Much concernant Workaholics (« Dorm Daze »)

Comité décideur anglophone
Décision CCNR 15/16-0525
2016 CCNR 4
16 juin 2016
A. Noël (présidente), B. Abramson, K. Clout, E. Duffy-MacLean, L. Salvas

LES FAITS

Workaholics est une émission comique américaine qui relate la vie de Blake, Adam et Ders, trois collégiens qui viennent de décrocher. Ils partagent un même appartement et travaillent pour la même entreprise de télémarketing. Leurs champs d’intérêt se résument à faire la fête, se saouler, se droguer, regarder des films pornos et courir les filles. Ce genre d’activités les propulse fréquemment dans de fâcheuses situations, qui sont autant de prétextes à des effets comiques.

Un épisode de la série intitulé « Dorm Daze » a été diffusé par Much le 25 décembre 2015 à 21 h. Much, un service spécialisé, est exploité sur un signal unique à partir de Toronto (heure de l’Est), ce qui fait qu’il a été diffusé à 19 h, heure des Rocheuses, dans la province d’où est venue la plainte.

Much a diffusé pendant 15 secondes l’icône de classification 14+ en début d’émission ainsi que la mise en garde sonore et visuelle suivante, au début de l’émission et à la reprise après chaque pause publicitaire :

[traduction]

Cette émission comporte des scènes d’activité sexuelle, un langage grossier et des thèmes adultes. Elle s’adresse à un public averti.

Dans cet épisode, leur employeur envoie les trois jeunes gens faire du recrutement à la foire d’emploi d’un campus de collège. Tandis que Ders tient le kiosque, Adam et Blake explorent le campus. Adam, croyant reconnaître l’arrière-scène de ses films pornos favoris, se met à la recherche du dortoir où se déroule le tournage. Blake tente d’auditionner pour une pièce de théâtre mais se fait montrer la porte, pour être aussitôt repéré par une jeune femme qui le persuade par la ruse de participer à un film porno amateur.

Une plainte a été déposée le 25 décembre 2015 par une personne qui, en faisant défiler les postes sur son téléviseur, est tombée par hasard sur ce passage en particulier. Le kiosque que surveille Ders à la foire voisine celui de la Garde côtière américaine. Ders provoque l’animosité de quatre officiers de la Garde côtière en plaisantant sur leur paresse au travail et leurs mœurs homosexuelles. Quand les officiers s’approchent de son kiosque d’un air menaçant, il demande : [traduction] « qu’est-ce que vous allez me faire ? me coller un code rouge ? » La scène suivante le montre, vu en plongée, collé de force au plancher par les quatre officiers qui ont baissé ses bobettes. L’un des quatre achève de boire une boisson gazeuse, puis en verse le restant sur les fesses de Ders. La caméra capte de bas en haut le visage contorsionné de Ders qui supplie : [traduction] « Ne faites pas ça ! […] Mes poils de cul commencent à pétiller ! » Un autre officier s’exclame [traduction] « je vois que l’officier Remue la Petite-Queue a un peu soif » et, soulevant le petit chien qui les accompagne, l’approche de Ders pour qu’il lui lèche le derrière. Ders lance des cris : [traductions] « c’est pas bon ça, c’est pas bon ça », puis, l’air contrit, « c’est pas… mal. […] o… o… o.k. » Un dernier officier s’empare de la liste d’embauche que Ders a dressée, la déchire et la répand en morceaux sur sa tête.

À propos de cette scène, la plainte fait état de « bestialité » et de « cruauté animale » et affirme que le jeune homme retenu de force est de toute évidence troublé par ce qui lui arrive. Il s’agirait, selon la plainte, ni plus ni moins que d’un acte de perversion et – plus grave encore – diffusé aux heures de grande écoute quand les enfants regardent la télévision.

