1.6 Sex and Nudity
Similar considerations apply. Much great fiction and drama have been concerned
with love and passion which can shock and disturb. Popular entertainment and
comedy have always relied to some extent on sexual innuendo and suggestive
behaviour but gratuitous offence should be avoided.
Careful consideration should be given to nudity before the watershed but some nudity
may be justifiable in a non-sexual and relevant context.
Representations of sexual intercourse should not occur before the watershed unless
there is a serious educational purpose. Any portrayal of sexual behaviour must be
defensible in context. If included before the watershed it must be appropriately
limited and inexplicit.Sex scenes of a more adult nature, which are more graphic and prolonged, should be limited to much later in the schedule.
It is reasonable for television to reflect "real world violence" but it is clear that the portrayal of violence, whether physical, verbal or psychological, can upset, disturb and offend and can be accused of desensitising viewers, of making them unduly fearful or of encouraging imitation. These arelegitimate public concerns requiring careful consideration whenever violence, real or
simulated, is to be shown. The treatment of violence must always be appropriate to
the context, scheduling, channel and audience expectations.
1.8 Respect for Human Dignity and Treatment of Minorities
Viewers have a right to expect that licensed services will reflect their responsibility to
preserve human dignity, as far as possible, in respect of both individuals (see Section
and individuals as members of groups. Individuals should not be exploited
needlessly or caused unnecessary distress, nor should the audience be made to feel
mere voyeurs of others’ distress.In particular, consideration should be given to the treatment of vulnerable minorities, bearing in mind the likely effects of both misrepresentation and under-representation.
Care needs to be taken to minimise the risk of hypnosis being induced in susceptible
viewers. In particular, the hypnotist must not be shown performing straight to camera.
Licensees should refer to the Hypnotism Act 1952 (Appendix 4).
1.10 The Occult and ‘Psychic’ Practices
Actual demonstrations of exorcisms and occult practices such as those involving
supposed contact with spirits or the dead, are not acceptable in factual programming
except in the context of a legitimate investigation. They should not, in any case, be
shown before the watershed.Horoscopes, palmistry and similar ‘psychic’ practices are only acceptable where theyare presented as entertainment or are the subject of legitimate investigation. Theyshould not include specific advice to particular contributors or viewers about health or medical matters or about personal finance. They should not be included at times when
large numbers of children are expected to be watching.Fiction programmes containing ‘psychic’ phenomena should not normally bescheduled before the watershed, although a fantasy setting, for example, may justifysuch scheduling.
1.11 Recorded Programmes
Programmes not used immediately should be checked before transmission to ensure
that any content is not rendered tasteless or offensive by intervening events, such as
death, injury or other misfortune.
1.12 Images of Very Brief Duration
1.12(i) General requirements
Section 6(1)(e) of the Broadcasting Act 1990 requires that the ITC do all it can to secure
that 'programmes do not include any technical device which, by using images of very
brief duration or by any other means, exploits the possibility of conveying a message to,
or otherwise influencing the minds of, persons watching the programmes without their
being aware, or fully aware, of what has occurred'.