What a Load of Buttocks…Ofcom whinge at buttocks in a Fio Rada music video

Posted: 21 April, 2011 in Ofcom TV Censor
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Based on article from stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk

flo rida turn around videoMusic Video: Flo Rida – Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
4Music, UK Hot 40, daytime
Also MTV Base and MTV Dance, daytime

4Music is a music and general entertainment channel broadcasting mainly chart music, including pop and R&B/Urban. The channel is owned and operated by Box Television Ltd.

4Music broadcast a music video by the artist Flo Rida for the song Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1). This video was broadcast at various times before the watershed, including at 14:00 and 18:00.

The video was set in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and included images of female dancers wearing both carnival dress and revealing thong bikinis. The dancers were shown dancing in a carnival style in the streets and dancing on the beach in their swimwear. While doing so they were shown bending over with their buttocks to camera, and repeatedly shaking and playfully slapping their buttocks.

Ofcom noted that throughout the four minute video there were almost 20 very close up shots of the dancers? buttocks (both while they were wearing carnival dress and while dancing in their bikinis on the beach). During the video a female dancer, who was wearing a thong bikini (and not carnival dress), was shown dancing very closely up against Flo Rida and touching his naked upper body. While she danced in this manner, Flo Rida was shown miming repeatedly slapping the female dancer on her buttocks in a playful manner.

Ofcom received three complaints from viewers who were concerned about the broadcast of this music video. One of the complainants described the video as extreme crudeness and filth and another said I was shocked to see women in thongs and bras gyrating and basically dry humping men in this video. Another complainant said that the video was a sexist and offensive video which mostly comprises women in thong bikini bottoms acting in a pornographic manner. All of the complainants were concerned that the video was broadcast before the watershed and at the time when children are most likely to watch TV. One complainant said …this objectification of women at such an early time and on a channel that appeals to young people really concerns me.

Ofcom considered Rule 1.3: Children must also be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.

Box Television said that as with many RnB and pop videos, this video could be said to contain a sexual tone and innuendo. However, whilst the video features female dancers wearing thong bikinis and Carnival attire, synonymous with Brazilian Carnival, there is no nudity, inappropriate touching of the dancers or explicit sexual display.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.3

Under the Communications Act 2003 (the Act), Ofcom has a statutory duty to require the application, in the case of all television and radio services of standards that provide adequate protection to members of the public from the inclusion of offensive and harmful material.

Ofcom also has a duty to set such standards for the content of programmes as appear to it best calculated to secure the standards objectives, one of which is that persons under the age of eighteen are protected.

The video included images of the dancers dancing in a very provocative manner, such as repeatedly shaking their bare buttocks to camera, bending over to camera and playfully slapping their bare buttocks. In addition the dancers were shown dancing closely up against the rapper Flo Rida and touching his naked chest while he repeatedly mimed slapping one dancer on the buttocks. The video also included around 20 close up and intrusive shots of the female dancers? buttocks, some of which were when they were bent over or had their legs apart as part of their dancing. Therefore for much of the video the dancers? faces could not be seen. Ofcom also considered that some of the lyrics of the song Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) contained some sexual innuendo (for example, Oh-oh baby, you want some more baby? I love the way you do it cos you do it so crazy…).

In Ofcom’s view, the cumulative effect of the repeated close up images of the female dancers’ buttocks, together with some of the provocative dancing and actions in the video, resulted in the video’s imagery conveying a highly sexualised theme.

The fact that these images were mainly shown while the dancers were wearing bikinis on the beach, rather than in traditional carnival dress, increased the sexualised nature of the imagery and detracted from the editorial justification put forward by the broadcaster for the inclusion of these images.

Given the above, it is Ofcom’s view that the content of this particular music video was not suitable for children. While the material did not contain any explicit sexual images, it nevertheless conveyed a highly sexualised theme for the reasons set out above. Further, it is our view that this particular video contained more sexualised images, and in particular close up and intrusive shots of the dancers’ bare buttocks, than would normally be expected in a music video of this genre, broadcast at a time when children were likely to be watching.

We therefore concluded that the material breached Rule 1.3.


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