Wednesday, February 10, 2016

M-Net's devil show draws record number of complaints; M-Net says Lucifer is 'artistic' as DStv viewers threaten MultiChoice with cancelling their subscriptions.

M-Net's devil show has drawn a record number of complaints, with a whopping 89 complaints that's been received so far by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) over just one show.

Besides complaints received directly by M-Net and MultiChoice and elsewhere over the controversial new American drama series Lucifer, the barrage of specific complaints to the BCCSA over the devilish show is the most for one TV programme the BCCSA has received in several years.

After complaints started coming in after the first episode of Lucifer was shown at the end of January, M-Net immediately raised the age restriction to 16 and moved the show from Wednesdays at 19:00 to the graveyard timeslot of Fridays nights at 23:00 on the M-Net Edge (DStv 102) channel.

M-Net initially showed Lucifer in South Africa and in several African countries on M-Net Edge two hours earlier than the 21:00 timeslot its broadcast in on FOX in America.

Outraged DStv subscribers and M-Net viewers in a flood of complaints to the BCCSA are saying that Lucifer "promotes Satanism", gives a "false picture to our youth" and "glorifies Lucifer and sells lies to the public by making Lucifer look human and caring".

Many complainants to the BCCSA are threatening to cancel their DStv subscriptions if the broadcast of Lucifer isn't stopped and if the show is not removed from M-Net Edge.

M-Net told the BCCSA that Lucifer explores the possibilities of how the devil could be leaving his evil ways and do something positive in an artistic manner and that the devil is not being glorified.

"The programme, in a very artistic manner, explores the possibilities of Lucifer leaving his evil ways and doing something positive. The devil is not glorified at all. The narrative in the programme is purely drama and does not in anyway dispute the contents of the Bible," argued M-Net.

The Broadcasting Complaints Commission ruled that for M-Net to remove the show from the M-Net Edge channel on MultiChoice's DStv service would be too drastic.

According to the BCCSA, although Lucifer is full of "bloody drive-by shootings, heaps of sexual innuendo, gangster glorification and crude language" the programme isn't advocating hate speech.

Complainants have until the end of today to appeal the BCCSA ruling.