Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Why is E! Entertainment on DStv showing pornography with an age restriction of just 13? Naked breasts 'deemed appropriate' says E!

Why is E! Entertainment (DStv 124) on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform showing pornography? A channel which isn't supposed to, and with only an age restriction of 13 for the programme, and with no prior warning to viewers that it contains nudity?

The E! Entertainment series Secret Societies of Hollywood contains visuals of bare breasted women, uncensored, with the DStv electronic programme guide (EPG) only indicating an age restriction of 13 for the episodes, wholly inadequate, and with no parental advisory.

It means that DStv subscribers could watch E! Entertainment or record the programme on a PVR and be shown inappropriate titellating content by MultiChoice on a channel that isn't supposed to do so, that they didn't want to see.

E! Entertainment ironically showing bare breasted women in seductive poses - unblurred and uncensored - is ironically done on the same channel which incessantly blur and censor its other content.

E! often - both visually, as well as the audio - blur, block and bleep content during its news show E! News which is reporting on news of television, style, celebrities and the products and other media platforms that news occur in.

TV with Thinus asked Universal Networks International (UNI) in London from where the E! Entertainment channel is supplied to MultiChoice's DStv in South Africa and Africa why E! is showing uncensored nudity - specifically female breasts, in more than one episode, in more than one scene in the series Secret Societies.

I asked E! why this the nudity is not censored, specifically in relation to E! censoring other content which do not contain any offensive material or references and why E! is not censoring breasts, but censoring and blurring other material.

Why does the E! programme not contain any warning, and why does E! deem a show with exposed female breasts to only have an age restriction of 13 when that is a violation of the Broadcasting Code of Conduct?

A spokesperson for Universal Networks International in London says in a response that E! Entertainment deems the naked breasts "appropriate" for broadcast on E! Entertainment on DStv, is silent on the issue regarding a 13 age restriction for it, and neither address the lack and absence of any parental warning or advisory before the start of episodes.

Although nudity in appears in more than one episode of the series, UNI responds as if it only appears in one episode.

Universal Networks International does say that they "take compliance of our channels very seriously and wish firstly to acknowledge the concern you have raised regarding nudity in certain episodes of this series".

"We have reviewed the series in order to identify the specific clip that you sent to us and checked the compliance notes and scheduling of the episode in question. This series generally exposes the harsher reality of life in Hollywood, focusing on the 'unvarnished' side to the glitz and glamour associated with the entertainment capital".

"The episode in question – “Deals and Dealers” – contains a segment centred on escorts, prostitutes and porn stars from which the clip you sent us is taken".

"The episode was duly complied by our compliance team and appropriately identified as an episode available for broadcast after 22:00. This is in line with broadcast compliance obligations applicable to the channel and deemed appropriate for a pay-TV channel at a time when children are not expected to be watching".

"The episode last aired on the channel on 27 July at 24:00 which is in line with our compliance procedure for this content".

Regarding the blurring and censoring of other E! Entertainment content, UNI says "as you mentioned, we do from time to time blur images and/or bleep sound on the channel".

"E! Entertainment , as broadcast in South Africa, is currently distributed on a pan-regional basis. This means we sometimes need to make compliance decisions based on regulatory obligations in other countries where the channel is also received".

"Whilst we do our best to minimise edits that appear as inconsistencies, we do acknowledge that there are occasions where this is unfortunately unavoidable given the number of countries receiving the channel," says the E! spokesperson.