Much a répondu à la plainte par lettre le 22 janvier 2016. Le télédiffuseur rappelle que Workaholics est une comédie et que la scène en question se veut un numéro comique dans lequel les officiers s’amusent à se venger de Ders pour son manque de respect. Much souligne que, même si la scène peut être jugée vulgaire, aucun mal n’a été fait au chien et qu’on n’y trouve rien qui puisse être considéré comme inapproprié pour la télévision. Much note que l’émission a été classée dans la catégorie « plus de 14 ans » et diffusée après 21 h dans la province d’où provenait le signal d’origine. En terminant, le télédiffuseur insiste pour dire que Much n’est pas un service pour enfants.

Une seconde lettre du plaignant, adressée à Much et au CCNR le 23 janvier, revient sur l’heure à laquelle l’émission a été diffusée en Alberta et sur le traitement réservé au chien. Une troisième lettre – adressée cette fois spécifiquement au CCNR le 2 février – déplore que personne n’ait fait face à sa responsabilité de [traduction] « rappeler la station à l’ordre au sujet de cette émission offensante ». (La correspondance complète figure dans l’annexe B, en anglais seulement.)

Outre la scène que décrit la plainte, l’épisode en question en renferme plusieurs autres où il est question de sexe, de masturbation et de films pornos. Le langage utilisé est truffé de métaphores et expressions vulgaires pour désigner des actes sexuels ou des parties du corps. De plus, on voit Adam prendre des positions suggestives et se remémorer, par le biais de courts clips vidéos, diverses activités sexuelles se déroulant dans ses pornos favorites. Il y a aussi les scènes dans lesquelles la jeune fille et le producteur de films pornos tentent d’amener Blake à participer au tournage de leur film. Blake finit par se dévêtir pour ne garder que son caleçon qu’il frotte frénétiquement pour provoquer une érection. Adam survient à temps pour « sauver » Blake avant que les choses aillent trop loin. La scène finale montre des hommes faisant la file devant le « dortoir porno » où l’on s’apprête à filmer une « partouze chez la Garde côtière ». En arrière-plan, on entend une femme gémir de plaisir. (Une description détaillée et la transcription de l’épisode, en anglais seulement, figurent dans l’annexe A.)

LA DÉCISION

Le comité décideur anglophone, qui a été chargé d’examiner la plainte à la lumière des codes et directives administrés par le CCNR, s’est référé aux dispositions suivantes 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 – Horaires 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 6h.

[…]

(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

Système de classification pour les télédiffuseurs de langue anglaise et de langues tierces

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 et 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

Autres lignes directrices sur le contenu

18+ – Adultes

Émissions destinées aux adultes de 18 ans et plus.

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

Lignes directrices sur la violence

Autres lignes directrices sur le contenu

Code de l’ACR concernant la violence, Article 9.0 – Violence contre les animaux

9.1 Les télédiffuseurs ne doivent pas diffuser d’émissions qui endossent, encouragent ou glorifient la violence contre les animaux.

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 h 00. 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.)

Les membres du comité décideur ont lu toute la correspondance afférente et visionné un enregistrement de la diffusion en question. Le comité conclut que Much n’a enfreint aucune des dispositions énoncées ci-dessus.

Représentation des animaux

La plainte porte essentiellement sur la scène où le chien lèche le derrière du protagoniste. Elle invoque la « bestialité » et de la « cruauté animale ». Le comité comprend que des téléspectateurs puissent trouver cette scène passablement vulgaire. Toutefois, le rôle du comité décideur est de voir si l’émission se conforme aux dispositions des codes qui s’appliquent. Pour ce faire, le comité a tenu compte, dans des décisions passées du CCNR, du type de traitement des animaux qui n’avait pas été considéré comme enfreignant l’article 9.0 du Code de l’ACR concernant la violence. Par exemple, une émission qui montrait un chien en train de boire de la bière n’a pas été considérée comme endossant, encourageant ou glorifiant la violence contre les animaux1. Dans le cas d’un film d’art qui montrait différentes formes de bestialité, il a également été déterminé qu’il ne violait pas cette disposition du code2.

