GameTV concernant Eastern Promises

COMITÉ DÉCIDEUR ANGLOPHONE
Décision CCNR 15/16-1652
2016 CCNR 10
21 décembre 2016
A. Noël (présidente), P. Gratton, R. Hutson, H. Mack, C. Scott, G. Spenrath

LES FAITS

Eastern Promises est un long métrage dramatique de David Cronenberg qui traite de la mafia russe. Il s’agit d’une coproduction entre la Grande-Bretagne, les États-Unis et le Canada. Lorsqu’une jeune fille de 14 ans meurt en accouchant d’une fille, une sage-femme britannique d’origine russe du nom d’Anna Khitrova se met en tête de retracer sa famille pour lui remettre l’enfant. Son enquête la mène en pleine mafia russe, en particulier dans la famille d’un chef de gang nommé Semyon qui réside à Londres. Anna entre en relation avec Kirill, le fils de Semyon, et Nikolai Luzhin, chauffeur et « nettoyeur » attitré de la famille. Le film se concentre principalement sur Anna et Nikolai tandis que se déroule le récit des activités criminelles de Semyon et qu’apparaissent les liens qui relient les personnages entre eux.

La diffusion renfermait de nombreuses répétitions du mot fuck et de ses variantes, en même temps que des scènes explicites d’activité sexuelle et de violence. Une scène en particulier montre Kirill et Nikolai au bordel. Kirill insiste pour que Nikolai couche avec une des femmes, histoire de prouver qu’il est digne de gravir les échelons de la mafia. Kirill assiste en témoin pendant que Nikolai s’exécute avec une prostituée à la mine abattue. À quatre pattes par terre, ses seins sont bien en évidence tandis que Nikolai la pénètre rageusement par-derrière. La besogne de Nikolai achevée, la femme étendue sur le lit chantonne tristement pour elle-même.

Parmi des scènes de violence, la toute première du film montre un homme à qui l’on tranche la gorge dans une chaise de barbier. Son cadavre réapparaît plus loin dans le film, dans un congélateur coffre que Nikolai s’est mis en frais de dégeler à l’aide d’un sèche-cheveux pour pouvoir lui découper le bout des doigts.

Une scène très longue et très explicite se déroule au milieu du film. Nikolai, nu au bain public, se fait attaquer par deux voyous. Le spectateur a droit à plusieurs plans de ses organes génitaux tandis qu’il s’élance contre ses assaillants avec force coups de poing et coups de pied. Les deux brutes sont armées de couteaux dont elles assènent des coups à Nicolai par-devant et par-derrière. Celui-ci parvient à s’en emparer et à les retourner contre ses assaillants qu’il exécute d’atroce manière, en poignardant l’un d’eux par exemple dans l’œil.

Le film aborde plusieurs thèmes délicats comme le commerce d’êtres humains, les jeunes femmes qu’on accule à la prostitution en les droguant et en les violant, et d’autres activités infâmes de la mafia. (Une description détaillée et la transcription des scènes pertinentes figurent dans l’annexe A, en anglais seulement.)

GameTV a diffusé ce film le 9 juin 2016 à 20 h, heure de l’Est, avec la mise en garde suivante, en format sonore et vidéo, au début de l’émission et à la fin de chaque pause publicitaire :

[traduction]

Cette émission comporte des scènes de violence, du langage vulgaire et des thèmes délicats. Il s’adresse à un public averti.

GameTV n’a pas affiché d’icône de classification.

Le 11 juin, le CCNR a reçu la plainte d’un téléspectateur qui avait vu le film à 17 h dans le fuseau horaire du Pacifique. Il a mentionné en particulier la scène du bain public, en faisant remarquer que la mise en garde ne prévoyait pas la nudité. Dans une lettre subséquente, il a déploré que le film ait été diffusé à 17 h sans coupures. GameTV lui a répondu le 4 juillet, en reconnaissant que la mise en garde aurait dû faire état de la nudité et l’assurant que mention en serait faite lors de futures diffusions. Après s’être excusé pour cet oubli, le télédiffuseur a déclaré qu’il avait procédé à un nouveau montage en vue de diffusions à venir. Le plaignant a écrit à nouveau au CCNR le 4 juillet dans l’intention de donner suite à sa plainte, étant d’avis que GameTV aurait dû être plus vigilant quant à la mise en garde et la mise à l’horaire de ce film. Il a laissé entendre que GameTV n’en était pas à sa première diffusion d’un contenu inacceptable en plein jour en ajoutant que, la grille horaire de GameTV étant avant tout constituée de saines émissions de jeu, la station devait se montrer d’autant plus prudente avant de diffuser un film réservé aux adultes que la plupart des téléspectateurs ne s’attendent pas à voir sur cette chaîne. (La correspondance complète figure dans l’annexe B, en anglais seulement.)

LA DÉCISION

Le comité décideur anglophone a étudié la plainte à la lumière des articles suivants du Code concernant la violence et du Code de déontologie de l’Association canadienne des radiodiffuseurs (ACR) :

Code de l’ACR concernant la violence, Article 3.0 – Horaire des émissions

3.1       Programmation

3.1.1   Les émissions comportant des scènes violentes et destinées à un auditoire adulte ne doivent pas être diffusées avant le début de la plage des heures tardives de la soirée, plage comprise entre 21h et 6 h.

[…]

(Nota : Pour tenir compte de la diversité des fuseaux horaires et de l’importation de signaux étrangers, les présentes directives s’appliquent au fuseau horaire d’où provient le signal.)

Code de l’ACR concernant la violence, Article 4.0 – Classification

Protocoles sur l’usage des icônes

Fréquence

L’icône de classification doit rester affichée pendant les 15 à 16 premières secondes de l’émission. […] Dans le cas des émissions qui durent plus d’une heure, il faut présenter de nouveau l’icône au début de la deuxième heure. Il s’agit de normes minimales; les stations voudront peut-être présenter les icônes plus fréquemment lorsqu’il s’agit d’émissions dont le contenu est particulièrement délicat.

