TV News

2019

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Married to homophobia...

Alabama Public Television bans an episode of children's cartoon Arthur that featured a gay wedding


Link Here 23rd May 2019
Alabama Public Television (APT) has banned a TV cartoon which shows a same-sex wedding.

The first episode of the 22nd series of children's programme Arthur features the character Mr Ratburn marrying his aardvark partner, Patrick.

But APT instead ran an old episode, and announced it had no plans to show the premiere. Programming director Mike McKenzie claimed that broadcasting it would break parents' trust in the network. He said in a statement:

Parents trust that their children can watch APT without their supervision, and that children younger than the 'target' audience might watch without parental knowledge.

Show creator WGBH and broadcaster PBS reportedly alerted local stations in April about the episode, and McKenzie said this was when they decided not to air the show.

APT previously refused to broadcast a 2005 episode of the series which depicted Buster, a rabbit, visiting a girl who had two mothers.

 

 

Tall stories...

Turkish TV bans basketball finals because one of the players is an Erdogan critic


Link Here 15th May 2019
Turkish TV has announced that they would not broadcast the NBA Western Conference Finals on Tuesday night because a Turkish NBA star and fierce critic of Turkish president Erdogan, Enes Kanter, plays for Portland Trailblazers.

The NBA final will also be banned if Portland Trailblazers get through.

 

 

Token plot...

German Pay TV censorship rules for sex films


Link Here 14th May 2019

 

 

 

Tariffs increased on free speech...

CBS censors animated sequence about Chinese censorship in its TV series The Good Fight


Link Here 10th May 2019
Full story: China International Censors...China pressures other countries into censorship
Canadian animator Steve Angel recognizes the irony that his cartoon about censorship was, itself, censored.

Angel produced an animated sequence for the US CBS TV series The Good Fight , a legal drama that argue cases about the issues of the day.

The censored episode was based on a criticism of Chinese censorship, including Angel's animated sequence typically of around 90 seconds. The animation was censored and replaced with an 8s screen reading, CBS has censored this content.

In a statement, a CBS All Access spokesperson said after raising concerns about the animated short's subject matter, it had reached this creative solution with the show's producers.

Angel said he was disappointed adding:

There's the obvious irony of it, but at the same time, I think because it's pretty incendiary material, it wasn't a gigantic surprise.

Angel said he couldn't comment on the content of the segment, but The New Yorker reports the animation alludes to several subjects that have been banned online in China, including Winnie-the-Pooh, as the character was used in memes as a way to poke fun at Chinese President Xi Jinping. The magazine reports the clip featured the leader dressed as the cartoon bear, shaking his exposed bottom.

But according to the Hollywood Reporter , the segment began with a song that referenced China's decision to ban The Good Wife from internet video services in 2014 . It also alluded to how American studios remove content from international releases to avoid upsetting Chinese censors.

Channel 4 broadcast the show in the UK and have stated that it will show the episode n the same censored form as was shown in the US.

 

 

Offsite Article: Ofcom launches investigation into forced confessions broadcast by Chinese state TV CGTN...


Link Here 8th May 2019
It seems bizarre that something that could have diplomatic consequences should be decided by a domestic TV censor.

See article from rsdlmonitor.com

 

 

The wrong type of press freedom...

Jeremy Hunt whinges about press freedom to mark World Press Freedom Day


Link Here 3rd May 2019
Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt declared that the Russian government-owned propaganda channel RT to be a weapon of disinformation in a speech to mark World Press Freedom Day.

The UK government is particularly annoyed at the channel for repeatedly deflecting blame from Russia for the poisoning attack in Salisbury.

Hunt noted that the Kremlin came up with over 40 separate narratives to explain that incident which RT broadcast to the world.

The foreign secretary said it remained a matter for Ofcom to independently decide whether the station should be closed down. At the end of last year RT was found guilty of seven breaches of the British broadcasting code in relation to programmes broadcast in the aftermath of the Salisbury novichok poisoning .

TV censor Ofcom has yet to announce sanctions for the breaches of the code.

It seems bizarre that the government should let the TV censor determine sanctions when these could have serious diplomatic consequences. Surely it is the government that should be leading the censorship of interference by a foreign power.

