Pinterest and The Knot, the two most popular websites for wedding inspiration and planning, have now decided to do away with plantation weddings. These seem to be the US equivalent of weddings at stately homes in the UK. Except of course that many of the
US homes, especially in the south, have a historic connection to slavery.
At the pressure from of campaign group known as Color of Change, both Pinterest and The Knot have started cracking down on all the plantation wedding venues which were once slave plantations.
The Knot hasn't banned any plantation venues from the
platform, but has restricted hw they can describe themselves by introducing new guidelines. The chief marketing officer of the wedding planning website, Dhanusha Sivajee, said that plantations can no longer use language that glorifies, celebrates, or
romanticizes Southern plantation history.
Pinterest has taken things to the extreme by completely restricting any content around plantation weddings and is also said to be working on going as far as de-indexing Google searches relating to the website's content about plantation weddings. A
Pinterest spokesperson said:
Weddings should be a symbol of love and unity. Plantations represent none of those things. We are working to limit the distribution of this content and accounts across our platform, and continue to not accept advertisements for them
Researchers at King's College London (KCL) asked over 2,000 students about their views on free speech on campus and in society.
The majority (59%) of Conservative-voting students said they believe that those who share their views are reluctant to express themselves at university. This compared with 36% of those voted Labour and 37% of those who voted for the Liberal Democrats.
Students who voted for the Green Party were the most comfortable with expressing their views, with just 32% saying that their like-minded peers would self-censor on campus.
A quarter of students, irrespective of their political persuasion, said they
are unable to express their views at university because they are scared of disagreeing with their peers, according to the KCL study.
Half think that free speech is under threat in society as a whole.
The professional body for UK directors has released its first set of guidelines for directing nudity and simulated sex in TV and film.
Directors UK has advised a ban on full nudity in any audition or call back and no semi-nudity in first auditions, and have instead suggested performers wear a bikini or trunks and bring a chaperone.
The group also suggested that if a recall requires semi-nudity, the performer and their agent must have 48 hours' notice and the full script.
And that the production must also obtain explicit written consent from the performer prior to them being filmed or photographed nude or semi-nude.
The release of guidelines follows the #MeToo movement, and the revelation that some in the industry demanded sexual favours for work.
It all seems reasonable enough, but a feminist columnist in the Guardian is rather hoping that the rules will lead to the end of the nude scene. Barbara Ellen writes in an
article from theguardian.com :
All of which is commendable, but shouldn't audiences also change their attitudes? As it is, certain men weirdly seem to presume that they have a right to see women naked. Guys, calm down -- you bought a television subscription or a
cinema ticket, not a VIP seat at a lap-dancing show.
Let's face it, most nude scenes are gratuitous -- even when integral to the story, nudity could usually be suggested without anyone actually being naked. Yet here we are, two years since #MeToo, and actresses are still not only having
to strip but being denounced for hating doing it. While on-screen nudity is a choice, and some are fine about it, too many others feel uncomfortable and obliged.
Perhaps the new guidelines will help people such as Clarke in the simplest, most effective way possible -- making it a damn sight more difficult to justify asking them to get undressed in the first place.
rDisney is promising an extensive near complete library of its films to be made available on its new streaming service, Disney Plus. This has necessitated a review of content in order to bring it up to date with modern-PC sensibilities.
It has already been reported that a very notably absent film from the catalogue will be the Oscar-winning 1946 animated musical Song of the South , that deals with the post civil war period in the United States and the abolition of slavery. It
inevitably included themes and depictions that are now forbidden.
Also for the chop is the Dumbo scene featuring the character of Jim Crow, a charcater naming referencing US racial segregation laws. Then there's the seduction of twin Barbie dolls in Toy Story 2 -- where a character by the name of
Stinky Pete is seen promising the Barbies roles in Toy Story 3 . This was judged out of order on #MeToo grounds.
A new addition to the list is the cartoon Lady and the Tramp from 1955. The film has a song featuring a short appearance of two conjoined cats called Si and Am. The term 'Siamese Twins' is now frowned upon so it seems likely that this allusion
will have to be overdubbed for release on Disney Plus.
