BCCSA ruling could complicate content rating system
The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa’s (BCCSA) recent ruling, that recommends strong language with a sexual inference be rated with an S alongside the traditional L rating, would complicate South Africa’s television content rating system if implemented.
The BCCSA responded to a complaint by a viewer to Dave Attell: Captain Miserable – a one-man stand-up comedy show which formed part of an HBO Comedy festival broadcast on M-Net on 6 July 2010. The complaint centred upon an apparent description of sexual abuse of children by the comedian.
The commission found that M-Net “took the necessary precautionary steps” to ensure that its audience realised the content of the show would not be suitable for all audiences, firstly by slapping a content ranking on it of 18L (meaning the moral guardians review board believes that anybody under 18 are prohibited from watching this programme as it contains extreme language), and by broadcasting it after 10 at night, which the BCCSA considers a post-watershed hour.
The BCCSA also acknowledged that the Broadcasting Code and the Subscription Broadcasting Code exempted drama (including satire and sarcasm), art, documentaries and scientific material from the proscription of child pornography.
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