The Dukes of Hazzard (movie)
Comedy Central 18:00
The Dukes of Hazzard is a film based on the popular US television series from the 1980s.
Five complainants alerted Ofcom to this film broadcast in the early evening. It contained multiple uses of the word fuck and its derivatives, as well as a scene involving topless college girls.
Ofcom noted that the BBFC certified both a 12 and 15 version of this film.
- Rule 1.3: Children must also be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.
- Rule 1.14: The most offensive language must not be broadcast before the watershed (in the case of television)….
The Comedy Central Licensee, Paramount UK, said the version of this film that was shown was rated „15 by the BBFC and it apologised for any distress caused to viewers. Paramount UK had created a pre-watershed version of the film to be shown at 18:00. However the post-watershed, unedited version of The Dukes of Hazard was broadcast in error.
Ofcom Decision: Breaches of Rules 1.3 and 1.14
Ofcom noted that this 15 version of the film The Dukes of Hazzard included one sequence where the central characters, Bo and Luke Duke, went to a girl’s dormitory at a college to find a friend. When looking through different rooms, they found some topless women playing a game of hacky sack and joined in. Ofcom also noted various other examples of adult humour and sexual references in the film, as well as strong language. A BBFC 15 rating means that in the opinion of the BBFC a film is Suitable only for children 15 years and over. This broadcast version of the film therefore clearly in Ofcom’s opinion contained material that was unsuitable for children who were 14 years old or younger.
The audience (and in particular parents) would not have expected this type of content to be shown on a channel like Comedy Central at this time. Children were therefore not protected by appropriate scheduling, and there was a breach of Rule 1.3.
There were multiple uses of fuck and its derivatives, often in a sexual context, in this version of The Dukes of Hazzard broadcast in the early evening. There was therefore also a clear breach of Rule 1.14.