According to IMDb, an early pre-release cut of the film had a much longer appearance featuring the cats, but this was mostly deleted in 1955 as it was decided that the awkward restricted movement of the cats didn't really fit in with the rest of the
The Disney+ streaming service has now started and so commentators have been finding out ho Disney has addressed 'inappropriate content'.
Well the good news is that Disney has opted for warnings over cuts. The Verge writes:
Some of Disney's older movies streaming on Disney+ will include disclaimers about the cultural context of certain scenes that are considered outright racist and prejudiced today. The disclaimer on certain titles is found within the description box,
and reads, This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions. The Verge also notes that warning only runs before the movie and does not appear again in the video.
One popular example floating around Twitter is Disney's 1941 animated feature film, Dumbo . An infamous scene at the end of the movie finds a group of crows singing about seeing an elephant fly. The scene relies on a series of racist stereotypes to
get through the song, including naming the lead character Jim Crow, a mocking term used to insult black men. The scene is still in the version streaming on Disney+.
It's encouraging to see Disney acknowledge the darker elements of its past film and TV content, but this disclaimer is also the bare minimum, writer, critic, and Disney expert Josh Spiegel told The Verge:
Frankly, a lot of Disney+ subscribers might not even notice the disclaimer, instead of just clicking Play on a title.
Gravity Falls , a popular Disney cartoon series, has been on the receiving end of Disney's censorship blade. The series ended only a couple of years ago, but the character of Grunkle Stan has had the symbol removed from his fez in the first part
of Season 1.
The symbol was supposed to be a fish but the theory behind the change was that maybe it too closely resembled the crescent moon, the symbol of islam. It seems unlikely that there was anything intended by the resemblance.
A TV ad for PopJam, a social media app designed for 7 to 12 year olds, seen in July 2019 on CITV. An on-screen image of a phone showed an illustrative scroll of a PopJam news feed which displayed various users' PopJam virtual artwork. Large text on
the right of the image stated LIKES with a heart emoji and with an increasing figure. The next clip showed an image of a phone with a different virtual drawing on its screen. Large text to the left stated FOLLOWERS with an image of a number rising
quickly from 96 to 10,000. A star emoji was seen increasing in size as the figures increased. A female voice-over stated, Get likes and followers to level up.
A complainant, who was concerned that the ad's encouragement to get likes and followers to level up could be detrimental to children's mental health and affect their self-esteem, challenged whether the ad could cause harm to those
under 18 years of age and was irresponsible.
ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld
The ASA understood that PopJam was an app designed for 7- to 12-year-old children and that the ad was seen on a children's TV channel. The ad featured the claim get likes and followers to level up, which we considered explicitly
encouraged children to seek likes and followers in order to progress through the app. We understood that there were other ways of advancing through the app, but that was not explained in the ad. We considered that the suggestion that the acquisition of
likes and followers was the only means of progression was likely to give children the impression that popularity on social media was something that should be pursued because it was desirable in its own right. We were therefore concerned that the ad's
encouragement to gain likes and followers could cause children to develop an unhealthy perception that popularity on social media was inherently valuable which was likely to be detrimental to their mental health and self-esteem. As such, we concluded
that the ad was likely to cause harm to those under 18 and was irresponsible.
The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form. We told SuperAwesome Trading Ltd t/a PopJam not to use the claim get likes and followers to level up in future and to ensure that they did not suggest that gaining popularity and
the acquisition of likes and followers were desirable things in their own right.
You may not like what people are thinking, you may be offended by what they are thinking, but you need to KNOW what they are thinking. If Cameron had known what people were thinking he wouldn't have called the EU referendum
Global consumer giants Kraft Heinz and Unilever have come under fire for advertising on the world's massively popular porno website, Pornhub.
Both companies launched huge advertising campaigns on Pornhub in the last year.
Unilever, which makes Dove soap, Marmite and Hellmann's mayonnaise, ran a campaign for it's grooming company Dollar Shave Club which sends members razors in the post. It joked that Pornhub viewers won't need to visit the site so often if the use the
advertiser's grooming products.
The company reportedly spends roughly £6billion a year on marketing and Dollar Shave Club's creative director, Matt Knapp, said the company chose to advertise on the porn site because it has guys backs'.
