close the accounts, but it is understood that the bank's compliance department has closed down the accounts of Russian customers in the past without explanation.

 

  Parents TV Council recommends...

The Mick on the Fox network


Link Here 30th January 2017
the mickMoralist TV campaigners at Parents TV Council have praised a new TV comedy, The Mick . The PTC writes:

The Parents Television Council is urging its members and the public to tell Verizon to stop underwriting graphic content on Fox's new TV show, The Mick, which disturbingly features minor children using explicit language and put into sexualized situations. Ads for Verizon FiOS and Pixel were aired on The Mick.

In the show, teens are shown smoking, drinking, and swearing, as their alcoholic, drug-using aunt does nothing to set boundaries or stop them. A six- or seven-year-old boy accidentally ingests a balloon filled with drugs; a teenage girl has sex with an adult man and engages in a drinking contest with her legal guardian, among other egregious examples.

PTC President Tim Winter. said:

Verizon should refuse to be associated with such destructive and harmful TV content on 'The Mick.' Apparently the show's producers and network executives believe such disturbing content is appropriate for the public airwaves, even at times when children are likely to be watching. Verizon must choose whether it will invest its media dollars to underwrite such content. Child characters should not be used for 'shock value,' and supporting a show that makes children participants in that kind of vulgarity directly calls into question Verizon's corporate standards

The PTC recently documented that broadcast TV shows are more frequently using children to say explicit language and put them in adult situations, a trend that The Mick continues.

 

  TV makers bashed with a big stick...

The producer of the Walking dead says that the response to the violent season 7 opener has resulted in violence being toned down in later episodes


Link Here 19th January 2017
The Walking Dead The Walking Dead producers toned down some of the violence in the first half of season seven after a backlash to a gruesome killing scene in the season opener.

Executive producer Gale Anne Hurd acknowledged that the negative response to the bludgeon slayings of two key characters in the premiere prompted producers to make adjustments in episodes that were still in production. She said:

We were able to look at the feedback on the level of violence. We did tone it down for episodes we were still filming for later on in the season.

Hurd made it clear that the response made an impact on the production team. This is not a show that is torture porn, she said. After the response to the finale, she said they gave strong consideration to making sure we don't cross that line.

 

  Totalitarian censorship and daytime TV...

Researchers find that strong language on TV is not a major wind up to viewers (but I couldn't work out what was)


Link Here 16th January 2017

leicester university logoResearchers from Leicester and Birmingham City University have revealed some of the key concerns audiences have with television they find offensive .

Dr Ranjana Das from the School of Media, Communication and Sociology and Dr Anne Graefer from the Birmingham School of Media travelled to towns and villages across Britain and Germany and watched daytime TV with audiences, viewing programmes audiences themselves reported to be offensive or problematic and then conducting interviews with them.

They found that rather than being concerned with swear words, bad language or flashy lighting, audiences' greater concerns were with wider issues -- such as those around the construction of characters, the relative power and positions of the actors/creators behind characters and the absence and erasure of faces and issues. Dr Das said:

We were keen, in our fieldwork, to probe audiences' expectations of the regulatory process in the context of media content they themselves identified as problematic or outright offensive.

In analysing responses which argued for a clearer role of institutions to better serve the needs of audiences, when it came to the production and regulation of content they found problematic, we found a closer alignment with the democratic ideals behind the media's and media institutions' responsibilities.

In investigating people's expectations of actors and institutions in their responses to television content that startles, upsets or just offends them, the researchers suggest it is crucial to treat a conversation on free speech and censorship with caution. Dr Das added:

It is never just about being for one or the other -- as audiences clearly despise totalitarian censorship regimes for right reasons. But equally, they place expectations on producers and regulators to create a media sphere which is engaging, responsible and which contributes to good outcomes for citizens.

 

  Reality Check...

The BBC thinks it is without sin, and so will cast the first stones at 'fake' news


Link Here 15th January 2017
BBC logoThe BBC is to assemble a team to fact check and debunk 'fake' news. News chief James Harding told staff that the BBC would be weighing in on the battle over lies, distortions and exaggerations . But he didn't mention the BBFC news policy of under exaggerating political motivations when these run counter to political correctness.

The plans will see the BBC's  Reality Check series become permanent, backed by a dedicated team targeting false stories or facts being shared widely on social media.  Harding said:

The BBC can't edit the internet, but we won't stand aside either. We will fact check the most popular outliers on Facebook, Instagram and other social media.

We are working with Facebook, in particular, to see how we can be most effective. Where we see deliberately misleading stories masquerading as news, we'll publish a Reality Check that says so.