Système de classification pour les télédiffuseurs canadiens de langue anglaise et de langue étrangère

14+ – Plus de 14 ans

Les émissions portant cette cote comportent des thèmes ou des éléments de contenu qui pourraient ne pas convenir aux téléspectateurs de moins de 14 ans. On incite fortement les parents à faire preuve de circonspection en permettant à des préadolescents ou à des enfants au début de l’adolescence de regarder ces émissions sans la surveillance d’un parent ou d’un tuteur, puisque les émissions portant cette cote pourraient présenter de façon réaliste des thèmes adultes et des problèmes de société.

Lignes directrices sur la violence

  • Bien que la violence puisse constituer l’un des éléments dominants du scénario, elle doit faire partie intégrante de l’évolution de l’intrigue ou des personnages.
  • Ces émissions pourraient comporter des scènes intenses de violence

Autres lignes directrices sur le contenu

Langage :      possibilité d’utilisation de jurons fréquente ou de forte intensité

Sexe/nudité :            possibilité de scènes de nudité et/ou d’activité sexuelle dans le contexte du récit ou du thème

18 + – Adultes

Émissions destinées aux adultes de 18 ans et plus.

Cette cote s’applique aux émissions dont le contenu pourrait comporter des éléments ne pas convenir aux téléspectateurs de moins de 18 ans.

Lignes directrices sur la violence

  • Certaines représentations de la violence, bien qu’elles fassent partie intégrante de l’évolution de l’intrigue, des personnages ou des thèmes, s’adressent aux adultes et ne conviennent donc pas aux téléspectateurs de moins de 18 ans.

Autres lignes directrices sur le contenu

Langage :      possibilité de langage explicite

Sexe/nudité :            possibilité de représentations explicites de sexe et/ou de nudité

Code de déontologie de l’ACR, Article 10 – Télédiffusion (Mise à l’horaire)

a) Les émissions à l’intention des auditoires adultes ayant du contenu sexuellement explicite ou comportant du langage grossier ou injurieux ne devront pas être diffusées avant le début de la plage des heures tardives de la soirée, plage comprise entre 21 h 00 et 6 h00. Les télédiffuseurs consulteront les dispositions du Code de l’ACR concernant la violence qui se rapportent à l’horaire des émissions comportant des scènes de violence.

[…]

(Remarque : Pour tenir compte de la diversité des fuseaux horaires et de l’importation au Canada de signaux étrangers, les présentes directives s’appliquent au fuseau horaire d’où provient le signal.)

Code de déontologie de l’ACR, Article 11 – Mises en garde à l’auditoire

Pour aider les téléspectateurs à faire leurs choix d’émissions, les télédiffuseurs doivent présenter des mises en garde à l’auditoire lorsque la programmation renferme des sujets délicats ou, du contenu montrant des scènes de nudité, des scènes sexuellement explicites, du langage grossier ou injurieux ou, d’autre contenu susceptible d’offenser les téléspectateurs, et ce

a) au début de la première heure, et après chaque pause commerciale pendant la première heure, d’une émission diffusée pendant la plage des heures tardives qui renferme ce genre de contenu à l’intention des auditoires adultes, ou

b) au début, et après chaque pause commerciale, des émissions diffusées hors de la plage des heures tardives dont le contenu ne convient pas aux enfants.

Des modèles de mises en garde appropriées figurent à l’Annexe A. Il s’agit de textes suggérés. Les télédiffuseurs sont invités à adopter le genre de texte qui est le plus apte à fournir aux téléspectateurs les renseignements les plus utiles et opportuns en ce qui concerne l’émission visée.

Les membres du comité décideur ont lu toute la correspondance afférente et visionné un enregistrement de la diffusion en cause. Le comité conclut que GameTV a enfreint l’article 3.0 du Code de l’ACR concernant la violence et l’article 10 a) du Code de déontologie de l’ACR pour sa mise à l’horaire du film, l’article 11 du Code de déontologie pour avoir omis de mentionner les scènes de nudité et d’activité sexuelle, et l’article 4.0 du Code de l’ACR concernant la violence pour n’avoir pas fourni la classification de l’émission.

Mise à l’horaire d’un contenu destiné à des auditoires adultes

Les membres du comité décideur notent que n’importe quelle caractéristique de cette émission – violence, langage vulgaire, sexualité ou thèmes délicats – suffit à elle seule à en faire une émission « destinée exclusivement aux adultes ». C’est d’autant plus vrai quand toutes ces composantes s’additionnent, comme c’est le cas pour Eastern Promises. L’article 3.0 du Code de l’ACR concernant la violence et l’article 10 du Code de déontologie de l’ACR exigent qu’une émission destinée exclusivement aux adultes soit réservée entièrement à la plage des heures tardives, entre 21 h et 6 h[1]. Dans le cas présent, le télédiffuseur, en ne respectant pas les contraintes d’horaire, a violé les dispositions de l’article 3.0 du Code de l’ACR concernant la violence et de l’article 10 du Code de déontologie de l’ACR.

Les membres du comité constatent aussi que le plaignant a vu l’émission dans le fuseau horaire du Pacifique. Ils savent que les contraintes d’horaire s’appliquent uniquement au fuseau horaire d’où émane le signal. Ils souhaitent néanmoins rappeler aux services spécialisés qui disposent d’un seul signal qu’ils ne devraient jamais oublier que leurs émissions sont vues plus tôt dans les autres fuseaux horaires. Même s’ils ne sont pas passibles d’une infraction tant qu’ils respectent la mise à l’horaire dans leur propre fuseau d’origine, ils devraient avoir cette notion à l’esprit quand ils choisissent une case horaire pour ce type d’émission[2].

