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dinsdag 22 januari 2013

'Celebrity Juice' in hot water over Example 'dildo' in trailer

Celebrity Juice has been criticised by the UK media regulator after it aired a trailer before the 9pm watershed that featured popstar Example wearing an object that looked like a strap-on dildo.

Ofcom received a number of complaints about the show's promotional trailer, which was aired on ITV2 and ITV4 in October last year, including numerous times before 9pm.

The complaints all related to a brief shot of Example (Elliot Gleave) wearing a pink object around his waist which Ofcom judged to "resemble a strap-on dildo". He then thrust the object towards host Keith Lemon.

After being contacted by Ofcom, ITV acknowledged that Example was wearing a "phallic object" attached to a strap around his waist, which it said was "clearly a large inflated balloon intended to provoke mildly bawdy humour".

The broadcaster said that the item was previously featured on Celebrity Juice as the "pricket bat" and used in an invented game called "Pricket", involving guests on the show trying to burst balloons.

ITV insisted that the pricket bat was "not a strap-on prosthetic phallus, which might suggest an actual sex toy, nor did we consider that it bore any close resemblance to the anatomical shape of an actual penis".

The broadcaster added: "If it had been a strap-on dildo, we would obviously never even considered including it in a pre-watershed trailer."

Whilst ITV acknowledged that the pelvic thrusting motion by Example was "very mild innuendo", it noted that both he and Lemon were clothed in the trailer and there was "no overtly sexual content".

Nevertheless, ITV has confirmed that it will not use this shot, or any similar shots, in future promotions for Celebrity Juice.

Ofcom said that pre-watershed trailers "must have room for innovation and creativity", but it felt that the shot of Example thrusting the phallic object forward was not suitable to be aired when children could have been watching.

The watchdog noted that ITV had restricted the trailer from being shown around kids' programmes, but found that it had been broadcast 164 times before the 9pm watershed.

"In Ofcom's opinion, the nature of this image was likely to have exceeded the expectations of the audience (and especially parents) for the content of trailers shown pre-watershed on these channels, particularly in light of that fact that broadcasters cannot give warnings in advance to viewers about the content of trailers as they can do for programmes," Ofcom said.

"Children were therefore not protected by appropriate scheduling from this unsuitable material. Ofcom notes and welcomes ITV's decision not to use this shot again or similar shots of this nature in future promotions for Celebrity Juice broadcast pre-watershed."