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2021: December

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Updated: Ernie, the fastest trigger warning in the west...

Benny Hill returns to British TV complete with the inevitable PC trigger warnings and cuts

Link Here30th December 2021
The Benny Hill Show is a 1969-89 UK TV comedy series
Starring Benny Hill, Henry McGee and Jackie Wright IMDb

A sketch-comedy series in which Hill would often play multiple characters and satirize popular British and American performers and stars. Common themes in the show were the husband-beating wife, buxom women, and silent, high-speed chase scenes between Hill and the other characters.

That's TV Gold channel is currently re-showing edited versions of The Benny Hill Show in the That's Entertainment slot with a warning at the beginning to the effect that This show contains outdated opinions that some people may find offence.

Surely by now people know what to expect from this show and if are offended by such humour they shouldn't watch it.

The Warriors is a 1979 US action thriller by Walter Hill
Starring Michael Beck, James Remar and Dorsey Wright Melon Farmers link  BBFC link 2020  IMDb

Exists as a Theatrical Version and a Director's Cut.

Cyrus, the leader of the most powerful gang in New York City, the Gramercy Riffs, calls a midnight summit for all the area gangs, with all asked to send nine unarmed representatives for the conclave. A gang called The Warriors are blamed for killing Cyrus as he gives his speech. They now have to cross the territory of rivals in order to get to their own 'hood. The Warriors slowly cross the dangerous Bronx and Manhattan territories, narrowly escaping police and other gangs every step of the way.

  The theatrical version of The Warriors on Channel 31 (Five*) has suffered some dialogue cuts, some minor ones for swearing, but the main one being a potential offensive word...

Ajax: What's the matter...going FAGGOT?

As a fan of old films and TV and a product of a certain generation it still manages to irk me whenever this happens, as constant pandering to certain lobby groups can only embolden them to continue their misguided agenda to make everything they disagree with obsolete.

I say live and let live and if you don't like what you see, do t watch it but let those who enjoy such things to do so.

Update: Black-face

13th December. Thanks to Philip

Earlier on tonight I was watching yet another edited episode of The Benny Hill Show and came across yet another trigger warning.

This was for Black-Face and featured a hospital sketch where in one scene Benny gets multiple bed-baths from a sexy nurse by disguising himself by various methods (Bandages, false moustache made from a broom etc.) One of which used a mop head and a tin of shoe polish as the patient was a Rastafarian. Benny is caught out however as he forgot to boot-polish something, much to the nurses confusion and shock.

Update: Pinch yourselves

30th December. Thanks to Philip

Just been watching The Benny Hill Show on channel 7 and have just noted a deliberate censorial cut.

There was a sketch where Benny Hill is playing vicar and is being interviewed by Patricia Hayes where they talk about a bishop who Benny's character knew.

At the end of the sketch the light fades but not the sound and the two can be heard talking. Hayes mentioned that when she interviewed the bishop last he pinched her bum but not in this version and there is a very noticeable pictorial and sound cut in the sketch.

As there have been warnings prior to the programme starting, wouldn't it have been better to leave the sketch intact?



German engineering precision failure...

Mercedes-Benz advert has Chinese eye angle set at 1 milliRadian above the tolerance defined as politically correct

Link Here30th December 2021
Mercedes-Benz has removed an ad featuring a Chinese model over a slanted eye deemed to be too steep.

Chinese social media has been engrossed in a debate over ads supposedly imposing Western beauty ideals for Asian women, including the usage of makeup to create stereotypical slanted eyes.

Mercedes-Benz has reportedly removed a recent video advertisement published on Chinese social network Weibo after the brand was criticized for doing up a model's face to give her exaggerated sloping eyes.

The Chinese Communist Party's Global Times reported on a hashtag that translates to Mercedes-Benz model's makeup is controversial had gained over 170 million views on Weibo.

The premise is that Chinese cannot let the West shape our aesthetics, wrote one critic, per Global Times. For those malicious slanderers, we should maintain sufficient vigilance and counter-attack.



A Memorial to Russian repression...

Russia bans long running human rights group

Link Here28th December 2021
Russia's supreme court has ordered the closure of Memorial International, the country's oldest human rights group.

