Complaints over DStv showing boy's penis caught in zipper

2013-11-04 11:12
Cape Town – Following complaints by viewers, the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) has decided that it would not intervene in the family magazine show Kwêla on kykNET (DStv 144) for showing a boy with his penis caught in his zipper.

The BBCSA said it will not uphold complaints but said "we are of the view that a large number of viewers would tend to agree with the sentiments expressed by the complainants".

The BBCSA said the insert shown on DStv was "problematic, but not sufficiently disturbing to warrant the intervention of the BCCSA".

"It is highly questionable whether the fear and embarrassment of a young boy should be exploited in this fashion. However, be that as it may, we decided that, from an adult perspective, that the clip shows a scene which, within the broader context of freedom of choice, could be tolerated by society," says the BCCSA in the judgement.

Not funny at all

One complainant wrote that "as a mother of two young daughters, aged 6 and 7, I was extremely uncomfortable to try and explain what was happening on television. I am not a prude but don't see this video as a funny video at all."

"I feel sorry for the poor boy that has to face his friends at school after the public broadcast of his embarrassment. My children have been looking forward to the Kwêla Funnies for months now, but it seems that we would have to record it first and edit what we show them in future."

"We love watching Kwêla, but our kids need to be protected from videos which are offensive. I prefer to laugh at videos that are genuinely funny, not below the belt and embarrassing for the boy in the video."

'Men working on a child’s genitals'

Another complainant said "I was so shocked to see this. This is a family programme. There was no warning before the episode or during the episode that this young man will be exposed. We want it to be a family programme which we can enjoy. To us it was two men working on a child's genitals and was very disturbing."

According to MultiChoice/kykNET the video is not offensive, the man helping the boy is a medical doctor, his penis is not seen, and the boy is now apparently a "mini-celebrity at school" and very happy after the video clip was broadcast.

"Kwêla is a family show," says the BCCSA, but noted that the episode was broadcast after the so-called "watershed" time period in South Africa after which pay-television such as DStv can show riskier fare.

"After thorough discussion, we decided that if the BCCSA intervened by suggesting a warning, this might appear as a form of censorship."

You can watch the video clip here.

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