Yesterday Unilever vowed it would never advertise on the site again after miserable PC campaigners questioned the company.
Meanwhile spokesman for Kraft Heinz played down the significance of its activity on Pornhub, but did not explicitly say it would not advertise on the site again. He said:
The Devour frozen-food brand, which is only sold in the US, had a one-day promotion solely as part of the brand's Super Bowl activation. The brand was explicitly talking about #Foodporn, which has become a cultural phenomenon on
Pornhub has 110million daily visits and is the most popular pornography site in the UK. It is surely an attractive site for advertisers who are targeting campaigns toward men.
Booksmart is a 2019 USA comedy by Olivia Wilde. Starring Skyler Gisondo, Kaitlyn Dever and Lisa Kudrow.
On the eve of their high school graduation, two academic superstars and best friends realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined not to fall short of their peers, the girls try to cram four years of fun into one
Olivia Wilde's coming-of-age film, Booksmart, was critically acclaimed, but if you happened to catch it on an airplane, you didn't see the movie as she intended.
In a series of tweets Wednesday, Wilde, who directed the R-rated movie, explained that a third-party editing company that censors films for airlines removed several scenes from Booksmart that centered on female sexuality.
Among the changes: the words genitals and vagina were cut, although the word fuck was left in, and a consensual love scene between two women was omitted.
What message is this sending to viewers and especially to women? That their bodies are obscene? That their sexuality is shameful? Wilde asked. I urge every airline, especially those who pride themselves on inclusivity, to stop working with this
third-party company, and trust the parental advisory warning to allow viewers to opt out if they choose.
However Delta Airlines responded to the tweets implying that it was ok to censor anything it liked, including straight sexuality, but obviously it was an error to censor gay sexuality. A representative for Delta Air Lines told People magazine
that Delta uses films edited by a third-party company to censor anything in the movie that violates their guidelines:
Still, Delta's content parameters do not in any way ask for the removal of homosexual content from the film. We value diversity and inclusion as core to our culture and our mission and will review our processes to ensure edited video
content doesn't conflict with these values.
The airline Delta has now said it will start showing fuller versions of the films Booksmart and Rocketman that were controversially edited to remove scenes involving LGBTQ love and sexuality.
The airline said the edits were made, unrequested, by a third-party vendor, with Delta picking the version for in-flight viewing. It said it has now put in place new measures to ensure the movies do not omit the LGBTQ scenes. A Delta spokeswoman said:
Studios often provide videos in two forms: a theatrical, original version and an edited version
We selected the edited version and now realize content well within our guidelines was unnecessarily excluded from both films. We are working to make sure this doesn't happen again.
The studio has agreed to provide a special Delta edit that retains the LGBTQ+ love scenes in both Booksmart and Rocketman that will be on our flights as soon as possible.
Delta made no mention of restoring heterosexual scenes that have been censored in other movies, and made no comment about whether their censorship rules going forward will be based on equality for all, not the few.
Traditional applause is being discouraged at Oxford University, as students vote to replace triggering clapping with jazz hands.
Students at the University of Oxford, studying diverse subjects such as hydro-crystallisation and the psychology of easy offence, voted to replace noisy appreciation with the British Sign Language equivalent -- a wave of both hands, palms forward.
Union officers claimed clapping can be 'triggering' for some students, including those with anxiety.
The motion to mandate the encouragement of silent clapping was successfully passed by student union representatives at their first meeting of the academic year.
And the fall of venues willing to show the observational documentary
22nd October 2019
The Rise Of Jordan Peterson is a 2019 Canada documentary by Patricia Marcoccia. Starring Jordan Peterson.
A rare, intimate glimpse into the life and mind of Jordan Peterson, the academic and best-selling author who captured the world's attention with his criticisms of political correctness and his life-changing philosophy on discovering personal meaning.
Christened as the most influential public intellectual in the western world, University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson skyrocketed to fame after he published a controversial viral video series entitled "Professor Against Political
Correctness" in 2016. Within 2 years, he sold over 3 million copies of his self-help book, 12 Rules For Life, and became simultaneously branded by some as an academic rockstar selling out theatres around the world, and by others as a dangerous
threat to progressive society. THE RISE OF JORDAN PETERSON intimately traces the transformative period of Peterson's life while visiting rare moments with his family, friends and foes who share their own versions of the Jordan Peterson story.