And we want Reality Check to be more than a public service, we want it to be hugely popular. We will aim to use styles and formats -- online, on TV and on radio -- that ensure the facts are more fascinating and grabby than the falsehoods.

The BBC's Reality Check team will focus on content that is clearly fabricated and attempting to mislead the public into thinking it has been produced by a reputable news organisation.

 

  A pale imitation...

Sky pulls Michael Jackson episode from satirical series, Urban Myths


Link Here 14th January 2017
urban mythsSky have pulled the broadcast of an episode of their satirical series Urban Myths after Michael Jackson's children said they were 'sickened' and 'offended' by the portrayal of their father, played by Joseph Fiennes.

The episode is a tongue-in-cheek dramatisation of a rumoured road trip taken by Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando in 2001, after 9/11.

The casting of a white actor as Jackson had already proved contentious, prompting accusations of whitewashing, though many pointed out that the singer's skin had been considerably lighter by this point and he had undergone cosmetic surgery.

However, Jackson's children were 'enraged'. Paris- Michael said:

It angers me to see how obviously intentional it was for them to be this insulting, not just towards my father, but my godmother, Liz, as well. Where is the respect? They worked through blood, sweat and tears for ages to create such profound and remarkable legacies. Shameful portrayal.

Speaking to the Guardian this week, Ben Palmer, the series director, said people should not jump to conclusions and described Fiennes's performance of Jackson as a really sweet, nuanced, characterful performance .

 

  Don't mention Fawlty Towers...

Lithuanian TV show taken off air after a nazi salute in a charades based game


Link Here 13th January 2017
virginija buneviciute nazi saluteA Lithuanian actress and former politician made a Nazi-like gesture on a TV show, which was subsequently taken off the air.

The actress Asta Baukute was about to win, she jumped off her seat upon recognizing a melody by Lithuanian composer Simonas Donskovas, who is of Jewish heritage. She then made the gestures and yelled Jew, Jew, Jew in Lithuanian.

Neither the show host, the contenders nor anyone in the audience objected to her gesture.

Lithuania's public television, LRT, apologized for a live show called Guess the Melody in which a popular actress made gestures representing Adolf Hitler's moustache while raising her arm in a Nazi-style salute. LRT's deputy manager, Rimvydas Paleckis, expressed shock on the channel's Facebook page, saying:

This is in no way compatible with our values. The show is closed.

The local Jewish community expressed dismay at the incident.

 

  Ofcom gives Fox an ear bashing...

But The Walking Dead was censored enough to keep Ofcom happy about a 9pm airing


Link Here 10th January 2017
walking dead s7Fox showed a censored opening episode of season 7 of The Walking Dead at 9pm. The episode showed Negan bludgeoning two popular characters to death. Fox carried the episode uncut on its on demand service and the original was indeed quite gruesome by TV standards.

Ofcom published its complain bulletin this week and commented that the episode was investigated and found not in breach of its censorship rules.

Ofcom didn't publish further details but the story was followed up by The Sun. An Ofcom spokesperson said:

Our investigation found that Fox took appropriate steps to edit the programme for the 9pm showing.

This is a well-established series, and we believe the scenes would have been consistent with many viewers' expectations.

However, Ofcom confirmed to The Sun that Fox has been warned about how future broadcasts are presented to fans.

 

  US catholics recommend...

HBO's 'simply outrageous' The Young Pope


Link Here 6th January 2017
young pope protest 25,000 people have signed the following petition:

Beginning January 15, HBO plans to air in America a European TV series which will culminate with an IMPURE ATTACK on the PAPACY in one of its final episodes.

This program, The Young Pope, offends God, insults and slanders the good reputation of the Papacy, thus doing serious harm to souls, and, using the 'pontiff' in a scene of an adulterous sexual act, implies that holy priestly celibacy is too much of a struggle to maintain.

For HBO to bring this scandalous and anti-Catholic series, and especially this impure episode, to its nearly 40 million American subscribers is a great offense against God and ruinous to America's soul.

The following are two headlines about the episode:

  • Actor Jude [Law] grabs Ludivine Sagnier's bare breasts as his character Pius XIII struggles with celibacy in shockingly racy scene from The Young Pope .

  • LOOK away now if you're easily offended -- as Sky series The Young Pope prepares to broadcast a shocking sex scene involving the pontiff.

Actor Jude Law plays the fictional Pope Pius XIII as he gets to grips with a blonde's breast while in his holy white robes.

SIMPLY OUTRAGEOUS!