Archive for the ‘Nutters’ Category

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Poster Peter Rabbit 2018 Will Gluck Peter Rabbit is a 2018 UK / Australia / USA family animation comedy by Will Gluck.
Starring Daisy Ridley, Margot Robbie and Elizabeth Debicki. IMDb

Feature adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s classic tale of a rebellious rabbit trying to sneak into a farmer’s vegetable garden.

Filmmakers behind a new adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit have been forced to apologise after facing calls for it to be banned from cinemas over a scene in which the protagonist and his furry friends deliberately pelt an allergic man with blackberries.

Allergy UK claimed the film mocks allergy sufferers and trivialises a life-threatening condition. Carla Jones, the charity’s chief executive, said:

Anaphylaxis can and does kill. To include a scene in a children’s film that includes a serious allergic reaction and not to do it responsibly is unacceptable. Mocking allergic disease shows a complete lack of understanding of the seriousness of allergy and trivialises the challenges faced by those with this condition. We will be communicating with the production company about the film’s withdrawal.

Sony Pictures on Sunday night admitted it should not have made light of Mr McGregor being allergic to blackberries and said it regretted not being more aware and sensitive of the issue.

Peter Rabbit will be show in cinemas in March. It is PG rated for mild threat, comic violence.

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byron 10 years on Political campaigners at the NSPCC have called for the establishment of an internet censor who can fine social media sites that break censorship rules. This is included in an NSPCC report highlighting unimplemented recommendations from Tanya Byron’s government report on child safety launched 10 years ago.Tanya Byron writes in the foreword:

Ten years ago I was asked by Government to produce a report on child safety online, and consider what action should be taken to make the digital world a safe place for children.

Much has changed over the last decade, but one thing has not: Government is failing to do enough to protect children online. I made 38 strong recommendations for action that urgently needed addressing to keep children safe. In four areas the landscape has changed so much that the recommendations are no longer applicable. But 53 percent of the remaining recommendations have either been ignored by Government or have only been partially followed through.

What are the implications of this? We know that by age four 53 percent of children use the internet, and by the age of 10 almost half have their own smartphone. Yet online safety has not been made mandatory on the school curriculum and social networks are left to make up their own rules, without regulation from Government. Meanwhile the responsibility for keeping children safe online falls heavily on parents — who might struggle to keep up to date with the latest trends, or worse — on children themselves, who might feel peer pressure to prioritise online popularity over online safety.

Last year the Government pledged to make the UK the safest place to be online, and some progress has been made — albeit in a fragmented way. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s forthcoming Internet Safety Strategy will create a code of practice for social networks. But after ten years of social networks marking their own homework, that code is expected to be voluntary and will not include anti-grooming measures as part of its remit and under the new Data Protection laws the Information Commissioner’s Office is due to draw up rules that will give children extra protections online. This is an important step, but these rules will not be directly enforceable.

The UK Council for Child Internet Safety was created as a result of my recommendations; but it will soon remove ‘child’ from its title and focus on general internet safety. Age verification will soon be introduced for pornography, but there are still no age checks for online gaming. That means children are protected from buying 18-rated games in shops, but can still download them easily online.

We all have a part to play in keeping children safe. But that responsibility must absolutely start with Government and industry. I urge Government to take heed of this report. The online world moves too fast for Government to drag its feet for another decade. Tanya Byron

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PTC logoUS moralists of the Parents Television Council are calling on Hollywood to take gun violence seriously by evaluating and lowering its use on TV shows and in films. PTC President Tim Winter spouted:

We agree with Disney’s Bob Iger that gun violence should be taken seriously, and in that vein, we are calling on the entire entertainment industry to evaluate its own incessant, and ever-more-realistic daily rehearsals of gun violence — and graphic violence in general — on its TV shows and in its movies. Hollywood needs to take seriously its own role in contributing to normalizing violence. Mr. Iger and other industry leaders cannot claim their content does not have real-life impact when their very economic existence is based on advertising, the sole purpose of which is to change the behavior of each viewer.

We urge the entertainment industry to evaluate and ideally lower portrayals of violence and specifically, gun violence.

But before US campaign groups attempt to deflect people away from gun control, perhaps they could take a quick glance towards Europe. Europeans watch pretty much the same amount of violent Hollywood films and TV as American viewers. And yet suffer vastly less killing from gun rampages. A most cursory correlation of evidence suggestion that many lives are saved in Europe through our stringent gun control laws.

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love island Love Island
30 June 2016, ITV2, 21:00

Love Island is an ITV2 reality programme in which a group of young single people look for romance while staying in a luxury villa.

Ofcom received seven complaints about the episode broadcast on 30 June 2016 at 21:00. Viewers objected to a scene in which housemates Emma and Terry had sex. This was broadcast shortly after the watershed.