Mises en garde à l’auditoire

Comme le prévoit l’article 11 du Code de déontologie de l’ACR, « pour aider les téléspectateurs à faire leurs choix d’émissions, les télédiffuseurs doivent présenter des mises en garde à l’auditoire lorsque la programmation renferme des sujets délicats ou du contenu montrant des scènes de nudité, des scènes sexuellement explicites, du langage grossier ou injurieux ou d’autre contenu susceptible d’offenser les téléspectateurs ». C’est pourquoi une mise en garde doit mentionner individuellement chacun de ces éléments (en plus de la violence, en vertu de l’article 5.0 du Code de l’ACR concernant la violence) qui se retrouve dans l’émission[3]. Dans le cas présent, la mise en garde ne faisait aucune mention des scènes de nudité et des scènes sexuellement explicites. Ces deux éléments auraient dû être mentionnés séparément puisque l’un n’implique pas nécessairement l’autre. Les membres du comité décideur ont déjà établi que la diffusion du film en question était destinée exclusivement à des adultes en raison de la quantité et de la nature de la violence, des scènes de sexualité, de la vulgarité du langage et des thèmes délicats qu’il renfermait. Par conséquent, les membres du comité concluent que GameTV a enfreint l’article 11 du Code de déontologie de l’ACR pour n’avoir pas diffusé des mises en garde complètes.

Classification

L’article 4.0 du Code de l’ACR concernant la violence exige que l’icône de classification reste affichée pendant les 15 à 16 premières secondes d’une émission et, si l’émission dure plus d’une heure, de la présenter à nouveau au début de la deuxième heure. Dans le cas présent, Game TV a omis d’afficher quelque classification que ce soit. Les membres du comité décideur ont déjà établi que l’émission diffusée par GameTV était destinée exclusivement à des auditoires adultes pour les raisons citées ci-dessus. Pour les mêmes raisons, les membres du comité estiment que l’émission aurait dû être classée 18+ puisqu’elle comportait de la violence, de la nudité, du langage vulgaire et des scènes de sexe explicites destinées à des adultes[4].

Puisque GameTV a omis d’afficher une icône et de l’information sur la classification, les membres du comité concluent que ce télédiffuseur a violé l’article 4.0 du Code de l’ACR concernant la violence avec sa diffusion du film Eastern Promises.

Réceptivité du télédiffuseur

Dans toutes les décisions rendues par le CCNR, ses comités évaluent dans quelle mesure le radiodiffuseur s’est montré réceptif envers le plaignant. Bien que le radiodiffuseur ne soit certes pas obligé de partager l’opinion du plaignant, sa réponse doit être courtoise, réfléchie et complète. Dans la présente affaire, GameTV a convenu avec le plaignant que la mise en garde aurait dû mentionner les scènes de nudité, et lui a déclaré avoir pris des mesures pour corriger la situation, notamment en revoyant ses directives à l’interne, en procédant à un nouveau montage et en fournissant plus de détails dans les mises en garde lors de futures diffusions. Quoique cette réponse n’ait pas été à l’entière satisfaction du plaignant et quoique d’autres aspects de la diffusion (horaire et classification) aient retenu l’attention du comité, le télédiffuseur a bien rempli son obligation de se montrer réceptif. Il n’y a donc pas lieu d’en exiger davantage de sa part, sauf pour l’annonce de cette décision.

Annonce de la décision

GameTV est tenu : 1) de faire connaître la présente décision selon les conditions suivantes : une fois pendant les heures de grande écoute, dans un délai de trois jours suivant sa publication, et une autre fois dans un délai de sept jours suivant sa publication, dans le même créneau horaire que Eastern Promises mais pas le même jour que la première annonce; 2) de faire parvenir au plaignant qui a présenté la demande de décision, dans les quatorze jours suivant la diffusion des deux annonces, une confirmation écrite de son exécution; et 3) au même moment, de faire parvenir au CCNR copie de cette confirmation accompagnée du fichier-témoin attestant la diffusion des deux annonces, qui seront formulées comme suit :

Le Conseil canadien des normes de la radiotélevision a jugé que GameTV avait enfreint le Code concernant la violence et le Code de déontologie de l’Association canadienne des radiodiffuseurs dans sa diffusion du film Eastern Promises le 9 juin 2016 à 20 h. Le film, parce qu’il comportait de la violence, de la sexualité, de la nudité, du langage vulgaire et des thèmes délicats, n’aurait pas dû être diffusé avant 21 h. Les mises en garde auraient dû signaler les scènes de sexualité et de nudité. Game TV aurait dû afficher une classification de 18+.

La présente décision devient un document public dès sa publication par le Conseil canadien des normes de la radiotélévision.

[1] CIHF-TV (MITV) concernant un épisode de Millennium (Décision CCNR 96/97-0044, 14 février 1997); TQS concernant le long métrage L’inconnu (Décision CCNR 98/99-0176, 23 juin 1999); Showcase concernant le long métrage Rats (Décision CCNR 99/00-0772, 23 août 2001); CTV concernant The Sopranos (Saison 2) (Décision CCNR 01/02-0104+, 9 mai 2002); Bravo! concernant le long métrage Perfect Timing (Décision CCNR 03/04-1719, 15 décembre 2004); CTV concernant un épisode de Criminal Minds (« Omnivore ») (Décision CCNR 08/09-1405, 25 juin 2009)

[2] Bravo! concernant le documentaire Give Me Your Soul (Décision CCNR 00/01-1021, 16 janvier 2002); OUTtv concernant le long métrage L.I.E. (Décision CCNR 09/10-1703, 7 janvier 2011); Much concernant Workaholics (« Dorm Daze ») (Décision CCNR 15/16-0515, 1er juin 2016)

[3] Showcase concernant le long métrage Rats (Décision CCNR 99/00-0772, 23 août 2001); CITY-TV concernant le long métrage Jade (Décision CCNR 03/04-0382, 22 octobre 2004); Bravo! concernant le long métrage Perfect Timing (Décision CCNR 03/04-1719, 15 décembre 2004); Bravo! concernant le long métrage Up! (Décision CCNR 03/04-0930, 15 décembre 2004); Global concernant ReGenesis (« Baby Bomb ») (Décision CCNR 04/05-1996, 20 janvier 2006); Teletoon concernant Team America: World Police (Décision CCNR 07/08-1011, 7 août 2008); The Comedy Network concernant South Park (Décision CCNR 09/10-1432 et -1562, 5 octobre 2010); CITY-DT concernant The Long Weekend (Décision CCNR 13/14-0046, 5 février 2014)

