Monday, 17 September 2012

Ofcom failing in its duty to protect children

Viewers of The X Factor, broadcast at 8pm on Saturday 8th September, were confronted with what was effectively a lap dance, during which a contestant straddled one of the judges dressed in just a bikini and a fishnet body stocking.

In our society stripping and other forms of sexual dancing are confined to the adult domain and children are not allowed to enter such establishments.  It is totally unacceptable to have similar material show on pre-watershed television, particularly in a programme which is promoted as family viewing.

Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident.  In the region of 3,000 people complained to Ofcom about semi-clothed dancers performing highly sexualised routines on the same programme back on 2010 and earlier this year Britain’s Got Talent featured a burlesque stripper.

In both cases Ofcom found neither broadcast breached their code which requires that children must be protected from material that is unsuitable for them.

Following this latest broadcast we have written to Ofcom in the strongest terms pointing out that their failure to regulate adequately in the past had led to what they describe as being ‘at the very margin of acceptability’ to become mainstream.

Parents surveyed at the time of the Bailey Review into the Sexualistion of Childhood felt that their children were being forced to grow up too quickly, with nearly half of them unhappy with pre-watershed TV.  Is it any wonder they feel let down when Ofcom is failing to protect their interests so spectacularly?

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