Amy Schumer has revolutionized US television, and most people didn't even notice. Comedy Central approved the use of the word pussy on the network. The seemingly casual announcement of the un-bleep is actually a huge, huge victory.
However the 'victory' appears to have been won simply because Schumer is on the right side of the politically correct divide. She uses the word appropriately unlike the great unwashed.
Inside Amy Schumer aggressively attacks several women's issues, from body-shaming to sexual assault in the military, so it's important to be able to use such language. Much of the language banned by the FCC is engendered, so not only is
it a victory for Comedy Central but for the (hopefully) eventual equality for language on television. (Bear with me, because this post is gonna get profane).
iAccording to the FCC, most of the language deemed obscene and inappropriate for television are lewd and sexual in context: It is a violation of federal law to air obscene programming at any time. It is also a violation of federal law
to air indecent programming or profane language during certain hours.
On the list of prohibitions, besides pussy are several synonyms for a woman's vagina. You CAN say vagina on television, however. Though dick used to be on the list, it's now allowed on network television. Some of the milder euphemisms are
still banned, such as snatch, pink , twat, and clit. Though cock is also on the no-no list, there are way more words referring the female anatomy that are not allowed to be uttered without a bleep, then those
referring to a man's.
then takes time to explain a few of the basics of political correctness:
Language is so important and powerful, and now especially, what can and cannot be said on television and web-produced shows is becoming more influential on common vernacular. Even though Comedy Central airs such subversive shows like Inside Amy
Schumer, Key and Peele, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, they still have to align to certain guidelines. And because the list of banned words contains so many alternatives for the word vagina, it creates and maintains the stigma and
demonization related to a woman's body.
That's why serious attention should be paid Schumer's very funny show; she's subverting boundaries and slowly revolutionizing the language. The more artists and comedians like Schumer can change the conversation that makes the language of female
sexuality as neutral as the language about men's sexuality, the better. Hopefully more networks will follow suit.
The Chinese government's TV and internet censor has announced further repressive controls for internet TV.
The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), issued a notice saying that video websites must obtain one of two licenses -- a film screening license or a television screening license -- to legally stream foreign
films or television shows.
The regulator said the websites must register information about their foreign films and television shows by March 31 next year. The sites will not be able to broadcast such content after that date if they have not registered.
According to Xinhua , the state-run news agency, the notice means that video websites will have to apply for a license for each individual film or show, in addition to having to procure a license for the website overall to provide video streaming
But SARFT said it encouraged online entertainment providers to import an appropriate amount of cinema and television works that are healthy, well-made and showcase good values.
Reg Bailey, censorship campaigner and chief executive of the Mothers' Union, who 'advises' Downing Street on the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood, has called for the introduction of a cinema-style ratings system for all broadcast
He insisted the rise in time-shifted viewing of TV -- on the internet or other catch-up services -- meant the old 9pm watershed could not survive in its current form:
If you go to the age-rated system -- 12, 12A, PG -- it is simpler and has a high trust level.
Figures show ten% of all television viewing is now time-shifted rather than live.
Vivienne Pattison, director of campaign group Mediawatch-UK, said:
I am the parent of a seven-year-old who has no concept of linear television. He has no idea of not watching when he wants to watch. If you have a young teenage audience at 6.30pm and then you put out a version with extra spicy bits later at night
-- well, who do you think that is aimed at?
She suggested curious youngsters were using catch-up services to watch shows as Channel 4's The Joy of Teen Sex and My Daughter the Teenage Nudist, as well as the post-watershed spin-off of the soap opera Hollyoaks.
Tony Close, director of content standards at Ofcom, said:
The TV watershed is an important way to protect children. We recognise the growth of on-demand TV viewing poses new challenges. We are working with government to ensure that children remain protected.
A spokesman for the Culture, Media and Sport department said:
More needs to be done to ensure safety measures and tools that prevent children watching post-watershed programmes, such as [parental] locks and Pin protection, are more widely used. We will keep progress under close review and if necessary
consider the case for legislation to ensure that audiences are protected to the level they choose.
New rules will require censorship approval for all streaming video. China's media censor has introduced a policy of censor first, broadcast later for local Internet companies streaming TV shows and movies, which could mean further control
over online distribution of Hollywood content in China.
From now on, online companies will have to employ government-approved censors to vet content and obtain a censorship license, then monitor content before it is broadcast, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television
(SAPPRFT) said in a statement on its website:
Service companies broadcasting Internet audio and video programs, such as online dramas and microfilms etc, should have qualified personnel examining the content, who meet the requirements for checking and have been trained by state or provincial
Internet video and audio programs industry associations.
Online companies like Sohu, Youku Tudou and Baidu have been showing TV shows such as House of Cards and Modern Family after doing their own internal censorship.
Netflix, Lovefilm and the rest are a bit like the cheap DVD racks at your local supermarket, where you pay $10 for a bare-bones copy
of a film. No special features, no director's commentary and no director's cut version.
That's a conscious decision, according to Netflix chief product officer Neil Hunt My guess is that there really isn't a case for different versions of a film, he told us at the company's demo of 4K streaming. The studios should deliver
the best version, and that's what we capture. Our job is to get the director's cut and not bother with all the rest of it; there are very, very few users who are going to care about watching the five different versions and geeking out on it.
That's probably not an audience that it's cost-effective and worthwhile to chase.
CUT DOWN Accordingly, for Netflix titles like The Hobbit and Mimic, there's only one version available on the service -- indeed, there's no indication that there are any other versions available elsewhere. While that's a fair point of view for a
company to hold, it does seem a bit short-sighted.