[4] CTV concernant The Sopranos (Saison 2) (Décision CCNR 01/02-0104+, 9 mai 2002); CTV concernant The Eleventh Hour (« Hard Seven ») (Décision CCNR 03/04-1738, 15 décembre 2004); CTV concernant un épisode de Criminal Minds (« Omnivore ») (Décision CCNR 08/09-1405, 25 juin 2009)


Appendix A

GameTV broadcast Eastern Promises on on June 9, 2016 at 8:00 pm Eastern Time.  GameTV broadcast the following viewer advisory, in audio and video formats, at the beginning of the broadcast and coming out of every commercial break:

This program contains scenes of violence, coarse language & mature subject matter. Viewer discretion is advised.

GameTV did not display any classification icons, either at the beginning or the top of the second hour.

The following scenes are those that contain coarse language, violence or sexual content:

8:01:16-8:02:48

It is a rainy December evening in London. There is an exterior shot of Azim’s Barber Shop.  Inside, a man named Soyka is sitting in a barber chair.  Azim is cutting Soyka’s hair and chatting to Soyka while he reads a newspaper.  Azim’s 16-year-old, somewhat developmentally delayed nephew Ekrem enters the shop.  After exchanging a few words, Azim tries to get Ekrem to take the shaving knife (ustura), but Ekrem is reluctant.

Azim:  Take the fucking ustura and finish this Rushca!

Ekrem takes the razor and saws at Soyka’s throat while Azim holds Soyka in the chair. Soyka makes gagging noises and blood pours out of Soyka’s throat.  Ekrem pulls away and Soyka collapses dead; blood spurts out of his neck.

8:02:50-8:04:52

A 14-year-old girl named Tatiana is on the street, barefoot but wearing a trenchcoat over her shoulders. She enters a pharmacy, walks up to the prescriptions counter and says she needs help.  She looks down and sees a large amount of blood gush from between her legs to the floor.  Then she faints.

The scene cuts to Tatiana on a gurney being wheeled through a hospital with an oxygen mask on. A midwife named Anna is walking alongside the gurney, asking the attendant for details of her condition and if he knows the girl’s name.  Anna takes Tatiana’s purse, looking for identification.

Anna & other medical staff have Tatiana in an operating room. Her legs are still covered in blood.  They are discussing Tatiana’s condition and that of her unborn baby.  Anna looks at Tatiana’s arms which have marks on them seemingly from intravenous drug use.  Anna tells the doctor they need to get the baby out now.

There is then a newborn lying on table covered in blood and mucus. They put an oxygen mask over the baby’s face and clamp the umbilical cord.  The doctor announces “I’m afraid we’ve lost the mother”.  The oxygen mask is removed and the baby is shown breathing on her own.

Anna has taken home a diary from deceased Tatiana’s purse in order to find contact information. The diary is written in Russian, a language which Anna cannot read.  Anna lives with her mother.  Her Uncle Stepan visits often.  Anna’s father was Russian and Stepan is apparently his brother, so he understands Russian.  Stepan looks at the diary and tells Anna to bury the girl’s secrets with her body.  Anna finds a business card for the Trans-Siberian Restaurant inside the diary pages, so she goes there to see if she can get more information about Tatiana’s family.

The viewer hears portions of the diary in Tatiana’s voice in voice-over. She says her father died in the mines in Russia, so she came to London to find a better life.

8:07:39-8:08:35

Kirill:   [to Nikolai]  You will pick up Azim and bring him back here with his bitch of a wife.

[…]

Anna is locking her motorcycle up outside the Trans-Siberian Restaurant. Kirill & Nikolai see her.

Kirill:   [to Nikolai, in Russian with English subtitles]  Who the fuck’s that?

Nikolai:          [in Russian with English subtitles]  Maybe someone sent your dad a hooker for Christmas.

Kirill:   Man, you are so fucking unbelievably disrespectful.  [Nikolai continues to look at Anna]  Hey, you got work to do.

Nikolai:          Fuck off.

8:20:06

Kirill:   [on cell phone]  Coast is clear?  Yeah?  What?  No, not beach.  I said “coast”.  It’s an English expression, you fucking baboon.  It means, it means there are no police.

8:21:31-8:25:36

Azim takes Kirill & Nikolai to the rooms above his barber shop. Ekrem is there, but startles them with his excitement at having obtained tickets to a sold-out soccer match.  Kirill asks Azim if Ekrem knows to say that he has not seen them there if anyone asks.  Azim says Ekrem knows nothing because he has been “touched by the angels”, referring to his developmental disability.

Azim opens a large freezer to reveal the body of Soyka. The body is contorted into a cramped position so it would fit into the freezer.  It is also covered in frost and there is a lot of frozen blood around the body’s neck.  Azim, Kirill & Nikolai look at the body.  Kirill is munching on nuts.

Kirill:   He was like a brother.  And now … now he looks like a fucking ice cream.  [laughs]

After exchanging a few more words, Kirill tells Nikolai “he’s all yours” and spits nutshells onto the body. Nikolai knocks his fist on the body to see that it is solid, then asks Azim for a hairdryer.

The body is now laid out on a table. There are close-ups of the body’s bloody, frozen neck.  Nikolai has a cigarette dangling from his lips while he runs the hairdryer over the body.  Kirill is lounging on top of a desk nearby and Azim looks on, unsettled.  Nikolai thaws the body’s clothes enough to get the wallet out of the inside jacket pocket.  He asks Azim “Are you finished cutting his hair?  I thought you might want $6.50 from his pocket.”  Kirill laughs.  Nikolai throws the wallet at Azim and tells him to burn it.

Nikolai:          Okay, now I’m going to do his teeth and cut off his fingers.  [to Azim] You might want to leave room.

