Archive for the ‘TV Censorship’ Category

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common sense media 0217x0089 logo Sky TV has decided to partner with the US media rating service, Common Sense Media to introduce a detailed rating system that will help parents make smarter choices about what their children watch on Sky. The new service will launch in the UK in 2019.Since its founding in 2003, Common Sense has built the largest library of independent age-based reviews for everything kids watch, play, read and learn. The service, which will be available on Sky Q, will include in-depth information on the prevalence of specific types of content. This includes the educational value of the show, positive messages, use of positive role models, bad language, violence, sex and drink and drugs. Each is rated on a scale of one to five depending on how applicable it is to each show.

Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive, Sky, said:

As a parent I know how reassuring it is that the Sky platform offers a safe, highly-regulated, family-friendly environment 203 but we know we can always do more.? Our partnership with Common Sense will help give parents greater peace of mind, helping them make smarter viewing choices for their children.

Later this year Sky Kids Safe Mode will launch on Sky Q, helping parents hand pick and ring-fence the content they want their children to watch and password protect any content they feel is unsuitable.

Sky also offers Sky Kids app which re-launched earlier this year with improved safety controls, and the network level internet blocking system, Sky Broadband Shield.

The announcement does not mention how this will effect Sky’s relationship with the BBFC, presumably this is a bit of a snub to cinema and video ratings provided by the BBFC.

As an example of Common Sense Media I compared their comments on the Marvel superhero Venom with the more detailed BBFC advice:

common sense media 0217x0089 logo MPAA Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for language.What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Venom is a sci-fi action movie based on an antihero/villain from the Marvel universe. Photo journalist Eddie Brock’s (Tom Hardy) life is disrupted for good when he becomes host to an alien parasite. The alien symbiote is able to take over Brock’s body, giving him superpowers but also a dark alter ego called Venom. As his worried girlfriend, Anne (Michelle Williams), watches, Brock struggles with whether to escape the destructive being taking over his body or to give in to its dangerous power. This movie looks darker than most of the Marvel films; expect intense, graphic violence, strong language, and lots of scares.

 

BBFC logo Rated 15 for strong threat, horror, violenceVENOM is a US sci-fi action fantasy in which alien organisms are brought back to Earth.

Threat

There are a number of sequences in which people are threatened and attacked by the alien organisms, or by people into whose bodies the aliens have entered.

Horror sequences include the alien organisms entering people’s bodies, causing their limbs to distort and their bones to crack. There is sight of injury detail, including protruding bones

Violence

Stronger moments of violence include people being impaled by the alien organisms, sometimes with bloody detail, and people being eaten by the aliens. There is also moderate action violence throughout, including heavy punches, kicks and other blows as well as use of tasers.

There is also infrequent strong language (‘f**k’), alongside milder bad language (eg pussy, shit’). There are sequences in which live animals appear to be eaten but no animals were harmed in the making of the film.

 

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Eurotrash: Unzipped DVD Eurotrash was a fun loving Channel 4 magazine programme that presented sexy and funny stories from around Europe. It gained a cult following when it first aired in the 1990s. The show, which was presented by actor Antoine de Caunes  and fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, became a hit with ratings of between two and three million at its height

jack strawBut New Labour arch censorship villain Jack Straw was apparently not amused. Seemingly he was ‘appalled’ when he walked in on his son watching the show that he secretly lobbied for it to be axed from the airwaves.

Straw is said to have doggedly pushed Channel 4’s then head of nations and regions, Stuart Cosgrove, to get the show removed from the schedule.

Cosgrove, speaking on BBC Radio Scotland about politicians trying to influence the media, said:

 I had a situation with a particular politician who was Jack Straw, the former Labour Minister, when I was at Channel 4.

He was adamant that he wanted Eurotrash to be taken out of the Channel Four schedule because he had gone home and found his young teenage son laughing at a sketch about Lady Godiva, it was that kind of bizarre, but he was fairly dogged about it.

Of course we kind of brushed it off or whatever.

But there is no question that there are politicians that assume they have got the power to kind of influence and push and test at the edges or whatever. And that goes on daily.

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jekyll hyde itv advert About 200 people have complained to the TV censor Ofcom about ITV’s new series Jekyll And Hyde, claiming that it is too scary to be shown before the watershed.The show, featuring scenes involving murder and violence, aired on Sunday at 6.30pm. Based on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel, it follows the story of Jekyll’s grandson, Dr Robert Jekyll, who lives with a monster, Hyde, suppressed within him. But in 1930s London, he is not the only monster around.

An Ofcom spokesman said:

Ofcom has received 212 [complaints] about Jekyll and Hyde, which aired on ITV on Sunday. We will assess these complaints before deciding whether to investigate or not.

