Rude TV in firing line again

californicationThe Christian lobby is apparently in the warpath against television it claims has ramped up sex and violence content.

The Australian Christian Lobby has launched the “Tame the Tube” campaign to combat what it says are industry attempts to weaken TV standards (Mary Whitehouse’s “Clean Up TV” campaign anyone?).

“Sex, violence and foul language are normal fare these days as TV networks push the boundaries,” ACL managing director Jim Wallace told the Daily Telegraph.

The group has also called for tighter restrictions on the promotion of M, MA and AV programs at times when children watch TV.

It claimed Underbelly should not be able to be advertised in earlier time slots.

Old targets Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and Californication were also in the firing line.

Yet the latter two shows have barely been on air in 2009, with Californication only in late night repeats. Underbelly is the second most popular show on television this year, behind MasterChef Australia. Are so many other viewers so out of step with community standards?

The Herald Sun notes Family Voice Australia also wants change.

Free TV no longer publishes statistics on the most complained programs, choosing instead to cut the numbers by genre. CEO Julie Flynn said its yet-to-be-published 2008-09 annual report would show complaints had fallen to 807.

Nine gave an unusual undertaking to ACMA that it would not breach the Code of Practice for Underbelly this year, pledging sponsorship monies as penalties if it was found to have been breached. So far no breaches have yet been identified by ACMA.

ACL needs to address its issues to Senator Conroy or the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice review, rather than targeting specific shows and networks. Of course that doesn’t read as well in the press as dropping TV titles. ACMA oversees our classifications and their definitions. The review will not effect change to ABC, SBS or Pay Television.

For such a vocal lobby on television standards it is also disappointing the ACL doesn’t address concerns other than classifications in mostly fictional programmes. Issues including the declining standards of current affairs programmes and duty of care in reality television are overlooked. Even a healthy debate about religious programming would be worthwhile (please ensure Peter Popoff never returns?).

In the Audience Inventory conducted by TV Tonight last month, viewers were more concerned about Banning Late Night Adult ads than they were Overhauling Classifications. Of the 800+ readers surveyed, only 11% voted it as a Very Important issue. 17 other Free to Air issues rated higher.

So what’s the real issue here? A few rude bits in an MA timeslot seen by consenting adults? Or that ACMA’s guidelines no longer apparently meet community standards?

All together now: “Won’t somebody think of the children?”

Source: Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun


  1. Who cares what those radical crazies say. Strap them into a chair like Alex DeLarge and give them an Oz marathon.

    Religious groups should have no say in this matter.

  2. Speaking of Cailiforniacation, copies of the first 2 eps of S3 are out, if you know what I mean and Dexter is back soon, so don’t tell the ACL.

    ITA us the built-in child lock on digital channels to keep the kiddies safe, another reason to upgrade your TV.

  3. I’m offended by Christianity – can we turf their evangelism to a much later timeslot coz I don’t want it on my TV at 1am when I’m chilling out.

    Thanks! 🙂

  4. I sick of these lazy parents wanting TV networks to raise their disgusting children.

    When your sweet christian daughter gets knocked up in her early teens, it won’t be because of a sex scene on Californication, it’ll be because you have her enrolled in some backwards school that teaches abstinence only sex education.

  5. The shear selfishness of these people is far more offensive than anything I’ve ever seen on television. I may disagree with virtually everything they stand for, but at least I don’t go out of my way to have my views forced down their throats. I don’t lurk in the back of their churches, waiting for the preacher to say something racist or homophobic, and then run off to the government attempting to have the place shut down and the Bible banned. So why can’t these people pay me the same kind of respect?

    Television operates as a democratic medium. If there’s something you find offensive on television, it’s only there because other people want to watch it. And if your views really are so out of step with the rest of the community that you can’t sleep at night in the same room as a television, you can always throw the damn thing out.

  6. I am against what Christianity stands for (promoting hate against non-believers, homosexuals and don’t get me started on child abuse), can we please get the early morning Christian programs taken off air too then?? I think they do more damage to society than Californication. Hmmm entertaining tv shows, or extremist christian programs, what to watch??

  7. Cailiforniacation is actually a substantual program. i do have a problem with ads for Russian babes on phones but content such as Californiaction is quite good and certainly deals with all the drugs and sex with consequences. I havent seen Underbelly.

    Surely bad journalism. propaganda, hysterical and missleading info on current afairs programs is a bigger problem that the lobby should get involved with, unfortunately they never will because they are often tangentally involved in it.

  8. @ Bass – you are completely deluded if you think these minority groups are only tied to the labor party. I think you will find most of these lobby groups are tied to the right not the left.

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