Big Brother 2012: Ofcom investigating three BB ‘incidents’ after complaints – but do we really want censorship?!
It’s been reported by the Daily Star today that TV watchdog Ofcom has received a total of 1,108 complaints from Big Brother viewers about incidents that have taken place in this year’s show…
There are three issues that viewers have complained about, including of course Conor’s rant about Deana in which he – and these are the paper’s words, not mine – “threatened to ‘punch’ Deana Uppal and sexually assault her with her epilator.”
So Ofcom is now investigating the series to establish if it has breached its “harm and offence” rules which state that “broadcasters must ensure that any material they air that may cause offence to viewers is justified by the context…”
In response to the news of Ofcom’s investigation, a show spokesman said, “Channel 5 is committed to complying with Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code and will help to facilitate a speedy investigation into this.”
Now, as regular readers of Unreality may know, I’ve previously defended Conor over what he said – and I stand by my support of him over that incident – because I truly don’t believe he meant what he said any more maliciously than if anyone said, “I told him/her to shove the job up their ar*e.”
Granted, his words were ill advised and unnecessarily over the top and angry, and clearly, Conor has some issues with anger, but I still believe that whole thing was entirely blown out of proportion, and as I said above, I don’t think it’s any worse or better than anyone who’s ever said words to the “stick it where the sun don’t shine” effect.
Of Caroline’s words about Adam, I frankly don’t know if she’s racist or not, and don’t care. I don’t like Caroline at all and am completely uninterested in her opinions or anything she says, but to be fair to her, she did apologise to Adam, which she didn’t need to do as he wasn’t even aware of what she’d said.
As to Victor’s use of the word “retards” how on earth is that offensive? Is it worse than “plonkers” or “pillocks” or any other such adjective?
My point in all this however – and sorry it’s dragging on a tad – is that while it seems many people are just sitting by their phones with trigger finger, seemingly breathlessly awaiting some hint of non Politically Correct language to report, what these complainers are failing to see is that they’re actively encouraging censorship…
And, ironically, that really is Big Brother.
By whining about such footage – which, to a point, does any broadcaster a favour because it’s true that any publicity is better than no publicity – if found ‘guilty’ of breaches, then C5 may have to be a lot more careful about what we, the viewers, get to see and hear.
And that’s censorship.
Throughout history, people have actually died in the fight against censorship and for freedom of speech, and just because some people may not like what some other people say, does that mean they’re not entitled to say it? And does it mean the rest of us aren’t allowed to hear it either?
In the seventies, Mary Whitehouse was the self-appointed guardian of the nation’s morals, and her raison d’être was to ensure that anything that might offend the public’s sensibilities, or, more particularly, corrupt viewers in some way, never made it to air.
Now, I can of course only speak for myself, but I don’t want or need any ‘body’ telling me what I can and can’t watch. And if I don’t like something I see, I have an off button on my TV, and I can and do use it.
But what’s worse is – and on the subject particularly of Conor’s words about Deana – I suspect those who’ve complained to Ofcom about the incident aren’t actually complaining that was shown; they’re upset it was said at all…
And in that regard, they’re totally missing the point of what Ofcom do, because they aren’t going to go and give Conor a boll**king; they’ll just make C5 censor their footage more closely.
Now imagine had they already ruled on something similar before, and therefore C5 hadn’t aired Conor’s rant about Deana for fear of breaching a ruling; you’d have no idea he’d ever said it, and the dynamics of the show right now would be completely altered because some viewers would have no reason to dislike Conor at all, having not been allowed to hear what he said about Deana.
Those who have complained are a tiny percentage of the total of the show’s viewers, but by complaining, and if Ofcom issue a ruling that states C5 did breach a ‘rule’, the far bigger percentage of the show’s fans who didn’t run whining to a ‘body’ must therefore be subjected to a future sanitisation of footage.
Ultimately, Big Brother is a reality TV show, hence it shows the reality of what the housemates do and say, so if viewers don’t like reality, they shouldn’t be watching reality shows.
If they want sanitised versions of ‘reality’ then they should only watch soaps.
Ok so rant over, now I’d like your feedback please on any of the above…
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