M-Net sorry for massive movie mistakes

2012-11-29 11:10
Cape Town – M-Net has apologised and accepts the ruling without any reservations after a massive fine of R40 000 was levelled against the South African pay TV broadcaster by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) for movie mistakes.

DStv subscribers complained after M-Net showed a movie with extreme adult content in October during the day.

In a second case a mother recorded a Barbie Mermaid movie on DStv for her daughter, only to find her toddler screaming in terror. M-Net wrongly showed the extreme horror movie Bag of Bones before the Barbie Mermaid movie which continued 13 minutes into the children's movie.

"The screening of inappropriate content on any of our channels before the watershed is an anomaly and serious offence within the company, which always necessitates immediate internal investigations," said M-Net Communications manager Lani Lombard.

"M-Net apologises for broadcasting Hollywood's Best Directors on Sunday 21 October. The same applies to screening Bag of Bones on M-Net Movies 1 a month earlier, on the morning of Thursday 20 September.

"M-Net accepts, without any reservations, the ruling of the BCCSA in both cases as well as the sanctions imposed."

According to M-Net, even before the BCCSA tribunal decided on the judgement, M-Net investigated the reasons behind the scheduling errors in detail and took disciplinary action against the schedulers and employees concerned.

"The stringent internal systems that M-Net has in place to avoid such errors have been re-emphasised to all staff."

Boobs and bones

Hollywood's Best Directors shown on a Sunday morning contained female nudity (breasts), implied sex as well as female genitalia although M-Net only gave it a rating of PG13.

MultiChoice told the DStv subscriber that DStv cannot be held responsible, after which the subscriber took the case to the BCCSA.

M-Net told the BCCSA that "standard procedures were not followed by the staff member responsible for scheduling". The staff member failed to submit the programme to the programme acceptance department.

M-Net said it was never the pay TV broadcaster's intention to broadcast the programme during the day. "We are doing our utmost to ensure that an incident like this is not repeated."

Traumatised children

In the second instance a mother said her five-year-old son and two-year-old daughter are traumatised after she took careful measures to monitor what her children are exposed to.

"I am appalled and furious at the blunder which occurred today on DStv. I selected the Barbie programme for her to watch this afternoon and walked out only to hear my daughter scream and being inconsolable with the terrible show which involved a little girl before her. My son who is five is completely traumatised.

"As a trusted brand, we expect DStv not to be so careless and irresponsible," she said.

"How do I ever remove such disturbing images from my children's young, innocent and carefree minds? This is not fair. I am seething."

M-Net said a scheduler took a "unilateral decision" and scheduled the Stephen King miniseries with an age restriction of 16 when she had a gap on the schedule to fill.

M-Net has to pay the two fines of R20 000 each before the end of December.

Read more on:    bccsa  |  m-net  |  multichoice  |  tv

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