Azim leaves. Nikolai takes one more drag from his cigarette, stubs it out on his own tongue and throws it on the floor  Nikolai takes out a tool and leans over the body near the fingers, as Kirill also leaves the room.

The scene then switches to Nikolai & Kirill driving in a white van up to steps by the river. They take the wrapped-up body out of the van and lob it into the river.  The wrapped body floats out into the river and then sinks.

8:28:26-8:29:22

Kirill is stumbling drunk and being obnoxious. Nikolai carries Kirill up the front steps of his father’s restaurant.  Semyon has just locked the door on them.

Nikolai:          Where’s your fucking keys?

Nikolai gets Kirill inside where Kirill is laughing and rolling on the floor. Semyon kicks Kirill in the stomach.

Kirill:   Hey, Papa!  What’d I do?  Is it Merry Christmas or what? [Kirill giggles drunkenly]

Semyon kicks Kirill again. Nikolai places his hand on Semyon’s shoulder.

Nikolai:          [in Russian with English subtitles]  I think he’s had enough.

Semyon:        Who the fuck are you to tell me “enough”?

8:33:26-8:34:22

The police have set up a tent and are scouring the beach along the river. The body that Nikolai & Kirill dumped is laid out inside the tent.  The body is wearing dark-coloured clothing with one shoe missing and is covered in sand & dirt.  Yuri, a specialist from the Russian Desk, has arrived.  An officer tells Yuri that they suspect the victim of being Russian mafia.  Yuri pulls up the body’s pant leg to reveal its tattooed knee.  There is a close-up of the body’s dead face, dirty with sand.  Yuri explains to the officer that, for the Russian mafia, the tattoos explain a person’s life story.  Yuri lifts the body’s hand to reveal that the fingers have been cut off.  Yuri comments that the body has been “professionally processed”.  The officer also shows Yuri a piece of paper that was found in the body’s jacket.

8:41:25-8:46:43

Kirill & Nikolai are at a brothel. There is a young woman looking sick and dejected, sitting down.  Kirill is watching another young woman dance around a pole.  He has his shirt open & a bottle in his hand.  Three other young women are sitting nearby, drinking and smoking; two of them are kissing each other.  Kirill kisses the neck of the woman dancing and rubs his face in her skirt.  Nikolai is sitting with a young woman on his lap, kissing her.  Kirill goes and sits on the other side of Nikolai’s lap.  The woman takes a swig from a bottle.

Kirill:   So, which one are you going to fuck?

Nikolai:          What do you care?

Kirill:   Serious.  [Kirill gets off of Nikolai’s lap]  Pick one.

Nikolai:          [he mumbles something in Russian that is not subtitled].  Let me enjoy myself.  [he turns to resume kissing the young woman on his lap]

Kirill:   Hear me.  You’re going to fuck one of these girls.

The woman beside Nikolai tips the alcohol bottle to his lips.

Nikolai:          Okay, okay.

Kirill:   You’re going to fuck one of these girls now.  [in Russian with English subtitles]  That’s an order!

Kirill throws the bottle in his hand and it breaks on a table. He grabs by the face the young woman sitting on Nikolai’s lap and throws her aside.  Then Kirill grabs Nikolai and yanks him up from the chair.

Nikolai:          [in Russian with English subtitles]  What’s the matter with you?

Kirill:   You are going to fuck, [?].

Nikolai:          Calm down, Kirill.

Kirill:   I am recommending you to my father.  I have to be sure that you ain’t no fucking queer.

Nikolai:          [in Russian with English subtitles]  That’s enough, Kirill.

Kirill:   [in Russian with English subtitles] Enough?  Siberian ox….  [in English]  You don’t tell a vor what is “enough”.  [Kirill shoves Nikolai’s shoulder.]  I am taking you to my father’s favourite stable.  He comes here himself!  ʼCause they’re all clean!

The woman by the pole has stopped dancing while Nikolai & Kirill argue. Kirill smacks her buttocks twice & then lifts her skirt to reveal red panties.

Kirill:   So now I’m going to watch you fuck one of these bitches.  So you can prove me that you are no queer.  [Kirill sticks his finger under Nikolai’s chin in a threatening manner]

Nikolai:          [in Russian with English subtitle]  Psycho.  [Kirill laughs & puts his arm around Nikolai’s shoulder]

Kirill:   [in Russian with English subtitles]  So, which one is it going to be?

Kirill walks Nikolai towards the women and they stop in front of the one who looks dejected and scared.

Nikolai:          That one.  [Kirill laughs]

The scene switches to Nikolai & the young woman in a different room. The woman is on all fours on a bed, looking even more dejected than before.  She is naked and her breasts are visible as Nikolai has intercourse with her from behind.  He grabs her arms & torso and thrusts his pelvis aggressively.  Kirill watches the act from the doorway.

During the act, the viewer hears Tatiana’s voice in voice-over talking about her excitement about going to London because a friend has told her of an opportunity to get paid to sing in a restaurant. In a previous scene, Anna’s Uncle Stepan told Anna that the diary revealed that Tatiana was a drug-user & prostitute, so the monologue the viewer hears about her dreams of becoming a singer are all the more tragic played over this scene.

Nikolai reaches climax and both he & the woman lean over. Kirill applauds.

Kirill:   Very nice.  You did it very nice.

Nikolai:          [panting, looks up at Kirill]  Yeah?  Really?  [in Russian with English subtitles]  Thank you, brother.  [the woman is leaning over with her head buried in the bed; Nikolai is still pressed up against her]  So, if my examination is over, get the fuck out of here while I get dressed.

Nikolai raises himself up and smacks the woman’s side. Kirill leaves the doorway.  Nikolai pants.  The young woman is now lying on her side, singing quietly to herself.  She is still naked, but her arms & legs are positioned such that one cannot see her breasts or genitals.

Nikolai asks the woman what her last name is and where she is from. She is somewhat despondent, but says her last name is Kirilenko and she is from a village near Kiev, Ukraine.  Nikolai gives her a large amount of money and tells her “Stay alive a little longer”.  He also leaves her a Russian prayer card, a gold card with a red-robed figure on it.  Nikolai leaves.

