'Keep film award shows with adult humour off prime time'

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on July 20, 2012

Adult humour may have become an integral part of film award shows, but TV channels looking to rake some moolah out of such events will have to be cautious.

The Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) has asked television channels not to telecast shows that have adult humour and double entendre at prime time (before 11 pm). It has also asked television channels to strictly comply with the guidelines set by the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) when children star in shows.

The council has also asked general entertainment channels not to produce or air content that harms animals or depicts animals being harmed.

BCCC is an independent self-regulatory body for non-news channels set up by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), the apex organisation of Indian broadcasters. The body set up in June 2011 in consultation with the Ministry for Information & Broadcasting, has 53 members including Star, Sony and Zee. The diktat of the body is applicable to the members.

In the advisories, Justice (Retd.) A.P. Shah, Chairperson of BCCC, said the council had received several complaints that some of the film award functions and shows feature the anchors coming up with “vulgar dialogues, double-entendre and smutty puns”.

“It is not the BCCC’s intention to censor these shows, which are, after all, live events. But we believe that if the content is to include adult humor then the telecast of these shows should only begin after 11pm. Nor, should any repeats be broadcast before 11pm,” the advisory stated.

It also said channels should guard against the inclusion of adult content during prime time and to refrain from airing any content that is demeaning to women and other communities.

In its meeting, the council has also discussed the issue of participation of children in television reality shows and other programmes.

Talking about the complaints received on depiction of animals in shows, the council said, “What is also disturbing is that some channels rope in popular movie stars in serials in which animals are depicted and project their being stalked, teased, tails being pulled at, food being pulled away, etc, i.e. the veritable torture of animals as an ‘act of bravery’.”

Published on July 20, 2012

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