Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC), the self-regulatory body for non-news general entertainments channels set up by Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), has issued two advisories against showing acid attacks on television and on telecast of content insensitive to minorities. The advisories were approved at the Council's 27th meeting on 12 August 2013.
BCCC received several complaints relating to content that depicts acid attacks in TV programmes, where in almost all cases, the targets are women and girls. The Council said it is time broadcasters were sensitised against showing acid attacks.
‘While BCCC wishes to avoid being a pre-censoring agency or intrude upon the freedom of media, the Council felt that channels must rely upon their discretion while depicting any content that leads to the stereotyping of minorities’, informed an official statement. The channels have been advised to approach content of sensitivity to the minorities with caution and, when necessary, ensure that any such depiction is preceded by a declaration that it is a work of fiction and bears no resemblance to any community, caste or creed.
In another development, BCCC imposed a financial penalty of Rs 12.5 lakh on two Big CBS channel (Rs 10 lakh and Rs 2.50 lakh respectively on Love and Spark).
The two channels have also been directed to run apology scrolls (for seven and three days, respectively) for the violations. Last month, the Board of Directors of Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) empowered BCCC to impose financial penalty up to a maximum of Rs 30 lakh on channels in some exceptional cases of serious violations of the self-regulatory guidelines.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) had filed a complaint against Big CBS Spark for showing the rap song titled ‘No Lie’ by rappers Drake and No Change.
MIB also filed a series of complaints against Big CBS Love Channel for its three programmes ‘Sex and the City’, ‘America’s Next Top Model’ and ‘Britain’s Next Top Model’. The said programmes clearly were in gross violation of IBF Self-Regulatory guidelines as well as the ‘Programme Code’, it alleged.