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Foxtel’s Family Guy too hot for ‘PG’

A racy episode of this comedy should have been 'M' classified, says ACMA.

An episode of Family Guy screened by Foxtel has been found to have breach pay TV’s Code of Practice, says the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

ACMA found an episode which contained a scene in which the Grim Reaper has sex with a dead girl in the back seat of a car was incorrectly classified as PG. “Death is a bitch” should have warranted an M classification with its sexual references and depictions of violence.

For PG programs, ‘Violence should be mild and infrequent, and be justified by context … Sexual activity should be mild and discreetly implied, and be justified by context.’

ACMA determined that the program contained frequent violence and that a reference to necrophilia exceeded mild. Foxtel argued that the PG rating was justified because the episode was so unreal it could not be taken seriously, but this was dismissed.

Foxtel also breached the codes by not following the required complaint handling procedures in that it failed to advise the complainant that he could refer the matter to ACMA.

Following the breach findings, Foxtel must review the classification of all episodes of Family Guy.

9 Responses

  1. ACMA should be in charge of classifying all TV shows. It would make it a lot more simpler, and it wouldn’t vary as drastically as it does between networks.

    Also, Foxtel need to seriously edit their EPG. For at least a week it has shown Sunrise with a MA rating. This is a regular occurence for news services are smetimes shown on the EPG with a MA rating.

  2. The episode in question first aired in the US way back in 1999 and was aired (as a PG) by Channel 7 back in 2000 (At 8pm on a Friday). It’s been repeated numerous times by both Foxtel and Channel 7. And this is the first complaint and “breach”?

    Again the ACMA are completely useless.

  3. Initially, I thought they were referring to Channel Seven. :/ I didn’t know that anybody took Foxtel’s ratings seriously since a vast majority of their programming is classified incorrectly. A lot of their programmes are given a “default” classification, and it seems that very few programmes are classified on an episode-by-episode basis. Half the time, I bet they issue the classifications based on what they read in the synopsis alone. *rolls eyes*

    Take King of the Hill for instance. On Foxtel (hell, even on Seven), EVERY SINGLE EPISODE is classified PG even though, in my experience, a significant number of episodes should be rated G, with some deserving an M. Same applies to The Simpsons, where a large number of episodes (particularly the halloween specials) are rated M now, when they are in fact, perfectly PG or G friendly.

  4. thing which i find funny is, the PG rating is parental guidance under 15 years of age. Please a 14 year old wouldn’t get that? Or it’d be too explicit for them? If that was the case with anyone there age, then.. its not the programs fault.

    There’s a big gap in the ratings. There needs to be a pg 12 or something in between. its too broad an age group covered.

  5. I love that episode! I think most Family Guy episodes should be rated PG as their nothing too heavy, there are a few there though that would be M, or even MA, but to me, that episode seemed fine with a PG rating.

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