Guessing ‘package’ sizes lands DStv R10 000 fine

2012-04-24 11:39

DStv is in hot water again after the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) fined pay TV operator MultiChoice R10 000 for showing a man’s penis and full frontal male nudity with a PG13 age restriction.

Recently the BCCSA found MultiChoice guilty and in breach of incorrect age restriction classification after complaints regarding the National Geographic Channel which broadcast mafia themed programming during the day with unsuitable classification for the content.

Sony Max on DStv channel 126 broadcast a game show during which five young men stood almost naked on stage. Dressed in only small, tight-fitting Speedos of different colours, the viewer had to guess “who has the biggest package”.

While the camera zoomed in on each man’s Speedo, the show, Banzai, only carried a PG13 rating. After the various men had a chance to step forward and put their hands in their Speedos, the “winner” then dropped his Speedo and showed physical proof of his massive manhood.

“When the third man steps forward, he does not put his hand in his Speedo, but he pulls it down and exposes his very long penis in a close shot full in the face of the viewer,” said the BCCSA in the judgement.

Big impression
“The scene lasts only a few seconds, but the shot is close enough to make a lasting impression on the viewer. Thereafter the third man is declared the winner. One has to conclude that the remaining two men have shorter penises, so the viewer is spared further shots of genitals,” said the BCCSA.

“We fortunately have no children, but if we had, what use would PG13 have been?” a complainant wrote to the BCCSA. “I feel it’s extremely inappropriate to show scenes like these where most people have access to it.”

“MultiChoice concedes that classification of PG13 was not suitable for the episode in question and it was due to an error on the on the side of the channel provider,” MultiChoice told the BCCSA.

“MultiChoice apologised to the complainant for the inconvenience caused.”

BBCSA is concerned
In its judgement, the BCCSA found that for South African television, according to the broadcasting code, “the close shot of a full frontal ‘in your face’ penis was offensive to viewers, even the broad-minded, balanced and not oversensitive ones”.

MultiChoice had the option to present a written response for mitigation before the BCCSA levelled a fine but the pay TV operator chose not to.

The BCCSA said it is concerned with the “recurrence of contraventions in this regard” by MultiChoice. The BCCSA fined MultiChoice R10 000 for the contravention which DStv has to pay by May 15.

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