8:49:43-8:50:27

The viewer at first hears Tatiana’s voice describing her experience with Semyon’s family, but then it changes to Uncle Stepan’s voice as we see Anna’s mother & uncle working to translate the diary:

I was thrown down the stairs and fell onto some sacks. Potato sacks.  Kirill came down after me.  He hit me until I was bleeding.  Then he tried to rape me, but he couldn’t do it.  He just got madder and madder and kept hitting me.  In the end, his father came down.  It was the father who raped me.  He shouted at his son, “If you don’t break a horse, it will never be tamed, Kirill.”

8:51:15

Uncle Stepan and her mother warn Anna not to get involved with the Russians. Stepan comments about when he worked for the KGB.

Anna: You’ve never worked for the fucking KGB!

8:58:18

Kirill shows Nikolai he has boxes of wine bottles in the back of the van.

Kirill:   From France.  Old as fuck.

8:59:08-9:00:04

Kirill is sitting in the back of the van drinking wine with the two back doors open. Semyon pushes one of the doors closed on Kirill, startling him.  Semyon angrily tells Kirill that Soyka is dead.  Kirill says he had nothing to do with it.  Semyon tells Kirill not to lie to him.  Semyon grabs Kirill by the shirt, as Kirill insists he is telling the truth.  Semyon smacks Kirill across the face, shouting “I said don’t lie to me!”  Semyon lets Kirill go when Nikolai steps between them.  Kirill’s nose is bleeding.  Nikolai tells Semyon that Kirill paid Azim’s nephew to slit Soyka’s throat.

Kirill:   [in Russian with English subtitles]  Shut your fucking mouth!

Nikolai continues to tell Semyon the truth about Soyka’s murder, that Kirill ordered the hit because Soyka was spreading lies about Kirill. Nikolai also suggests Soyka was giving the police information.

9:04:49

Uncle Stepan spits in Nikolai’s face & says “motherfucker” to him in Russian with English subtitles.

9:05:09-9:05:29

Nikolai is reading Tatiana’s diary which Anna gave him. The viewer hears Tatiana’s voice in voice-over saying she wishes she could throw herself out a window but the windows won’t open.  She also says that they inject her every day with heroin.

9:11:43-9:11:57

Ekrem is walking home from the soccer match in a crowd of people, cutting through a graveyard. He separates himself from the group to urinate on a headstone.  As he is urinating, two large men in leather jackets come up behind him.  One grabs him while the other slits his throat.  One says in Russian (with English subtitles) “For my brother …” and they walk away.  The viewer understands they are Soyka’s brothers, whom Semyon warned Nikolai & Kirill about when he admonished Kirill for having had Soyka killed.

9:20:45-9:22:42

Anna is standing outside the Trans-Siberian Restaurant at night. Nikolai & Kirill pull up in their car and ask her what she is doing there, to which she responds she was just passing.  She is sarcastically repeating what Nikolai said to her when he returned her motorcycle in a previous scene.

Kirill:   If you’re passing, just pass.  Keep on going, bitch.

[…]

Anna: Tell Semyon the baby I delivered last Sunday is his daughter.

Kirill:   [in Russian with English subtitles]  What did she say?

Nikolai:          [in Russian with English subtitles] I don’t know.

Anna: When he raped her she was a virgin.  Then they gave her pills.  He has to be the father.

Kirill angrily moves towards Anna, but Nikolai holds him back. Kirill breaks free of Nikolai’s grip and grabs Anna, pushing her up against their car and holding her neck & chin.

Kirill:   [in Russian with English subtitles] Shut up, bitch!

Nikolai:          [in Russian with English subtitles] Kirill!  Fuck her, Kirill!  [Nikolai pulls Kirill off of Anna]  Forget her.

Anna: She was fourteen!  She was just a child!

Kirill goes toward Anna again, but Nikolai stands between them.

Kirill:   [pointing finger at Anna]  You pronounced the name of my father.

Patrons exit the restaurant, so Kirill stops talking. Nikolai pats Kirill’s chest, trying to get him to move away.

Kirill:   [to Anna] You stop talking shit about him.  [to Nikolai] You don’t look at her anymore.  [in Russian with English subtitle]  That’s an order.

Kirill enters the restaurant and Nikolai goes to follow him when Anna speaks again.

Anna: Tell him what I said.

Nikolai:          Tell him what?  There is nothing to tell.  Slaves give birth to slaves.

Anna: Tell him what I said.

The scene switches to Kirill & Nikolai entering the restaurant kitchen.

Kirill:   Yes, you know, the girl you fucked the other day in front of me.  The Ukrainian bitch.

Nikolai:          Ukrainian girl?

Kirill:   Anyway, so, the police arrive.  So ordinary, fucking police.  They just, bah, kick down the door and ask for her by name.  Then they just take her away.  Like some fucking punter might have given them her name or something.  What gives the right of the police to take our women?  Huh?

Nikolai:          [in Russian with English subtitle] I don’t know.

Kirill:   “I don’t know”.  Fuck police.

9:24:55

Kirill is in the restaurant cellar, drinking alcohol from a bottle. Nikolai comes down.

Kirill:   [holds up bottle] My dad swapped a little girl from Georgia for this shit.

They talk a bit more. Nikolai informs Kirill that Semyon offered him stars, meaning a stars tattoo which symbolizes Nikolai’s increasing ranks within the vory.

Kirill:   You think I didn’t know already.  He told me before.  It was my fucking idea.

Kirill gets angry at Nikolai because Kirill has the impression that Nikolai thinks he knows more than Kirill.

Kirill:   Stars are fucking birthmark for me! [he pulls his shirt off his shoulder to reveal his own stars tattoo]

Nikolai & Kirill exchange a few more words and then Nikolai goes to leave the cellar.

Kirill:   Where the fuck do you think you’re going?  We’ve got to celebrate.  Come here.

