Adult-Oriented Material Found in Breach of Scheduling and Advisory Provisions Says Canadian Broadcast Standards Council

Ottawa Oct. 15, 2003 – The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) today released its decision concerning Canal D's broadcast of two Juste pour Rire programs: Comicographies: François Morency and an episode of Festival Juste pour rire which included a routine by Maxim Martin. The programs aired respectively on September 15 and 29, 2002, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. A complainant was concerned with the adult-oriented sexual material contained in these midday broadcasts.

Comicographies was a humorous biographical documentary about comedian François Morency and featured clips of his performances, some of which either had a sexual element to them or contained offensive language. In one scene, Morency's stand-up routine contained remarks such as “That grosses me out […] having a penis in your mouth”. The other program at issue was an episode of Festival Juste pour rire during which Martin made jokes of a sexual nature, such as the introduction of “fat-free sperm for the whore who's watching her weight” and references to then current and widely-discussed American experience involving a “cigar in the vagina”. In its correspondence, the broadcaster agreed that, because the two programs contained references to sexuality that may not be suitable for all audience members, a viewer advisory would accompany all future broadcasts of those episodes.

The Quebec Regional Panel examined the complaint under Clauses 10(a) and 11(b) of CAB's Code of Ethics, which require that broadcasters air programming intended for adult audiences between 9:00 pm and 6:00 am and provide viewer advisories during programming with mature subject matter. The Panel distinguished between the two episodes and considered that

the sexual references in the biographical episode dealing with the story of comedian François Morency […] were often brief, veiled or light-hearted and employed doubles entendres or other humorous devices. They were neither graphic nor explicit and did not constitute programming intended exclusively for adults. That episode was, in other words, susceptible of being broadcast in the midday time slot in which it aired. This was not, however, the case with the routine by Maxim Martin, which was, in the view of the Panel, lengthier, cruder and more graphic on the subjects of fellatio and presidential masturbation of an intern with a large cigar, among others. Such material is suitable only for adult audiences and must not be broadcast before the 9:00 pm Watershed hour.

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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