A British Muslim has launched a campaign to ban Peppa Pig after claiming the cartoon inspired his young son to want to be a pig rather than a doctor.
Zayn Sheikh set up a Facebook page called Muslims against Peppa Pig and posted a video explaining the reasons - which has been shared over 9,000 times. In the video he said:
Some of you, right, might have seen this abominable creature before, right, this Peppa Pig. Haram pig. It is completely wrong that our kids are being shown these things on TV and my son...he wants to be a pig now.
I think that we need to change this so I'm going to set up a Facebook group, Muslims against Peppa Pig and instead, because children still need cartoons to develop their minds, I propose we introduce Abdullah the cat.
Sheikh has also set up an online petition called Remove Peppa Pig from TV currently at about 100 signatures.
But the campaign has been met with strong opposition, with thousands of people hitting back. And a rival Facebook group has been set up, called Save Peppa Pig from Muslim Fanatics. Aysha Razwan posted:
I'm sorry, I am Muslim and really do not see the problem with Peppa Pig at all. My children watch it and will soon grow out of it, it isn't like there is a pig on screen saying eat me. People like you give the rest of us Muslims a bad name
And indeed the campaign has now been laughed off as a joke or hoax. But this stills seems a bit unconvincing. It is clear nothing good, or even particularly funny, could have been expected to come from such a joke or hoax.
The Mirror reports that the same man has now posted a second video in which he revealed the campaign was nothing but a parody. In the video, the man says:
The last video I made was a parody, was a joke. I am not against any race, religion or ethnicity I speak out against discrimination wherever I come across it.
At the end of the day whatever is going on in the rest of the world is not to do with us regular Muslims in the UK because we are just like any other people. We are normal people. We are just trying to get by.
The video was meant as a joke and if you cannot realise its satirical it's not a concern of mine.
The Daily Mail has found itself a new Christopher Tookey-like film critic who has had a mega-whinge about the new British movie, Inbetweeners 2 . Brian Viner spouts:
Four young Englishmen go backpacking around Australia. That is the inoffensive, seven-word synopsis of The Inbetweeners 2 movie. But this blurb hides such a barrage of obscenity, of words and images ranging from the plain crude to the downright
misogynistic, that it makes my heart sink to report that the film's first-week box-office returns already proclaim it the comedy hit of the summer.
The Inbetweeners 2 carries a 15 certificate, meaning it is deemed unsuitable for those under 15, but the people checking tickets might as well have been handing out lollipops on the door for all the care they took to weed out those too young. It
is dispiritingly evident that, on occasion, the film classification board is simply wasting its time.
In fact, it mystifies me that this was given a 15 certificate at all --- it would have been rated 18 a few years ago. The humour may be puerile, but the obscene language and imagery are far too much for young teens.
For, with every instance of words such as gash and clunge (used to describe women or their genitalia), with every homophobic jibe, every misogynistic suggestion that all girls are either easy conquests or appalling harpies, and
with every fresh burst of appreciative audience laughter, I sank lower and lower in my seat.
Yes, it's puerile at points. Yes, at others it's downright filthy, as Jay would say. But it is also food-snorting-out-of-your-nose funny.
The putdowns and piss-taking of mate-dom do two things. First, they capture something of the essential un-PCness of groups of mates, their willingness to leave nothing unmocked. Offensiveness is the currency of young male friendships. And what
makes it work is that among mates, there is trust that despite the unparalleled cruelty of the jibes, that person is still your friend.
A Punch and Judy show put on for children at the Intu Derby shopping centre has been attacked for supposedly promoting domestic violence.
The show by puppeteer Jon Thursby was staged by the shopping centre as part of a week-long beach event for children.
Vanessa Boon, who is a PC campaigner for equal rights and against domestic violence, saw the show and whinged:
I was shocked and sickened as I saw Punch hit his wife, Judy, six times with a stick as she lay on the floor and then threw his baby down the stairs while children were encouraged to laugh and sing 'that's the way to do it!'
Boon said that she spoke to Mr Thursby about her concerns and complained to the shopping centre. She was disappointed to see that the show was still running three days later.
Yasmin Nazir, chief executive of Derby Women's Centre, landed a few blows too:
I think it's just shocking, given the awareness we have around domestic violence, that a show of this nature is being played out to such a young audience.
Music videos should be age rated in the same way as feature films and video games because of supposedly endemic sexism and racism, according to miserablist women's groups.
Campaign literature criticises videos by Calvin Harris, Basement Jaxx, Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus for misogynistic depictions of women. It also claims rap videos, in particular, were guilty of presenting women in a sexist way, often as commodities
and sex objects. Black women were subjected to racist treatment by being commonly portrayed as hypersexual , invoking ideas of black women as wild and animalistic .
Sarah Green, of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, called on the Government to introduce age ratings:
Some forms of media, such as television and film, are well regulated and our society accepts and supports this. Other forms like music videos are getting away with very little scrutiny and as such seem to be competing for who can most degrade
and insult women.
If the 'creative' people who make them won't stop this, regulators should rein them in and implement age ratings. More than 18,000 people have signed a petition calling for this.
A press ad for Sporting Index, seen in City AM and the Racing Post, featured an image of the Christ the Redeemer statue that had been digitally manipulated to show Jesus with his right arm around a bikini-clad woman, his hand resting just
above her bottom, and a bottle of champagne in his left hand. The statue's face had also been altered from a solemn expression to a smile. A large caption at the bottom of the image stated There's a more exciting side to Brazil and a
roundel next to the statue's head stated £ 500 IN FREE BETS* . Further text stated World Cup excitement guaranteed .
The ASA received 25 complaints about the ad:
All the complainants, including the Evangelical Alliance, challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Many of the complainants mentioned the woman and the bottle of champagne in particular.
The ASA challenged whether the ad linked gambling with sexual success.
ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld
The ASA acknowledged that the statue of Christ the Redeemer was likely to be strongly evocative of Brazil in general and Rio de Janeiro in particular, and that as a famous landmark it was often used to publicise these destinations. However, we
noted that, despite this secular use, it was still a depiction of Jesus and was likely to carry a large degree of religious significance for Christians in particular, and that care should therefore be taken over its use. We considered that
general references to the statue in order to highlight the location were unlikely to cause offence because it would be clear in what context the image was intended to be viewed. We also appreciated that the imagery was intended to be a
tongue-in-cheek and light-hearted reference to Rio de Janeiro's beach and Carnival culture. Nonetheless, we considered that a depiction of Jesus with his arm around a largely undressed woman, holding a champagne bottle and apparently celebrating
a gambling win was likely to cause offence to a significant number of Christians, regardless of this humorous intention or references to Rio de Janeiro and the World Cup, because it depicted the person of Jesus in a context at odds with commonly
held beliefs about the nature of Christ. We therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some readers.
The ASA acknowledged that the inclusion of an attractive person in an ad for gambling might not in itself automatically imply a link between gambling and sexual success, and understood Sporting Index's view that the woman was intended to
represent the culture of Rio de Janeiro. However, we considered that the ad strongly implied that the statue depicted a figure celebrating a gambling win and that the woman constituted part of this celebration. We noted that the figure's hand was
placed just above the woman's bottom and that she was turned partly towards him, and considered that this pose implied a degree of flirtatiousness and sexual contact regardless of whether the figures were presented in a cartoon-like manner. We
understood that the woman's attire was intended to be a reference to Brazilian beaches and therefore incidental to the message of the ad, but considered that this was not clear from the context of the ad and that the woman's clothing reinforced
the implication of sexual contact with the other figure. In light of these factors we concluded that the ad breached the Code by linking gambling with sexual success.
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Sporting Index Ltd to ensure that future ads would not link gambling to sexual success or be likely to cause serious or widespread offence.
Dr Dave Landrum, director of advocacy of the Evangelical Alliance, said:
We are grateful that the Advertising Standards Authority has upheld the Alliance's view on behalf of Christians everywhere.
This advertisement was in poor taste and clearly likely to cause offence. Even so, the expressions of incredulity from City AM and Sporting Index at the complaints illustrate a patent failure to grasp why such mockery and disfigurement of the
person of Christ should be deemed offensive at all.
Such religious illiteracy and lack of respect for faith communities in the UK is concerning.
Christian campaigners have lost a High Court bid for a ruling that London Mayor Boris Johnson was personally responsible for an improper and politically-motivated ban of an anti-gay advert on buses.
Campaign group Core Issues Trust (CIT) had accused him of an abuse of power and imposing the ban for the nakedly political purpose of currying favour with gay lobby groups and boosting his re-election campaign in 2012.
The Trust advert that never made it to the sides of buses in the capital read: Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it! It was meant to be a response to posters promoted by lesbian and gay campaigners Stonewall that said: Some
people are gay. Get over it! . Those did appear on buses.
But CIT's judicial review action, brought over Transport for London's April 2012 decision not to allow the group's advertisement to appear on the outside of its buses, was dismissed by a judge in London. Announcing her conclusions, Mrs Justice
Lang declared: Mr Johnson was not motivated by an improper purpose, namely, to advance his Mayoral election campaign.
The advert was banned on April 12 2012 , a day before the Mayor addressed an election rally organised by Stonewall. At a hearing in March last year, Mrs Justice Lang declared the banning order on the CIT poster lawful. She also ruled that the
Mayor, in his capacity as chair of TfL, was entitled to be involved in the decision-making process leading up to the order, though it would have been improper for him to use the situation to advance his re-election campaign.
The BBFC Annual Report for 2013 highlighted that a record 321 cinema films were given a 12A rating last year, up a third from 234 the previous year. The rating means children aged 12 and over can see a film at the cinema unaccompanied, and those
under this age can also view the film with an adult.
Of course the clear popularity of this rating with parents does not sit well with moralist campaigners who ludicrously try spin popularity and profitability as something sinful and wrong.
Miranda Suit, co-founder of Safer Media, a christian campaign group, said she always suspected that when the 12A category was introduced it would benefit the film industry far more than parents or children, and the record numbers of 12As in 2013
appears to confirm this. She spewed:
12As are a gift to the industry -- allowing a whole extra group of children, the under 12s, to provide a new revenue stream, as long as they are with an adult.
Meanwhile the BBFC are happy to allow surprisingly explicit violence and sadism in 12As, as evidenced by the complaints made about 12A Jack Reacher.
Explicit sex is also an issue, and the BBFC have actually relaxed controls on bad language in this category.
The BBFC need to provide much better protection -- our children are far too precious to justify weighting regulation in favour of the industry rather than young people's wellbeing.
Vivienne Pattison, of moralist campaign group Mediawatch UK, said the findings and changes only highlight how children are being used to turn films into lucrative business ventures. She spewed:
The increase would appear to underline the fact that producers want to get that crucial 12A rating because it means children can go and leads to a substantial increase in the potential audience.
You can sell a lot more lunchboxes and duvet covers linked to the film if under 12s have been allowed to see it.
The problem arises at the top end of the classification, when producers make a snip here and a cut there to a film so they can get the 12A rating. It does not always mean the film is suitable for children.