9:29:24-9:29:45

Other members of the vory have come to interview Nikolai before giving him his tattoos and increasing his rank.  They ask about his personal history and Nikolai tells them his father worked for the government.  The entire conversation is in Russian with English subtitles

vory member#1:     Your father was a bitch and a weak fucker for working for the Government.  Right?

Nikolai:          That’s right.  He means nothing to me.  My mother …

vory member#2:     You have no mother.  She was a whore anyway.

Nikolai:          Yes.

9:33:24

Soyka’s two Chechen brothers want revenge on Kirill for Soyka’s murder. In a previous scene, Azim made a deal with Semyon that he will deliver Nikolai to them, pretending that Nikolai is Kirill.

Nikolai & Azim meet at a bath house and go into a steamroom together. Azim tells Nikolai that their supply lines to Kabul are broken every few weeks.  Nikolai asks why.

Azim:  The Americans.  Fucking NATO.

Azim tells Nikolai he has to go to bathroom and will be back soon. Azim leaves.  The viewer sees Azim nervously putting his clothes back on in the changeroom.  The two Chechen thugs in leather jackets come in and sit on the bench beside him.  Azim tells them “Kirill is in there” and they will see star tattoos on his chest.

9:40:14-9:43:43

Nikolai is naked throughout this fight scene. The viewer catches glimpses of his genitals here & there.  Chechen thug #1 approaches Nikolai who has removed his towel and is sitting naked on a bench in the steamroom.  Thug #1 pulls out a large, curved blade and Nikolai looks up.  Nikolai blocks the man’s arm from swinging at him with the blade, gets up and shoves Thug #1 into the wall.  Thug #1 slices Nikolai across his front torso; Nikolai grunts in pain.  Nikolai punches Thug #1 who falls to the floor.  Nikolai clutches his own abdominal area in pain and crawls slightly away from Thug #1 on the floor, but Thug #2 is standing there and pulls Nikolai up by his hair only to subsequently punch Nikolai to the ground.

Thug #1 looks at blood on his own hands from holding his cut face. Nikolai is crawling on the floor of the steamroom and Thug #2 kicks him in the gut.  Nikolai cries out in pain, rolls over onto his back and the viewer sees blood on his torso.

Thug #1 gets up and Thug #2 asks him if he’s okay. Thug #1 says “Finish him off”.  Thug #2 pulls out a large knife and approaches Nikolai who is lying on his back on the floor.  Nikolai manages to kick Thug #2’s legs out from under him, but Thug #2 swings at Nikolai with his blade.  Nikolai punches Thug #2 in the face.  Thug #2 is on the floor holding his blade up, but Nikolai manages to get on top of him and choke him and put his fingers in Thug #2’s eyes.  Thug #2 punches Nikolai in the face and Thug #1 comes up and slices Nikolai on the back with a blade.  Nikolai & Thug #1 struggle over the blade.  Nikolai manages to grab Thug #1’s wrist and move Thug #1’s arm so Thug #1 plunges his blade into Thug #2 who is lying on floor.  Thug #1 elbows Nikolai in the face, throwing him backwards.  Thug #2 is seen with the blade plunged into him and crying in pain.

Thug #1 picks Nikolai up off the floor and throws Nikolai over the steamroom bench so Nikolai lands on the hard tile floor. Nikolai is visibly covered in blood.  There are two other male patrons in this section of the steamroom.  Thug #1 takes the curved blade out of Thug #2’s hand and comes at Nikolai, who ducks behind Patron #1 in the steamroom.  Patron #1 jumps out of way as Thug #1 comes at them.  Thug #1 slices at Nikolai’s torso.  Patron #2 shimmies himself away from them on bench.  Thug #1 keeps swinging at Nikolai with the blade, but Nikolai manages to duck.  Patron #1 hurries away.

Thug #1 slices Nikolai’s arm. Nikolai’s full frontal nudity is particularly visible as he kicks Thug #1 into the wall.  Nikolai continues to kick & punch at Thug #1 as the viewer sees Nikolai’s back covered in blood.  Nikolai gets on top of Thug #1 on the bench, but then Thug #1 repeatedly punches Nikolai in the stomach.  Nikolai throws a punch to Thug #1, causing Thug #1 to fall to the ground. Nikolai strangles Thug #1, but Thug #1 manages to punch Nikolai and grab his throat.  Nikolai grabs Thug #1’s hair and manages to reach for the curved, bloody blade which has fallen on the floor in the struggle.  Thug #1 still has one hand around Nikolai’s throat, but Nikolai manages to push Thug #1’s neck onto the blade and to put his hand over Thug #1’s face.  Thug #1 struggles for a moment, but Nikolai pushes him down harder onto the blade until he dies.  The viewer sees Nikolai on top of Thug #1 with his back covered in blood.

Nikolai wriggles off of Thug #1’s now-dead body, grunting in pain. He puts his bloody hand on the bench to help himself up onto the low wall of the steamroom and then rolls over to land beside Thug #2’s body which has a blade sticking out of the chest and blood seeping from the wound.  The viewer assumes Thug #2 is dead, but as Nikolai crawls over him, Thug #2 grabs Nikolai’s neck, chokes Nikolai, pulls the blade out of his own chest and attempts to stab Nikolai with it, but Nikolai manages to block the blow with his arm and contort Thug #2 into a painful position, seemingly breaking Thug #2’s arm or ribs.  Nikolai strikes Thug #2 and then stabs Thug #2 in the eye with the blade; blood pours out.

The next scene is Nikolai being wheeled on a gurney with blood covering his torso and a red blanket covering his lower half. There is an oxygen mask on his face.

9:49:30-9:49:55

Yuri came to see Semyon after the information he got from Nikolai (in a previous scene, the viewer learned that Nikolai is actually an undercover FSB agent). After the police’s visit, Semyon comes into the kitchen where Kirill is.  Kirill asks Semyon what the police wanted.

