Accumulation of Epithets in “My Ex-boyfriend” Song Is Unduly Sexually Explicit, Says Canadian Broadcast Standards Council

Ottawa, January 16, 2004– The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) today released its decision concerning two joke songs and a parody aired on CJAY-FM (Calgary) between 7:00 and 8:00 am on February 4, 2003.  All three segments had sexual overtones.  A listener complained that content referring to sexual activities was aired at a time of the day when children could be listening.  The Prairie Regional Panel concluded that one of the songs was in breach of clause 9 of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) Code of Ethics, which requires that radio programming be free of unduly sexually explicit material.

The song found in breach, “My Ex-boyfriend”, performed by a man, consisted of a list of epithets directed at a former lover. The Prairie Panel found the material broadcast unduly sexually explicit, saying that

It would be fair to observe, in general terms, that there may come a point in descriptive commentary when the accumulation of individual metaphors, any one of which might be sufficiently subtle to be excusable, becomes obvious and inexcusable.  At that point, the body of subtleties loses any characterization as forgivable innuendo and crosses the line into sexual explicitness.  That is the case with “My Ex-boyfriend”, which, line-by-line, finds a different metaphorical treatment for sexual acts, principally of the anal variety.  Heard, or read, cumulatively, they are, without doubt, explicit.

The Panel also examined the other song that aired that morning, which was a whistling tune about one man’s cure for “the blues”, which is to look at his “enormous penis”.  As well, it examined the parody advertisement for a product called “Mr. Big, the Wiener Wizard” which “doubles the size of that wiener” and produces results that “anybody would be proud of.”

The Panel concluded that the two latter matters complained of did not go as far as the first song and that they consisted of mere sexual innuendo; consequently, they were not in breach of the Code.

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All CBSC decisions, Codes, links to members' and other web sites, and related information are available on the CBSC's website at www.cbsc.ca. For more information, please contact the CBSC National Chair, Mme Andrée Noël CBSC Executive Director, John MacNab