Thursday, November 04, 2004

BBC Comedy Ruled 'Blasphemous'

BBC comedy is ruled 'blasphemous'

A complaint about a BBC Three comedy sketch which included a sexually explicit reference to Jesus has been upheld as blasphemous by BBC governors.

Offence was taken to Cyderdelic's reference to Christ and also to a crucifix shown covered in excrement.

The complaint was originally rejected by the BBC's complaints department.

But on appeal, the Governors Programme Complaints Committee decided the show did breach guidelines on causing religious offence.

In its decision it said that while Cyderdelic, which was narrated by the late John Peel, went out in a late time slot on an experimental channel it had still broken BBC Producers' Guidelines.

One of these states that "deep offence will be caused by profane references or disrespect, whether verbal of visual, directed at deities, scriptures, holy days and rituals which are at the heart of various religions".


The original complaint was rejected on the grounds that the remarks were in keeping with the "ludicrous pretensions" of the character involved.

It was also said that because only one complaint was received it "suggested that viewers in general had not understood the humour as the complainant had".

The producer of the show, Karen Rosie, had however offered her regret at the offence caused.

BBC Three recently dropped its controversial animation series Popetown before it was even aired, fearing it would offend Catholics.

Channel controller Stuart Murphy decided the series, set in a fictional Vatican, crossed the line between "scurrilously funny and the offensive".

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/11/03 11:57:12 GMT