Hunt seems to have been doing a bit of anti-British propaganda himself. In a press release ahead of the speech he seemed to suggest that Britain and the west have fragile democracies. In the news release Hunt states:

Russia in the last decade very disappointingly seemed to have embarked on a foreign policy where their principal aim is to sow confusion and division and destabilise fragile democracies.

 

 

A few complaints about pre-watershed body images...

Non sexual nudity with a theme of more positive attitude to body image airs before the watershed


Link Here 13th April 2019
Viewers of Channel 4's Naked Beach were treated to a little pre-watershed nudity last Thursday evening at 8pm.

The premise of the show is based on a social experiment, which sees a group of people visit a Greek island retreat to overcome their body image issues over the coming weeks. They are encouraged to feel good within themselves, covering their modesty with just body paint and glitter.

A few viewers to Twitter eg:

Why have I just turned on my TV and seeing a naked penis before 9pm?

And about 16 complained to TV censor Ofcom. An Ofcom spokesperson told pretty52.com :

We are assessing these complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate.

This is not quite the stock phrase Ofcom uses when dismissing whinges out of hand, so maybe they will consider this further.

Naked Beach airs again on Channel 4 at 8pm next Thursday.

 

 

The aggressive Academia Gang speaks out...

US professor of gender and toxic masculinity has a rant about Peaky Blinders


Link Here 9th April 2019
British-born academic Dr George Sandra Larke-Walsh, of the University of North Texas, has published a paper claiming writers of the TV series Peaky Blinders use the war as an excuse to justify and romanticise violent behaviour.

Larke-Walsh said the show justified the brutal violence by portraying the characters as damaged by World War One. She claims the characters, including Cillian Murphy's gang leader Tommy Shelby, are all shown to be damaged by the war to excuse their criminal actions.

Larke-Walsh also claims they are made out as Robin Hood-esque characters fighting for survival in a corrupt world while they also use the Shelby family's gypsy heritage as a distraction. She writes:

[Peaky Blinders] utilises nostalgia for nationalism, enacted within displays of extreme aggression as well as promoting regressive masculine ideals ... In the current sociopolitical environment, and associated concerns about the prevalence of toxic masculinity, such presentations no longer feel safely confined to fantasy.

The paper, titled The King's shilling: How Peaky Blinders also claims the show uses Murphy's naked body to elicit homosexual desire but then asserts heterosexuality through brutal violence. Larke-Walsh added:

There is no doubt that all audiences are meant to find the characters visually attractive. It is a feature of regressive masculinity that homosexuality must be denied.

The drama has won a host of awards and has an average audience of around 4 million per episode.

 

 

Tortuous censorship...

Burundi bans the BBC from broadcasting in the country


Link Here 29th March 2019

Burundi has banned the BBC and indefinitely suspended Voice of America. The country's TV censor revoked BBC's licence and accused it of airing a documentary that it said was false and damaged the country's reputation. The censor also banned local journalists from working for the BBC or Voice of America.

The BBC aired  the documentary in May last year about what it said were secret detention and torture sites in Burundi. The BBC stands by the contents of this programme.

 

 

Sky vs Sky...

Sky New Zealand pulls Sky News Australia over mosque attack videos


Link Here 16th March 2019
Sky New Zealand has pulled fellow broadcaster Sky News Australia off air until the channel stops broadcasting clips from the Christchurch mosque shooter's Facebook live stream.

In a tweet posted on Saturday morning, Sky New Zealand, an independently-owned broadcaster, said it had decided to remove the Australian 24-hour news channel from its platform because of the footage. A channel spokeswoman said:

We stand in support of our fellow New Zealanders and have made the decision to remove Sky News Australia from our platform until we are confident that the distressing footage from yesterday's events will not be shared.

 

 

Offsite Article: Remote control...


Link Here 7th March 2019
Russians give up on TV news propaganda and move to YouTube instead

See article from economist.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Don't mention the re-education camps...


Link Here 4th March 2019
Full story: News Censorship in China...State control and sensitive news
China's censors pull BBC broadcast from the air as it mentioned Uyghur Muslims being imprisoned

See article from news.com.au

 

 

Tit for tat...

