After issuing two children-related advisories on December 24, 2012, the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC), the self-regulatory body for non-news general entertainment channels, has released another advisory for the benefit of member channels of Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) and television viewers. The advisory, approved at BCCC’s 20th meeting held in New Delhi on December 14, pertains to the telecast of comedy shows.
Commenting on the need for issuing the new advisory, BCCC Chairperson Justice (Retd) AP Shah stated, “Comedy is an intrinsic part of our life and it is only natural that TV channels produce and telecast programmes that are humorous and light-hearted. The BCCC, however, feels that the line that divides healthy comedy from vulgarity, obscenity and double-meaning language must be strictly adhered to.”
The BCCC has received many complaints against double-meaning dialogues used in ‘comedy shows’ telecast on various general entertainment channels. The BCCC expresses its concern over this trend, which often ranges on crass, abusive, vulgar and double-meaning language with sexual overtones in the name of humour. Hence, the Council has advised all member channels of IBF to exercise discretion to make television viewing more pleasurable and not let such ‘comedy shows’ become platforms for making lewd remarks.
“This is necessary to ensure that the social message sent across through various comedy shows to millions of viewers does not overstep this all-important threshold. We are confident that the channels which telecast comedy shows will keep this in mind,” added Shah.
The BCCC also feels the comedy shows should be appropriately scheduled to have minimal impact on diverse Indian viewers. The BCCC has also advised the IBF member channels to use friendly banters without being derisive to any community, religion and individual.
The earlier six advisories issued by the BCCC relate to ‘Sexualisation of Children’ in TV shows (December 24, 2012), ‘Health & safety of children’ participating in TV shows (December 24, 2012), ‘Depiction of Animals/ Wildlife’ in TV programmes (July 19, 2012), ‘Telecast of award functions’ (July 19, 2012), ‘Participation of children’ in TV reality shows (July 19, 2012) and ‘Portrayal of women’ in TV programmes (January 24, 2012).
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