The individual housemates got into bed with their partners. The lights in the communal bedroom were turned off and the following images were shown in the form of footage taken using night vision cameras:

  • Emma and Terry in bed together and kissing, with their upper bodies visible above the duvet (with Emma wearing a slip);
  • Emma and Terry looking at each other in medium close up;
  • a wide shot from behind of Emma as the duvet slipped from her shoulders down to her lower back, which indicated that under the duvet she was straddling Terry;
  • a series of three brief close-ups of Emma’s back and shoulders as the couple had sex; and
  • a shot from behind of Emma pulling the duvet back up over her shoulders afterwards.

These shots were interspersed with images of the shocked reactions of the other housemates in the villa’s bedroom while Emma and Terry had sex, as well as interview footage of them afterwards recounting their view of what had happened.

Ofcom considered rules:

  • Rule 1.6: The transmission to more adult material must not be unduly abrupt at the watershed…For television, the strongest material should appear later in the schedule.
  • Rule 2.3 In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context…Such material may include, but is not limited to…sex…Appropriate information should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence.

Ofcom Decision: Not in Breach of Rules 1.6 and 2.3

Rule 1.6

We noted that Love Island is a relatively well-established reality show format and that this episode formed part of the programme’s second series (which began on 30 May 2016). The series focuses on the romantic entanglements of a group of young single people, and we recognised that sexual activity between housemates had occurred in this and the previous series, and is often a key element of the programme’s ongoing narratives.

We took account of other specific contextual factors that we considered reduced the explicitness and overall sexual tone of the material. In particular, we observed that the images of the sexual activity were recorded using night vision cameras so that they were in monochrome and relatively indistinct, and the shots of Emma straddling Terry while they were having sex were very brief (approximately six seconds in total duration). We also noted that none of this sexual activity was shown in any explicit way: the couple were covered by a duvet below the waist and Emma was wearing a slip throughout, and there were no images of full nudity during these scenes. We considered that the use of music, and the intercutting of the shots of Emma and Terry with the housemates’ reactions, lightened the tone and further reduced the potential impact on viewers of the sequence. We also took account of the clear warning before the programme that alerted viewers to “scenes of a sexual nature”.

Ofcom had regard to the fact that the programme was broadcast on ITV2, a channel that is aimed at a young adult audience. In light of this, much of this channel’s postwatershed schedule includes reality programmes as well as films and comedies targeted at adults. We therefore considered it likely the audience would have a greater expectation for content potentially unsuitable for children to be shown shortly after the watershed on this channel, compared to the audience for the main ITV public service channel.

We also noted that this episode of Love Island was immediately preceded by a double-bill of the sitcom Two and a Half Men. This programme typically includes some limited discussion of adult and sexual themes and does not aim to attract child viewers. We considered these factors helped, in this case, to ensure that the transition to stronger material after the watershed was not unduly abrupt. In addition, given the brevity and relative inexplicitness of the content, we did not consider it amounted to the strongest material . For all these reasons, our Decision was that Rule 1.6 was not breached.

Rule 2.3

We considered that the Licensee had ensured that this potentially offensive material was justified by the context. Therefore, our Decision was that it did not breach Rule 2.3. In the particular circumstances of this case, Ofcom has found this material did not breach of the Code.

However, as noted above, we consider that content including real sex may carry a greater potential to raise issues under the Code than depictions of sex in a drama or film. Broadcasters should take particular care and exercise caution when scheduling material of this type soon after the watershed.

Moralists fall out of love with the TV censors

Of course a few moralist campaigners were non pleased by Ofcom’s decision and were happy to provide the Daily Mail with a few sound bites.

Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education, whinged:

campaign for real eductaion logo Schools work hard to encourage children not to experiment with sex and these kinds of programmes present sex as some kind of Victorian freak show, offered up for entertainment.

Sam Burnett, acting director of Mediawatch-UK, whinged:

mediawatch banner logo Apparently it’s now OK to show two people having sex nine minutes after the watershed as long as you play some jaunty music over the top of it.

Ofcom’s lip-service regulation is leading to a freefall in television standards, and it’s the viewers who are losing out.

Conservative MP Sir William Cash whinged:

The bottom line is that this was inappropriate. I would agree with those who have said it’s deplorable.

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scotsman moira cox Moira Knox, who died on 4th August aged 85, was an Edinburgh councillor who became almost a cult figure at the city’s annual festival, supplying suitably outraged quotes to accompany the latest newspaper report on any Fringe production that might offend public decency with nudity, blasphemy, bad language or even bad manners; she became known as Edinburgh’s Mary Whitehouse .Moira Knox never needed to see a show before pronouncing judgment. She explained a little how she got caught up in newspaper fuelled ‘outrage’:

A girl from the Sun telephoned and told me that they had received lots of calls from irate ratepayers in Edinburgh complaining about the nudity, she said. The girl from the Sun has seen it and she explained exactly what was going on… I do not need to go and see it to know what it looks like.

Her words of opprobrium would often be reprinted on the posters and fliers of visiting companies helping to raise public interest and increase ticket sales. One promoter even launched an award, called the Moira, which was given to the Fringe production that prompted the fiercest criticism

There were suggestions that some performers would contact her directly to alert her to the nature of their shows, while pretending to be offended members of the public.

By the end of the 1990s she had rather twigged that her ‘outrage’ was being exploited. She announced that she was going to retire from her self-appointed mission to clean up the Fringe:

I’ve realised that they want me to castigate them. I’m not falling for that again.

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captain morgan rum Complaint Summary by Alcohol Concern

We would like to ask the Panel to consider whether the Captain Morgan pirate logo used on bottles and other items by Diageo is in breach of Section 3.2 (h) of the Code, which states that a drink, its packaging or promotion should not have a particular appeal to under-18s, and in particular contravenes the guidance that cartoon-style imagery…bright colouring… pictures of real or fictional people known to children or terminology popular with children should not be featured.

It is indisputable that Captain Morgan as he appears on Diageo’s packaging and marketing materials is a cartoon-style image with bright colouring. He is also clearly both a real and a fictional person known to children: the popularity of 17th and 18th century pirates with young children is attested to by a wealth of books, films and toys; and the Captain Henry Morgan, on whom the drink’s branding is based, is both a well-known historical character and has been fictionalised in a number of stories in print and on screen.

Portman Group Panel Decision: Complaint not upheld

The Panel began by discussing whether the image used on the product range was a cartoon or cartoon-like in style and might therefore be particularly appealing to under 18s. The Panel discussed the image at length and considered that the image was not a cartoon or cartoon like and that it more closely resembled a piece of art or oil painting than it did a cartoon. The Panel recognised that the colours used on the image were of a mature, shaded hue and that the image lacked luminescence or the bright colours that might be appealing to a younger audience. The Panel also concluded that the image was very old fashioned and traditional in style and was reminiscent of Victorian book illustrations and did not resemble any modern cartoons or characters.

The Panel discussed whether the image exhibited any visual clues or similarities to the archetypal pirate image that is commonly used in children stories and would therefore be recognisable by, and appealing to, children. The Panel considered that there were no obvious similarities between the image used on the product and the pirate images commonly depicted in children’s stories, such as an eye patch or wooden leg, and recognised that the image was of in fact of a 17th Century Sea Captain and not a pirate.

Considering the lack of resemblance between the Captain Morgan image and archetypal pirate commonly used in children’s stories, the old fashioned and adult style of illustration and muted colours used, the Panel concluded that it did not breach Code rule 3.2(h).

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heineken spectre Anti-alcohol campaigners, Alcohol Concern, complained to the drinks industry trade group in its self regulating role as drinks censor:

We would like to ask the Panel to consider whether the Heineken UK beer packaging and marketing using an image of the armed character of James Bond is in breach of Section 3.2(b) of the Code, which states that a drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way… suggest any association with bravado, or with violent, aggressive, dangerous or anti-social behaviour .

We note that in May 2012, the Panel ruled against a pump clip produced by the Ramsgate Brewery since it felt that the Kray Twins [shown on the clip] were intrinsically linked with violence and aggression and were also relevant and contemporary . We would maintain that this is equally true of James Bond, particularly given the high degree of violence in recent Bond films.

Given that James Bond is a character who is also well known for his sexual success and unusually heavy drinking, we suggest that this marketing campaign is also in breach of Sections 3.2(d) and 3.2(f) of the Code, which prohibit any association direct or indirect with sexual activity or sexual success or with irresponsible or immoderate consumption .

Portman Group Decision:

Under Code paragraph 3.2(b): NOT UPHELD

A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way suggest any association with bravado, or with violent, aggressive, dangerous or anti-social behaviour.

Under Code paragraph 3.2(d): NOT UPHELD

A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way suggest any association with sexual activity or sexual success.

Under Code paragraph 3.2(f): NOT UPHELD

A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way encourage illegal, irresponsible or immoderate consumption, such as drink-driving, binge-drinking or drunkenness.

The Panel recognised that James Bond is a brave, daring and sometimes violent fictional character. However, the Panel did not believe that the use of a stylised image of a known fictional character would lead the average consumer to draw similarities between themselves and the character depicted.

The Panel discussed the use of an image of a pistol, which they considered for some time. The Panel noted that despite the pistol, the image itself is not of a violent nature and does not allude to or focus on violent or aggressive behaviour. In this case the Panel considered that the pistol is displayed in a stylised pose and is not depicted as being used to shoot or to cause harm, nor is the pistol a prominent feature on the packaging. The Panel agreed that including an image of a gun on packaging carries a high risk of creating an association with violent behaviour; however, on balance, the Panel were satisfied that the stylised motif of James Bond in his trademark silhouette stance serves mainly to draw attention to the wider James Bond brand rather than violent behaviour. Accordingly, the Panel did not uphold the product under Code rule 3.2(b).

The Panel considered whether imagery used on the product suggested any association with sexual activity/success or with immoderate/ irresponsible consumption. The Panel could not find any reason why the use of the stylised image of James Bond or reference to the wider James Bond brand would lead consumers to believe that the product may suggest an association with sexual success/activity or would encourage consumers to consume the product immoderately or irresponsibly. For instance, there were no other images on the packaging (such as a woman) which could give rise to this association. Accordingly, the Panel did not uphold the product under Code rules 3.2(d) or (f).