Although the documentary itself is observational rather than political, the politics of Jordan Peterson is controversial for his stance against political correctness. The film hasn't been banned by official censors but has routinely been refused
venues for screening.
US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:
2019 Gravitas Ventures RA Blu-ray
at US Amazon released on 29th October 2019
2019 Gravitas Ventures R1 DVD
at US Amazon released on 29th October 2019
UK: Passed 12A uncut for infrequent strong language, discriminatory references:
Given today's downward cultural spiral, it's disturbing but not surprising that the makers of a thoughtful new documentary about Jordan Peterson are having a hard time finding somewhere to show their film. Many mainstream and
independent cinemas have refused to screen it because they're fearful of controversy or morally concerned. One theater in Toronto cancelled a week-long showing after some of the staff took issue with it. A theater in Brooklyn cancelled a second
screening, despite the fact that the first sold out and received good reviews, because some staff were offended . . . and felt uncomfortable.
It isn't a conventional talking heads-style documentary. It doesn't seek to hammer an agenda into its audience. Instead, the film honors the complexity of both of Peterson, his supporters, and his critics.
Nawab Ghar is a situation comedy series on PTV Global which is available on satellite in the UK. PTV Global is an Urdu language general entertainment channel aimed at a Pakistani audience.
The title of this comedy programme translates to The Lord's House, the central character is called Nawab, which translates to Lord. This programme included members of Nawab's family hoping to secure a partner for marriage. Chris Fail,
who is presented as a distant relative, visited Nawab's home with his niece in order to arrange her marriage. The Chris Fail characters seems to be a take on the cricketer Chris Gayle.
During the visit to Nawab's home, Chris Fail falls in love with Guddo, Nawab's sister-in-law. Ofcom received a complaint about racially offensive references in the above programme. The complainant felt that the programme was racially
offensive due to the use of 'blackface'
In this programme, Chris Fail was described as a visitor from Africa. Chris Fail was portrayed as having dark skin (which appeared to have been achieved with dark make-up) and long grey curly hair (a wig) under a black headscarf. In
the programme he sang and danced when he started conversations with other characters.
Ofcom considered Rule 2.3:
broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context206Such material may include206offensive language206discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of206race206). Appropriate
information should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence.
Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 2.3
We considered that the more general portrayal of Chris Fail was based on a stereotypical view of a black-African person. The factors that contributed to this included:
• the dark make-up apparently applied to his skin;
• the significance of his name, which we understood to be a play-on-words of the West Indian cricketer Chris Gayle;
• the tribal-style drumming played in the background when he sang and danced; and,
• the way he chanted and shouted over the tribal-style drumming.
we considered that the fact that the programme was a situation comedy with a range of fictitious characters and guests from different backgrounds did not, in itself, provide sufficient editorial justification for a stereotype of this
nature to be used.
We considered that the way Chris Fail's character had been broadcast as a clearly stereotypically black-African person did not reflect the care that broadcasters should take in portraying culturally diverse people and was not
editorially justified. We also considered that the likely audience of the channel, which is aimed at Pakistani people, some of whom would be living in the UK, would not have expected this portrayal.
Ofcom's Decision is that this potentially offensive material was not justified by the context and was therefore a breach of Rule 2.3.
Warning...the T-3000 model is equipped with a summary justice module
Designing Virtuous Sex Robots
By Anco Peeters and Pim Haselager
We propose that virtue ethics can be used to address ethical issues central to discussions about sex robots. In particular, we argue virtue ethics is well equipped to focus on the implications of sex robots for human moral character.
Our evaluation develops in four steps.
First, we present virtue ethics as a suitable framework for the evaluation of human - robot relationships.
Second, we show the advantages of our virtue ethical account of sex robots by comparing it to current instrumentalist approaches, showing how the former better captures the reciprocal interaction between robots and their users.