The first episode featured a half-human half-dog creature called a Harbinger, the physical transformation of saintly Jekyll into evil Hyde, and the brutal murder of Robert’s foster parents in Ceylon. It also showed a violent bar-fight and a punch-up in an alleyway.

An ITV spokesman said:

ITV issued a warning before the transmission of Jekyll and Hyde advising parents that it included some violence and scenes that younger children may find scary.

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Theresa May Theresa May’s plan to introduce counter-extremism powers to vet British broadcasters’ programmes before transmissionwas attacked by a Conservative cabinet colleague, a leaked letter has revealed. Presumably May’s censorship proposalis targeted at muslim TV channels broadcast in the UK or perhaps wider religion based channels but it is too politically incorrect to mention the target of these proposals.Sajid Javid described the Home Secretary’s proposal to give Ofcom extra powers to censor extremist content as a threat to freedom of speech and reducing Ofcom to the role of a censor.

Javid pointed out that other countries which have imposed similar powers are not known for their compliance with rights related to freedom of expression and the Government may not wish to be associated with such regimes .

He sent the letter on March 12 when he was Culture, Media and Sport Secretary to inform the Prime Minister that he could not support May’s counter extremism strategy and sent a copy to the Home Secretary. In the letter published by the Guardian, Javid wrote:

Extending Ofcom’s powers to enable it to take pre-emptive action would move it from its current position as a post-transmission regulator into the role of a censor.

This would involve a fundamental shift in the way UK broadcasting is regulated, away from the current framework which is designed to take appropriate account of the right to freedom of expression.

Whilst it is absolutely vital that Government works in partnership with individuals and organisations to do all it can to ensure that society is protected from extremism, it must also continue to protect the right to freedom of expression and ensure that these proposals do not restrict or prevent legitimate and lawful comment or debate.

Cameron last week outlined plans to fast-track powers to tackle radicalisation, including a commitment to give Ofcom a strengthened role in taking action against channels which broadcast extremist content, alongside banning and disruption orders for people who seek to radicalise others or use hate speech in public. It is not clear whether the Government has revisited May’s plans since taking office, or whether they could be included in next week’s Queen’s Speech.

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BBC Trust George Osborne has signalled that he favours the handover of BBC regulation from the BBC Trust to the current media censor Ofcom. Speaking to the Radio Times, Osborne said:

The trust arrangement has never really worked. I’ve never understood why the BBC is so frightened of regulation by Ofcom. It’s not as if ITV is poorly regulated. Ofcom has proved itself to be a robust regulator.

The BBC Trust was established in 2007, taking on the responsibilities formerly exercised by the board of governors for setting a strategic direction for the BBC and exercising oversight of its work in the supposed interests of licence-fee payers.

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See article from guardian.co.uk
See letter from guardian.co.uk

maria millerThe BBC has dismissed a call by the culture secretary to take further action over Wimbledon commentator John Inverdale’s sexist comments, with the corporation saying it considers the matter closed .

Director general Tony Hall has fired off a response to Maria Miller , who said in a letter published on Thursday that Inverdale’s remarks about Marion Bartoli undermined her efforts to promote women in sport, admitting that the incident was totally unacceptable and fell well beneath the standards we expect of our presenters .

Despite Inverdale issuing an on-air apology and sending a letter to Bartoli, Miller called for an explanation about further action to be taken by the BBC.

The BBC considers the incident, which attracted more than 700 complaints , to have been dealt with — a spokesman said The BBC considers this matter closed now.

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See article from express.co.uk

bbc iplayer logoAmid a moral panic about internet censorship, Culture Secretary Maria Miller will ask BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten to review safeguards on iPlayer programmes.

Senior sources say the Culture Secretary is concerned about British shows aping a trend in US drama for extreme on-screen violence, as in Sky shows such as The Following and Hannibal. Apparently some campaigners want the dramas to be edited to be suitable for children for iPlayer versions.

A BBC Trust spokeswoman said no changes were planned for controls on the iPlayer as the Trust felt current safeguards were adequate. Asked about the current iPlayer protections for children, Lord Patten said: It’s quite difficult to do it any other way.

An IT consultant suggested: The BBC could simply mimic the system on Apple devices called iCloud which would allow parents to see what is being seen by their children, in real time.

Vivienne Pattison, director of pressure group MediaWatch-UK, admitted to alarming mental problems, seeing things in programmes that nobody else does:

It seems like there is violence against women in every programme now, with lingering shots of someone having something done to her.

I don’t think any of us can dispute the quality of the filming, writing and acting in both Ripper Street and The Fall but it does seem gratuitous and gruesome violence has become mainstream.

I have been talking about the BBC having tougher safeguards for its iPlayer programmes for years but always get the same response: that it has to be something that seriously harms the mental or physical health of a child and nothing on the iPlayer will do this. Actually with some of those dramas we are getting to the stage where if a young child watches it, yes it could do.