Quivering with Outrage…BBC dismisses whinge about orgasmic washing machine vibrations on the daytime soap, Doctors

Posted: 23 January, 2014 in BBC, TV News
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doctors bbcDoctors
BBC 1, 21st May 2013

The complainant wrote to the BBC Trust following the decision of the Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU) not to uphold his complaint of offence in a scene in Doctors in which a woman sat on a washing machine.

The complainant appealed to the Trust on 27 August 2013, saying that he was unhappy with the response received at Stage 2 and he wished the Trust to review it. The complainant said that the scene had shown the female character sitting on a washing machine having a sexual orgasm ; he argued that the scene was aggressively sexual in its inference and unsuitable for the daytime slot in which it was shown.

The Senior Producer stated:

The storyline built to this scene of comedic frustration as Daniel and Zara were having trouble with their marriage and their therapist told them to refrain from sex for a couple of weeks.

An adviser to the BBC Trust said that there was editorial justification for the scene. The Adviser noted the complainant’s view that the programme had depicted a full blown female orgasm and that it had been aggressively sexual in its content. However, she considered the scene was, as the Senior Producer had stated,  one of comedic frustration . She noted that Dr Carmichael was interrupted when she was sitting on the washing machine and subsequently took out her frustration by kicking the machine. She did not consider the scene was aggressively sexual in either content or tone. She noted and agreed with the response of the Complaints Director on these points. The Adviser considered that while adult viewers would have understood what was happening, it was unlikely young children would have made sense of it.

BBC Trust’s Decision

The BBC Editorial Standards Committee appreciated the concern felt by the complainant but believed that what was clear to older viewers would not have been clear to children. Further this was a comic scene and the sexual element was mitigated by the humour. The Committee was of the view that it would be likely to conclude that the programme met the Generally Accepted Standards as set out in the Editorial Guidelines and would not have exceeded the expectations of its daytime audience.

The Committee therefore decided that this appeal did not qualify to proceed for consideration.

  1. IrishT says:

    oh ffs as bad as IRELAND! Don’t mention the SEX word, even though half our kids addicted to porn, and s.t.d on the increase like never before. aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh