Ofcom have decided to join the ever growing army of organisations and individuals that believe you are too stupid to think for yourself. That you’re incapable of making rational decisions. That you’ll subject yourself to endless misery rather than summon the intellect required to decide to take decisive action such as, oh I don’t know, change the channel.
I’ve experienced of the ‘thought police’ that goes way back. In my youth I railed against the overly aggressive BBFC, the organisation that classifies movies into age ratings, and decides if and where cuts are needed. Back in the boom period of ‘video rentals’, the BBFC took it upon themselves to decide that the British public were unable to watch a horror film without going out and committing some sort of atrocity so either cut them extensively or banned them outright. At the peak of the whole ‘snuff films are real’ hysteria (yes, people actually marched outside cinemas), the BBFC rather famously claimed an actor had been deliberately killed making an Italian horror film about cannibals. Yet like Lazarus, he appeared in another Italian horror film shot a couple of years later. Even when this fact was pointed out, they continued their provably false narrative in order to censor or ban the films they didn’t want people to see. (Note: on ANM-Radio I’ll be talking about this fascinating period, and how it links to today)
The internet and global access to films killed off the power of the BBFC (many people do not realise that in the early days of video, the UK was one of the most censored countries in the world), but the moral guardians still hold power over Television.
And rather predictably, those in power are politically correct and dislike views that they don’t agree with.
They seem to assume that if you sit watching TV and something pops up that you dislike, rather than switch channel, you are going to sit there and watch it repeatedly again and again until you just can’t take it anymore.
Running small media outlets is hard. Be it radio or television, it is hard just to operate, never mind make a profit. The BBC used over £50m of tax payers’ money to promote local television, but of the 23 local stations up and down the country, not one is turning a profit, and most are on the brink of collapse. The BBC didn’t think it through, nor manage the situation, they merely wasted public money with no plan or due process. To add insult to that injury, it is now raising the price of the licence fee again next year. You pay for their failure and ineptitude.
Talking Pictures TV is a family business set up 3 years ago, and they major on nostalgic TV shows, predominantly from the 1970’s. The viewing demographic is obviously the older viewer, that enjoyed these shows first time around, and the channel attracts circa 2m views a week. Quite a success story in the highly competitive TV world.
One of the more popular shows is set in World War 2, originally broadcast in the early 1970’s, called “A Family At War”. During the series, a character that is portrayed as unsavoury uses the word ‘wog’, and this received a single complaint. The fact that it was used more than once troubled Ofcom the most, that people would be repeatedly subjected to the term. Common sense would suggest that if you didn’t like the language commonly used in WW2, and in a show broadcast in the seventies, that you might just change the channel. But Ofcom assumes you are incapable of this, and so the executives of ‘Talking Pictures TV’ have been summoned to Ofcom for a scolding and have been advised that they are in breach of the broadcasting code.
Talking Pictures TV argue that their viewers know what to expect in the show, and it disagrees with rewriting history and cutting out certain words, but many argue that the bigger point here, is why a single complaint prompted this punitive approach among a viewership of 2 million? Ofcom operates in extremely grey and subjective areas, it claims that ‘racially motivated terms’ are more offensive than anything else, and so receive stricter measures. They claim to have conducted polls that indicate that this is the view of the British people. Those of, for example, a religious persuasion may disagree, and when we hear some of the terminology allowed in other shows it is confusing to understand why ‘Talking Pictures TV’ has been singled out. Ofcom, when pressed, argued that films such as ‘Django Unchained’ go out after the watershed of 9pm, but in this age of ‘on demand’ that debating point doesn’t hold up too well.
AltNewsMedia will be reaching out to Talking Pictures TV and following this story as it progresses. The elites and self appointed moral guardians that force their world view onto the public must be challenged if they are making decisions that affect us all. I suspect the overwhelming majority of viewers of ‘Talking Pictures TV’ are sensible and intelligent adults who believe the Ofcom ruling is nonsense, but in 21st Century Britain, it appears a lone complaining voice can carry more power when that voice is deemed politically correct.