The court ruled Memorial must be closed under Russia's controversial foreign agent legislation, which has been used to censor dozens of NGOs and media outlets seen as critical of the government.

Memorial was founded in the late 1980s to document political repressions carried out under the Soviet Union, building a database of victims of the Great Terror and gulag camps. The Memorial Human Rights Centre, a sister organisation that campaigns for the rights of political prisoners and other causes, is also facing liquidation for justifying terrorism and extremism.

About 100 supporters of the organisation gathered outside the court and Many chanted shame after the verdict was delivered. Police made several arrests.



Offsite Article: This holiday season, spare a thought for the BBFC...

Link Here28th December 2021
The Guardian highlights silliness at the BBFC and its bouncy children's ratings

See article from



Offsite Article: Snail Mail...

Link Here21st December 2021
The Daily Mail catches up with the idea that the BBFC 12 rating has become the new baseline 'parental guidance' rating

See article from



Offsite Article: BBFC Podcast 109...

Link Here21st December 2021
The BBFC explains new rules requiring higher ratings for films using selected pejorative terms

See article from




Advert censor bans recruitment advert over 'blackface'

Link Here13th December 2021

A post on recruiter JD Recruitment's Facebook page, seen on 5 October 2021, featured details about a Branch Manager position. An image embedded in the post showed a woman covered in black paint, wearing bold red lipstick and an open leather jacket, licking her lips and covering her breasts with her left hand.

  1. The complainant, who believed the ad featured a woman in blackface, challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious offence.

  2. The ASA challenged whether the ad was likely to cause serious offence because the image objectified the woman.

JD Recruitment Group Ltd said that they had not intended to cause any offence with the image and had used it to provide a striking visual image along with the subject matter of the post -- a job opportunity in the Blackburn area. They said that, on reflection, they could see how the image might have caused offence, and objectified the woman depicted, and that they would ensure they were more aware of the issues raised in future marketing communications.

ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld

1. Upheld

The CAP Code required marketers to ensure that ads did not contain anything that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence, with particular care to be taken to avoid causing offence on various grounds of protected characteristics, including race.

The ASA noted that the woman shown was covered in black paint, with bold red lipstick, and the whites of the woman's eyes were prominent, contrasted against the black paint. We considered that imagery shared strong similarities with blackface makeup, which had historic connotations with mocking portrayals of black people. We understood that was a negative racial stereotype and was widely considered to be racist in nature.

We therefore considered its use in the ad was likely to cause serious offence on the grounds of race and concluded the ad breached the Code.

2. Upheld

We noted that the post was for a job vacancy, and the image of a partially topless woman bore no relation to the listing being advertised. We considered that the pose was suggestive in nature, with the woman depicted licking her lips suggestively and covering her exposed breasts with her hand. We considered that the ad was likely to have the effect of objectifying the woman by using her physical features to draw attention to an unrelated job listing. We therefore concluded that the ad was likely to have caused serious offence.

The ad must not appear again in the form complained of. We told JD Recruitment Group Ltd to ensure they avoided causing serious offence on the grounds of race. We also told them not to portray women in a manner that objectified them and was likely to cause serious offence.



Endangering adults to protect children...

Anti-porn campaigners write to Culture Secretary to demand identity verification for online porn

Link Here11th December 2021

A coalition of anti-porn campaigners led by Barnardo's, has signed an open letter to the Culture Secretary Rt Hon Nadine Dorries urging her to introduce mandatory identity verification for access to online pornography.

The organisations are urging the Government to make it a legal requirement within the Online Safety Bill that commercial pornography websites protect children from their content using age verification methods.

There are already proposals in the draft Bill to ensure social media and user-to-user generated sites like TikTok keep children safe and protected from viewing harmful material - but the Bill needs to go further. Children do not access pornography through social media sites alone.

Viewing pornography -- often extreme and violent -- can distort children's understanding of healthy relationships and can normalise abusive sexual behaviour and have a corrosive effect on what children view as healthy relationships.

For the Online Safety Bill to be effective in protecting children, Barnardo's and other organisations believe it must include the following measures:

  • Mandatory age verification measures for all sites containing pornographic material.

  • Harmful and illegal content such as pornography with child abuse or violence against women and girls must not be allowed to be uploaded onto sites. Taking it down after days or weeks after countless viewings is just not acceptable.

