Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, Senator….

SA politician complains about a 'sexualised' Josh Thomas comedy on ABC Kids - but fails to realise it was rated M on ABC TV Plus.

Josh Thomas’ US comedy Everything is Gonna Be Okay was drawn into a Senate Estimates hearing yesterday when SA Liberal Senator Alex Antic asked ABC Managing Director David Anderson why a “sexually explicit” program was screening on ABC Kids.

“I’m interested in a program called Everything’s Gonna Be Okay. It aired on ABC Kids recently and on the ABC’s website, the program’s genre is listed as LGBTQIA+, and it contains sexual themes.

“In fact, one example of the episodes description reads ‘Matilda and Genevieve find themselves confronting sexuality in school in very different ways. Why is it that the ABC thinks sexualised content and adult themes are appropriate for the ABC Kids platform?”

But Senator Antic, who previously objected to Courtney Act’s appearance in a Play School Storytime segment, failed to recognise the Josh Thomas comedy screened in a late night slot on ABC TV Plus.

It was Rated M, suitable for ages 15 years and over with adult themes and sexual references.

ABC boss David Anderson told Senator Antic he was not familiar with the show, which is an acquired US title.

“Senator, I know that certainly for all of our programs we tackle issues in our community, that includes the LGBTQIA+ community,” he said. “I don’t know the program that you’re talking about. So I can’t give comment on whether any of that information is sexualised or not. Other than I will get back to you on notice, Senator. I don’t know the program.”

ABC Kids channel shares bandwith with ABC TV Plus, switching to adult programming after 7:30pm, a point which may have escaped the Senator.

Everything’s Gonna Be Okay was repeated in January in an 11pm slot.

Thomas plays Nicholas, guardian to two teenage half-sisters, Genevieve and Matilda. The series, which also explores autism, was nominated by GLAAD Media Awards, Screen Music Awards and Hollywood Critics Association Television Awards.

Pressed on whether children should be exposed to sexualised content David Anderson replied, “We’ve done stories where we’re talking about same sex parents, yes… to reflect some of the issues that exist within the community. But I’d say no to sexually explicit content. No, of course we shouldn’t be doing it.”

ABC TV Plus screens all kinds of adult content in the evenings, this week including Killing Eve, Fleabag, Banana, Cucumber, Veneno, and even Louis Theroux: A Place For Paedophiles.

None of it is on ABC Kids, Senator. Everything’s gonna be okay….

10 Responses

  1. It really says a lot, that a federal senator’s biggest accomplishment in a week of questioning top bureaucrats is getting the boss of the ABC to confirm “only women can get pregnant”. Shame on him

  2. Man the Liberals are really pushing this culture war crap aren’t they. Trying to steal from the Tepublicans not realising that Australians aren’t going to fall for the crap that Americans do.

    1. You could say the same with the divisive white supremacism claims about the Alice Springs reporting. I’m against that sort of thing regardless of Labor or Liberals/LNP. I prefer that the Australian media avoids those sorts of foreign influences. Australia is not America after all.

  3. It has always been a problem with ABC2 being both a kids channel and an second adult, comedy, adult channel. A TV left on Bluey can show something inappropriate if turned on later. Parent’s can’t lock the channel without locking out Bluey. If you have a system that can block out M rated shows it’s fine, otherwise it requires parental supervision. A lot of parents give their kids a tablet with the Kids Ap to watch ABC Kids.

    1. Both full iview and the ABC Kids iview will black out the ABC Kids live stream when the channel is not being broadcast. I don’t really see the problem with it sharing the same channel number. M rated content can screen on any channel after 7:30pm (and often does)

  4. The TV terminology is called time-sharing or time-shared. It can be confusing sometimes as it’s on the same frequency and some systems may still have the channel listed by one name or the other, so it can still read as ABC Kids as the channel name even after it’s switched over.

    It’s quite common with children’s channels to be time-shared, even with channels that are unrelated. For example Disney XD / Veronica in Netherlands, where Veronica at night has shows like Border Security, Dashcam Disasters and violent action movies. Completely different from the children’s demographic of Disney XD.

    The programs are still classified and most modern TVs and set-top boxes will have a classification restrictions function for parents and carers in the TV settings.

    1. I don’t know why they don’t put both channels on different LCNs.

      They used to do this in the early days of digital TV. ABC Kids and Fly shared the same bandwidth but were separated by being on different LCNs.

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