Third, we examine how a virtue ethical analysis of intimate human - robot relationships could inspire the design of robots that support the cultivation of virtues. We suggest that a sex robot which is equipped with a consent-module
could support the cultivation of compassion when used in supervised, therapeutic scenarios.
Fourth, we discuss the ethical implications of our analysis for user autonomy and responsibility.
It is one of the axioms of political correctness that those who complain first are always right. If one takes the time to consider complaints on their merit, the whole mess of contradictory and arbitrary rules falls down in a heap. The only way to make
it work is for those who complain loudest or first to be deemed totally correct and the only allowed response for those on the receiving end is to capitulate entirely and fall to the ground in a grovelling apology.
Of course there are a lot of right people wronged by this Monty Pythonesque pantomime but they don't usually get much of a say in the unjust process. But at least the Mumsnet website is taking a stand. Users of parenting site Mumsnet have announced
they will boycott margarine product Flora following a transphobia row.
Upfield, which owns the Flora margarine brand, withdrew from an advertising partnership with Mumsnet after Twitter user @mimmymum and campaign group Stop Funding Hate raised concerns over the existence of supposed transphobic content on the site.
Now, a thread calling for Mumsnet users to abstain from buying the margarine brand and other products belonging to the Upfield group has attracted over 760 comments.
The row started after Upfield responded to a tweet questioning how its company values of being intolerant of discrimination and harassment aligned with a promotion that marketed Flora as Mumsnet rated.
Activist Helen Islan claimed on Twitter that the platform is a place where people write strong messages against transgender people. Shortly thereafter, Upfield responded by saying that they would conduct the necessary investigations to determine if
this was true since they take human rights and diversity policies very seriously.
While the investigations take place, the brand decided to remove its ads from Mumsnet, in what ended up being a move where they would please a small group of people, but annoy many more.
Upfield's decision is now being strongly criticized by mothers who use the website, who indicate that they are simply exercising their right to express themselves freely. The website has multiple posts where topics about transgenderism are discussed,
particularly and understandably about the parenting aspects of children expressing a desire to change their gender. And one can guess that in many cases the parents would be unlikely to be supportive of the notion that the kids are always right.
Justine Roberts – a founder of Mumsnet, responded to the advertising withdrawal saying that it demonstrated that the margarine brand has been influenced by a “group of Twitter activists.
The consensus of opinion on the forum is that Mumsnet users will indeed boycott Flora.
If you're not familiar with Virtue Signal , you're probably wondering why actual Social Justice activists would take such great offense to a card game that unravels the minutiae of their ideologically-driven movement? Well, it's
because the card game points out how hypocritical, contradictory, and bigoted Social Justice Warriors actually are.
A tweet on Burger King's Twitter page, seen on 18 May 2019, included the text Dear people of Scotland. We're selling milkshakes all weekend. Have fun. Love BK. #justsaying
Twenty-four complainants challenged whether the ad was irresponsible and offensive because they believed it encouraged violence and anti-social behaviour.
Burger King responded that the tweet was intended to be a tongue in cheek reaction to recent events where milkshakes had been thrown at political figures. Burger King stated that it did not endorse violence and that was made
clear with a follow-up tweet posted after responses to the tweet under complaint. The follow-up tweet stated, We'd never endorse violence -- or wasting our delicious milkshakes! So enjoy the weekend and please drink responsibly people.
ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld
The ad was posted the day after a branch of McDonalds Restaurants in Edinburgh had chosen not to sell milkshakes or ice-cream products during a nearby political rally addressed by Nigel Farage, because milkshakes had been thrown at
political figures in recent weeks. Those events had been widely reported in the media and we therefore considered that people who saw the tweet were likely to be aware of what had happened and that Nigel Farage was due to make more public appearances in
Scotland that weekend. In that context we considered that the ad was likely to be seen as a reference to the recent incidents of milkshaking political figures. Although we acknowledged that the tweet may have been intended as a humorous response to the
suspension of milkshake sales by the advertiser's competitor, in the context in which it appeared we considered it would be understood as suggesting that Burger King milkshakes could be used instead by people to milkshake Nigel Farage. We considered the
ad therefore condoned the previous anti-social behaviour and encouraged further instances. We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible.