Morally Bankrupt Ruling by BSA on Californication

Despite twelve companies withdrawing their advertising, an increasing concern about the level of sexual and offensive material on free-to-air television1, and an acknowledgement by the Broadcasting Standards Authority that the programe contained ‘challenging content’ and ‘challenging language’, they have failed to uphold complaints made against the highly offensive TV3 series of Californication.

“The first 2 episodes alone featured explicit sex scenes, drug use, explicit sexual talk and innuendo, and the use of the ‘f’ word almost every minute (on average),” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Yet the BSA have tried to excuse this objectionable content with lame and bizarre excuses such as the ‘sexual encounters were often more bizarre than satisfying’, ‘the scenes were matter-of-fact rather than titillating’, ‘the programme was preceded by a verbal and written warning’, the title of the programme indicated ‘challenging content’, and the ‘oral sex was implied’.”

“It is completely naïve to believe that teenagers, and even younger, are not watching these programmes – especially when surveys show that almost half of 9-15 year olds have televisions in their bedroom. In the US, the programme is only on cable television – not free-to-air. It is also naïve to believe that attitudes and values of our community are not affected by constant exposure to this type of programming.”

“The ‘Broadcasting Standards Authority’ is an oxymoron, and it cannot be depended on to act in the best interests of the welfare and safety of our community and families. It is significant that complaints made to the BSA regarding the standard of good taste and decency average a 4% success rate2.”

Television needs to clean up its act but the BSA is the last place to look to achieve this goal.

“If one wants to understand why violence, sexual assaults and offensive language are more and more common, we only need to look at the amoral and dangerous decisions being handed down by the BSA.”


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