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News Article

ACMA’s nasty Christmas present for Aussie families
Friday, December 18, 2009

ACMA’s nasty Christmas present for Aussie families

Explicit pornography will be allowed on commercial television from 1 January, under the new Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice approved today by ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority).  Sex scenes in MA programs will no longer be required to be “discreetly” portrayed.  Instead they will merely be required to follow the storyline (whatever that is) and not be “high” in impact (whatever “high” means).

See:  http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_311991

“ACMA has given a nasty Christmas present to Australian families,” said Ros Phillips, FamilyVoice Australia research officer.  “Free-to-air television enters almost every Australian home.  It’s not like cable TV, which you specifically order and pay for.  Pornography has no place on free TV, and many Aussie parents sent submissions to this effect back in September.

“Those submissions have been ignored,” Mrs Phillips said.  “The new TV Code no longer contains the word ‘discreetly’ in relation to sex scenes in MA programs.  The new guideline is so vague that it is meaningless.  Any screen writer can devise a ‘story line’ to justify any scene.  The word ‘high’ in relation to ‘impact’ is only a relative term.  As they say, ‘How high (or long) is a piece of string?’”

Ros Phillips said that in the past ACMA has upheld complaints by FamilyVoice Australia about indiscreet sex scenes on TV in programs such as Ten’s sleazy Californication.  “Under the new MA guidelines such complaints would no longer succeed.  We are facing ‘open slather’ for TV porn which can be shown as early as 9 pm in the evening when many children are still watching,” she said.

“We have an enormous problem with sexualisation of children in this country – and if the new TV Code is any indication, that problem is only going to get worse,” she said.

There was one bright spot in the new Code – complaints may now be sent electronically via a form on the Free TV website.  “We congratulate ACMA on this change, which will make life simpler for concerned viewers,” Ros Phillips said.  “But with the Code rewrite, complaints about program porn are more likely to fail.

“ACMA has put on its Santa hat – but it has turned blue.  Children are the losers!”

FamilyVoice Australia News Release


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