  • Extending Ofcom's powers to include regulation of commercial pornography sites which do not implement safety by design and age assurance.

  • An end to the two-tier categorisation of sites which cannot be future-proofed as new sites can gain significant child viewers in a short time.

The signatories to the letter are:

  • John Carr -- Chair of the Children's Charities' Coalition for Internet Safety
  • The Children's Society
  • Childnet International
  • Internet Matters
  • Internet Watch Foundation
  • 5Rights
  • Catch22
  • Kidscape
  • End Violence Against Women Coalition
  • Association of School and College Leaders
  • Girlguiding
  • The Lucy Faithfull Foundation
  • The Marie Collins Foundation
  • Dr Elena Martellozzo, Associate Professor in Criminology, Centre of Abuse and Trauma Studies, Middlesex University
  • P SHE Association
  • SafeLives



Offsite Article: Google to hobble browser extentions...

Link Here11th December 2021
Chrome Users Beware: Manifest V3 is Deceitful and Threatening. By Daly Barnett

See article from



West Side Story...

Middle East censors gang up against Spielberg's latest movie

Link Here9th December 2021
West Side Story is a 2021 US crime romance by Steven Spielberg
Starring Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler and Ariana DeBose BBFC link 2020 IMDb

An adaptation of the 1957 musical, West Side Story explores forbidden love and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.

Steven Spielberg's latest movie West Side Story to be released later in the month has been banned in several Middle Eastern countries. The musical has been banned in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait.

The film was banned because of Disney's refusal to comply with cuts requested by censors.

The film is rumoured to contain same-sex scenes. Also Disney the portrayal of a transgender character played by a non-binary actor Iris Menas seem to have offended the censors.

Perhaps the most likely scenes for cuts is described by the BBFC:

There are scenes of racist behaviour, including use of the terms spic and coloured. In another scene teenagers mock and misgender a person who is implied to be a trans man, and one of the bullies brags about pantsing him and seeing his genitals. Further discriminatory language includes polack and pansy.



ASA fumes...

ASA bans kissing in Diesel clothing advert on news websites

Link Here9th December 2021

Two online display ads, for the clothing retailer Diesel, seen in March 2021:

  • a. The first ad, seen on the websites for the Independent newspaper and Sky News included a slide show of images of couples kissing, some open-mouthed and on beds, alongside the caption DIESEL FOR SUCCESSFUL LIVING.

  • b. The second ad, appearing on the website for Sky News, included a video that automatically played. The video featured voiceovers from several people who described being apart from their romantic partner before getting back together. The video included shots of couples kissing and beginning to undress in sexual positions, including partners straddling each other in bed.

Three complainants challenged whether the ads were irresponsible, because they included overtly sexual imagery in an untargeted medium where they could be seen by children. Response

Diesel (London) Ltd responded that they did not consider that the Sky News or Independent newspaper websites were likely to be of a particular appeal to children, or that they would be likely to be seen by children.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The images and video in both ads (a) and (b) included open-mouthed kissing, couples on beds together and couples in intimate positions. The ASA considered that, whilst not sexually explicit, the images were sexually suggestive.

Because the images were sexually suggestive we considered that Diesal should have taken all reasonable steps to exclude children from the target audience. We therefore considered what steps Diesel had taken to ensure that the ads were targeted away from children.

We acknowledged that neither the Independent nor Sky News websites were of particular appeal to children, and that the websites were more likely to be viewed by adults. However, we considered that there were likely to be some children in the audience of both websites and that Diesel should therefore have used age and interest-based targeting tools to ensure that the ads were targeted to adults and away from children. We understood that Diesel had used some interest-based targeting options, but it was not clear that those choices would have been such that the ads would have been targeted towards adults and away from children. Furthermore, Diesel had confirmed that they did not use any age-targeting tools to target the ads away from children.

Because the ads included sexually suggestive imagery and Diesel had not taken all reasonable steps to ensure that they were not served to children, we concluded that the ads were irresponsible and breached the Code.

We told Diesel (London) Ltd to ensure that, if their ads contained sexually suggestive imagery, they took all reasonable steps to ensure that they were not seen by children.




Macron criticises the European Commission for trying to impose politically correct language

Link Here9th December 2021
French president Emmanuel Macron has criticised the European Commission for its woke nonsense a week after it withdrew controversial politically correct language rules following an outcry from politicians. Macron said in a speech that the commission should focus on recovery, power and belonging. He said:

A Europe that comes to explain to people what words they should or shouldn't say is not a Europe to which I totally adhere. It's nonsense, basically.

Macron added that the sense of European identity had withered away in France as well as European nations.

His scathing attack came a week after the European Commission pulled back from an internal PC language guide which advised officials to use inclusive language such as holiday season rather than Christmas and use gender-neutral terms instead of man-made and ladies and gentlemen.



More trigger warnings...

The BBFC respond to a public opinion survey by promising more carefully manufactured PC wording in its ratings info

Link Here3rd December 2021

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has commissioned new research into racism and discrimination in films and TV shows, asking people, including those who have been directly affected, their views into the classification of such scenes, in both modern and older content.

Findings showed that people don't think that older films and TV shows necessarily need higher age ratings if they contain outdated behaviour or language, but they want to be warned about potentially offensive words or portrayals.

People understand that some older films and TV shows are a 'product of their time', but it's clear that attitudes have shifted over the years.

When it comes to a more current setting, the findings showed the 'n word' should not be classified lower than 12A/12 - unless there is very clear and strong educational value, for example, in a documentary with strong appeal or value to younger audiences.

David Austin, Chief Executive of the BBFC, said:

"We must always assess the context in which content appears, especially with regards to the factors that may support a higher classification or help defend a lower one. Violent and threatening behaviour, or use of particularly offensive language, will always aggravate an instance of discriminatory or racist behaviour. However, clear condemnation, sympathy with the victims, or a documentary or historical setting can all work to help frame the sequence and potentially give the content educational value for younger viewers."

The research found that some people, particularly parents, believe there is value in showing children examples of racism and discrimination to 'prepare' them for the behaviour and attitudes they may experience or witness in real life. But others want to shield children from racism and discrimination for as long as possible. People, especially parents, therefore want content warnings so they can make informed decisions.

People are empathetic towards others, recognising that even if they are not personally offended by a certain term or behaviour, they acknowledge others may be - again highlighting the need for content warnings on films and TV shows.

Lord Kamlesh Patel, Vice President of the BBFC, said:

"Movements dedicated to raising awareness and combatting discrimination and racism have gained important traction in the last two years. In response, we wanted to see how this has impacted the views of people in the UK, and particularly to hear from and listen to those who have been directly impacted by discrimination and racism as their voices are important. We recognise that our role isn't just about protecting children from harmful content, it's about helping parents who might want to use depictions of discrimination and racism as a potential teaching moment."

Changes the BBFC are making off the back of this research:

  • adopting an even stricter position on the classification of the 'n-word' at the junior categories

  • placing significant emphasis on the educational value of documentary contexts, which might result in a documentary getting a lower age rating

  • being particularly mindful of the intent within the scene when classifying older films and TV shows

  • continuing to consider directed, aggressive or violent depictions of discrimination, or the likelihood of children copying any form of racism, including racist language, as key factors which might raise an age rating

  • continuing to use ratings info to signal when discriminatory language or behaviour is contained in a film or TV show

  • Using the phrase 'an actor in make-up portraying a different ethnicity' when describing assumed racial identities

About the research:

  • 70 participants took part in online research sessions, and were asked to watch clips and answer questions about them.

  • 20 respondents were asked to participate in interviews to dig deeper into specific issues.

  • When defining the sample we intentionally over-represented a number of minority groups (e.g. Black) in order to understand the perception/impact of discriminatory content on those most directly affected by it.

  • Over 70% of the final sample identify as among protected characteristic groups, with some participants being part of more than one group

  • We Are Family also recruited a nationally representative group; but the overall sample does not reflect the demographic make-up of the UK population overall. During analysis this has been taken into account, and we have tried to identify and pull out insight that best reflects the attitudes of the majority, and as such is reflective of the BBFC's commitment to represent and reflect the UK population.

Offsite Comment: smacks of paternalism

3rd December 2021. See article from by Simran Hans

It is troubling that the British Board of Film Classification believes its role includes judging art on the lessons it imparts

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