Russian TV censor finds the BBC World News in breach of Russian censorship law


Link Here 1st February 2019
Full story: TV Censorship in Russia...Russian TV censors easily wound up
The Russian TV censor has found certain violations in activities of the BBC World News broadcaster in Russia. The probe into the broadcaster's actions was launched in response to the British TV censor Ofcom's ruling against the Russian propaganda channel RT for biased reporting about the Salisbury poisoning.

Roskomnadzor the Russian TV censor said BBC World News in Russia, has been found in breach of Russian legislation following an unscheduled inspection. It did not elaborate on the nature of the revealed violations but said that it is assessing their severity. Roskomnadzor will later provide further information about the measures taken.

On a separate occasion, January 10, Roskomnadzor said it found some BBC online reports in breach of Russian anti-extremism laws as they contained some direct quotes of Al-Baghdadi, the head of Islamic State, something that is banned under a Russian law.

 

 

Censorship ring...

Male TV stars' earrings censored on Chinese Netflix


Link Here 20th January 2019
Full story: TV Censorship in China...TV censors SARFT
TV programmes streamed on China's Netflix-like iQiyi site appear to be blurring the earlobes of male actors with earrings, according to web users in the country.

Doctored images of male actors on a show called Sisters Flower Shop alongside earlier footage where they were sporting earrings have been posted online. In another show, I, Actor , the earlobes of the lead actor and singer also appear to have been edited.

Over the past year people have criticised popular Asian culture for encouraging effeminate standards of beauty for men. A 2018 article published by the state news agency Xinhua said China's pop idols were spawning a generation of sissy boys.

Web users criticised the blurred-out earrings, and thousands have commented on social media under the MaleTVStarsCantWearEarrings hashtag. One user said:

The whole world is moving forward, while China is moving backward.

 

 

Ofcom gets on their nerves...

RT is seeking a judicial review of censure from Ofcom


Link Here 17th January 2019
The Russian propaganda channel RT has informed Ofcom that it will be seeking a Judicial Review of Ofcom's decisions and process in its breach findings of 20th December. Ofcom had investigated 10 RT programmes, and decided that 7 were in breach of its censorship rules.

RT commented:

We firmly believe that none were in breach. RT is left with no choice other than to seek Judicial Review of the matter.

RT determinedly adheres to the Ofcom Code. Ofcom itself has recognised that RT's compliance record 'has not been materially out of line with other broadcasters.'

None of the 7 in-breach decisions against RT concluded that we had disseminated inaccurate information. Ofcom's own analysis acknowledged that the network presented multiple sides in its news coverage and discussion. However, Ofcom proceeded to make adverse findings in a manner contrary to the law.

 

 

Discrimination against gays...

Family Guy producers announce that they will be banning jokes about the LGBT community


Link Here 16th January 2019
Family Guy is known for its politically incorrect humour, but now the team behind the show are making some changes. It appears that the jokes targeted at the LGBT community are on the way out.

In Sunday's episode, Peter Griffin, who is voiced by the show's creator Seth MacFarlane, was seen telling a cartoon President Trump that the show was trying to phase out gay jokes.

In fairness, we've been trying to phase out the gay stuff, Peter replies. But you know what? We're a cartoon. You're the president.

The change in direction has been confirmed by the show's executive producers Alec Sulkin and Rich Appel, who told TV Line that they want to better reflect the current climate in the show.

One of the defences of the show's controversial storylines is that they make fun of all minority groups equally and some have argued that there's no reason one particular minority group should be exempt.

If Family Guy is gonna be mainstream and not edgy, what's the point? asked one fan of the show on Twitter. And some in the LGBT community argued the show does not offend them.

 

 

Tit for tat...

Russia responds to Ofcom investigation of propaganda channel RT by investigating the BBC propaganda channel


Link Here 11th January 2019
Full story: News Censorship in Russia...Reporters murdered, media silenced

Russia's media censor says it has found material on BBC websites that broadcast the ideological attitudes of international terrorist organisations.

Roskomnadzor said it was looking at quotes from the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The regulator said it would now review the BBC's output for compliance with its Russian broadcast licence.

It is a response to the UK's media censor Ofcom who investigation and censure of Russia's propaganda channel RT.

 

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