Semyon:        To poison me.  They took blood from me with a needle.  Probably the same needle that they use for the junkies and whores and blacks and queers.  Now I probably have the fucking queer disease.

9:51:07-9:54:27

Kirill has kidnapped the baby from the hospital. He has her in a black duffel bag and has driven to the same place he & Nikolai dumped Soyka’s body by the river.  Kirill is sitting by the river with the baby in the bag  Kirill is crying and asking the baby to forgive him.  He kisses the baby and stands up to throw her in, but he stops and cries “She’s just a little girl!  She just a little fucking devotshka, Papa!”  Anna & Nikolai arrive on her motorcycle and convince Kirill not to kill the baby.  After they hand the baby to Anna, Nikolai suggests to Kirill that they go home.

Kirill:   We’re missing the fucking party of the year!  Happy New Year!

Appendix B

The Complaint

The CBSC received the following complaint on June 11, 2016:

Station Name: GameTV

Program Name: Eastern Promises (Film)

Date: 2016/06/09

Time: 7:00 pm PT

Specific Concern: GameTV broadcast the film Eastern Promises at 7:00 pm PT (cable provider = SHAW).  This film includes a very lengthy, explicit scene in which a completely naked man fights another man.  The naked man’s buttocks and genitals are visible throughout the fight scene from many different angles.  GameTV warned that the film contains violence, but did not warn about the very explicit/gratuitous nudity.  Although I saw this scene at 7:00 pm PT, GameTV’s own schedule shows that the film was broadcast even earlier in the day.

Broadcaster Response

GameTV responded to the complainant on June 29:

Thank you for contacting GameTV directly and through the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council regarding the broadcast of the film Eastern Promises (the “Film”) by GameTV on June 9, 2016.  I am the General Counsel of GameTV and am ultimately responsible for the matters raised in your complaint.  As such, I have thoroughly investigated your complaint and confirm that the Film included nudity and that the advisory that was broadcast in advance of each segment of the Film did not refer to nudity.  I, personally and on behalf of GameTV, sincerely apologize to you and to our other viewers for this error.

GameTV takes its viewers’ concerns, along with its responsibility to address the issue of mature subject matter, violence, nudity, sexually explicit material and coarse or offensive language on television, very seriously. In accordance with the principles of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Violence Code (the “Code”), to which we adhere, we believe that viewers should be fully informed about the content of programming they choose to watch.  In order to comply with the Code, GameTV has developed and implemented internal guidelines concerning the broadcast of programming that includes mature subject matter or scenes with violence, nudity, sexually explicit material and coarse or offensive language, as well as the selection and use of appropriate viewer advisories.

The advisory that should have been used in connection with the Film should have referred to nudity. As soon as we received your complaint, GameTV adjusted the advisory for the next airing of the Film to include nudity.  Furthermore, we have reviewed our internal guidelines as a result of your complaint and have recirculated them to employees who are involved in the process of selecting, editing and scheduling our broadcasts.

In addition to adjusting the advisory, GameTV reviewed, re-edited and replaced the Film in advance of its next airing. We specifically focused on those areas of concern that you raised in your complaint, but we also reviewed the entire Film.  GameTV submitted the re-edited Film to its third party master control operator and confirmed that the prior version would not be broadcast again.

Once again, Mr. [G.], GameTV and I are sincerely sorry for missing the content described in your complaint and for broadcasting an improper advisory. We thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.  As soon as we became informed of this error, we strove to correct it as soon as possible in order to prevent it from happening again.  We have also met numerous times with the individuals involved in selecting, editing and scheduling our broadcasts and have implemented additional internal procedures to ensure it doesn’t happen again with any of our other films.

I hope that this letter addresses your concerns and that you will continue to watch GameTV. I would be pleased to continue to correspond with you concerning this matter at your convenience.

Additional Correspondence

The complainant wrote back to GameTV on July 4, indicating that he wanted the CBSC to pursue the matter.

Thank you for taking time to respond to my complaint.

Unfortunately, I find it hard to believe that GameTV “missed the content” when one considers that the film in question is well known for that scene – just as much as Basic Instinct was known for Sharon Stone flashing her genitals for about one second.  Am I to believe that GameTV staff were completely unaware of the very lengthy graphic male nudity scene when they selected that film for broadcast?  How did they know it contained violence?

Furthermore, this is not just about broadcasting a comprehensive advisory; it also concerns GameTV’s choice to broadcast such a film unedited at 5:00 pm PT. If the nudity was a few a seconds of breasts/buttocks I would accept your apology and move on, but the scene in question was lengthy, extremely graphic and gratuitous (did the camera really need to be placed on the ground to look up at the naked man’s buttocks and genitals from behind while his legs were partially spread?)

It is fine that you have recirculated your “internal guidelines”, but will this really help? Where was the common sense to begin with?

Your channel has a history of broadcasting objectionable content. For example, in the past, you broadcast the Jackass films which contain male nudity throughout in scenes where young men perform indignities to their, or their co-stars’, body parts.  Etc, etc…

It seems that your staff wants to broadcast films that provoke – well, provocation accomplished.

Again, I thank you for complying with CBSC’s request to respond to my complaint. Unfortunately, I do wish to proceed and will be requesting a ruling from the CBSC.

My reasons for not giving your staff a “free pass” are, in point form:

– I find it doubtful that your staff did not know about the scene, as you seem to suggest. In fact, your website showed a photo of that exact scene.

– The scene in question did not contain minor, fleeting nudity, but was very lengthy, graphic and gratuitous.

– You have a history of broadcasting objectionable content.

– You broadcast the film very early in the day (are there still watershed hours??).

– You have a history of broadcasting objectionable content early in the day.

– You are injecting very adult content alongside very wholesome entertainment. In my opinion, no reasonable person would expect to see such content on a “GameTV” channel.  Such films could reasonably be expected on channels like IFC and Sundance.

– Your channel is bundled by at least one of Canada’s largest cable providers in their lowest tier (excluding the new “skinny” packages). Bundled channels should be held to higher standards than the specialty channels which are not forced upon Canadians.