EXCLUSIVE: Foxtel has edited its opening episode of Common Sense on its catch-up service following comments surrounding charges levelled at Cardinal George Pell.
The Gogglebox spin-off, which debuted on Foxtel on July 5 and on TEN on July 6, heard cast members openly discussing the allegations. It aired several days after Pell was charged over sexual assault offences by Victoria Police.
But in the episode available at On Demand the segment has since been removed in its entirety, replaced with another item about a citizen’s arrest in a Perth robbery.
Last month Prosecutor Andrew Tinney SC told the court, “Any publication of material speculating about the strength or otherwise of the case, the prospect of a fair trial or trials being had, whether the accused should or should not have been charged, the likelihood of conviction or acquittal, or any other such matters would be in contempt of court.
“The Director of Public Prosecution has already had cause to write to a number of media organisations in respect of articles which appeared to be in breach of the principles.”
Producer David McDonald recently told TV Tonight, “We have to hit the stories that everyone’s talking about, and has made a big splash during the week.”
The premiere episode of Common Sense was presumably passed by three media organisations, Foxtel, Network TEN and producers Endemol Shine Australia prior to being re-edited. Whilst it also aired on TEN, only Foxtel offers the episodes in full on its On Demand service.
Cardinal Pell has vowed to fight all charges and lawyers said he intends to plead not guilty.
“News of these charges strengthens my resolve, and court proceedings now offer me an opportunity, to clear my name and then return to my work in Rome,” he said in June.
“I am looking forward finally to having my day in court.”
A committal mention date has been set for October 6th.
Foxtel declined to comment.