Red Light Central
23 February 2011, 21:00 to 21:50
Red Light Central is televised interactive adult sex chat programme broadcast on the service Extreme, which is available free to air on Sky channel number 916. The licence for this service is owned and operated by Playboy UK TV Limited
Ofcom received a complaint about alleged inappropriate adult content broadcast at various times between 21:00 and 21:50 on 23 February 2011. The complainant considered the content was highly sexualised and that the presenter was miming sexual intercourse and oral sex and considered such material was more appropriate after 22:00.
Ofcom noted the female presenter was wearing red fishnet stockings, red bra and thong, black knee high leather boots, a short black leather skirt hitched up around her waist and a denim waistcoat. On several occasions between 21:00 and 21:30, and throughout the remainder of the broadcast, the presenter knelt on all fours with her buttocks pointing upwards and towards the camera but at an angle, and lay on her back with her legs open to camera. While in these positions she gyrated her hips in a sexual manner so as to mimic sexual intercourse and at times her genital area was not adequately covered. She also stroked her thighs and breasts, opened her mouth in a sexual rather than flirtatious manner, and briefly mimed oral sex.
Ofcom therefore considered whether this material raised issues under Rule 32.3 of the BCAP Code:
- Relevant timing restrictions must be applied to advertisements that, through their content, might harm or distress children of particular ages or that are otherwise unsuitable for them.
Ofcom Decision: Breach of BCAP Code Rule 32.3
In the context of broadcasts on television of material soon after the 21:00 watershed, Rule 32.3 of the BCAP Code is substantially equivalent to Rule 1.6 of the Broadcasting Code. Rule 1.6 provides that:
The transition to more adult material must not be unduly abrupt at the watershed (in the case of television)… For television, the strongest material should appear later in the schedule.
In Ofcom’s view, the revealing clothing and repeated actions and sexual positions and actions of the presenter were intended to be sexually provocative in nature. In light of this behaviour and imagery, Ofcom concluded that under BCAP Code Rule 32.3, this material was clearly unsuitable for children.
Ofcom then considered under BCAP Code Rule 32.3 whether relevant timing or scheduling restrictions had been applied by Playboy TV to this broadcast. Ofcom took account of the fact that the Extreme channel is in the adult section of the Sky EPG. In Ofcom’s opinion, viewers (and in particular parents) would not expect such material to be broadcast so soon after 21:00. Further, the broadcast of such relatively strong sexualised content was inappropriate to advertise adult sex chat so soon after the 21:00 watershed.
This broadcast was therefore in breach of BCAP Code Rule 32.3.