La scène du chien dans Workaholics est indéniablement répugnante, mais le comité décideur estime qu’il doit l’examiner dans le contexte d’une émission qui se veut par-dessus tout humoristique. Le comité est d’avis que la scène avait pour but de montrer à quel point les officiers pouvaient se montrer immatures et vulgaires dans leur façon de se venger de Ders pour ses insultes non moins immatures à leur endroit. Tout d’abord désarçonné par le traitement que lui réservent les officiers, Ders conclut rapidement que [traduction] « c’est pas… mal ». La blague refait surface à la fin de l’épisode quand Ders suggère aux instigateurs du film porno que s’ils veulent se lancer dans le [traduction] « vraiment bizarroïde », ils pourraient avoir recours au chien parce que celui-ci peut « toss a salad like, it’s crazy good » (vous touiller une salade comme un champion, toss a salad étant l’expression argotique pour désigner l’anulingus). Adam et Blake demandent à Ders comment il sait ça et quand, quelques instants plus tard, celui-ci suggère qu’ils adoptent un chien, ils s’exclament de but en blanc [traduction] : « Ce chien-là t’a réellement léché le trou du cul, c’est ça ? ». Ainsi prend fin cet épisode, sur la note d’humour de collégien qui le caractérise du début à la fin.

Le comité considère la violence contre les animaux comme une question grave. Toutefois, compte tenu du rapport entre cette scène et le récit de fond, de la façon dont le sujet est traité et du fait que le chien n’a subi aucuns sévices, le comité décideur conclut que la scène en question ni n’endosse, ni n’encourage, ni ne glorifie la violence contre les animaux et que, par conséquent, elle n’enfreint pas l’article 9.1 du Code de l’ACR concernant la violence.

Mise à l’horaire chevauchant plusieurs fuseaux horaires

La plainte repose notamment sur le fait que l’épisode a été diffusé à 19 h, en dehors de la plage horaire qui lui était assignée. Comme il est expliqué plus haut, Much l’a diffusé à 21 h, heure de l’Est, dans la province de son signal d’origine, soit en Ontario. Parce que Much se sert d’un signal unique pour diffuser partout au pays, cette émission a été montrée à 19 h, heure des Rocheuses.

Le Code de l’ACR concernant la violence et le Code de déontologie de l’ACR renferment tous deux des dispositions à l’égard des différences entre fuseaux horaires. Normalement, une émission dont le contenu s’adresse exclusivement aux adultes ne peut être diffusée qu’entre 21 h et 6 h, pendant ce qu’on appelle la plage des heures tardives, donc après 21 h, appelée l’heure « critique ». La note entre parenthèses dans les deux codes précise que « les présentes directives s’appliquent au fuseau horaire d’où provient le signal ». Cela signifie que, du moment que le télédiffuseur respecte l’heure critique de 21 h dans son propre fuseau horaire, il n’enfreint pas les codes.

Telle est la situation qui se présente ici et voilà pourquoi Much n’a enfreint, ni l’article 3 du Code de l’ACR concernant la violence, ni l’article 10 du Code de déontologie de l’ACR, puisque l’émission a été diffusée après 21 h dans le fuseau horaire de son signal d’origine.

Le CCNR a reconnu par le passé que cette « exception » due au fuseau horaire engendrait une situation inconfortable, le plus souvent pour les téléspectateurs situés à l’ouest de l’Ontario. Dans une décision en particulier, le CCNR a exprimé sa sympathie pour les téléspectateurs aux prises avec ce problème, qui ne font que réclamer que ce genre de programmation, clairement réservé à la plage des heures tardives, soit aussi interdit de diffusion avant l’heure critique chez eux, une demande que le CCNR a qualifiée de tout à fait raisonnable3.

Le CCNR a suggéré plusieurs solutions pour démêler cet imbroglio. Il encourage tout d’abord les télédiffuseurs qui fonctionnent avec un signal unique à tenir compte du problème au moment d’élaborer leur grille horaire.

Ensuite, le CCNR incite les téléspectateurs à prendre connaissance des outils d’information mis à leur disposition, notamment les mises en garde à l’auditoire et les catégories de classification que fournissent les télédiffuseurs pour aider leurs auditoires à faire des choix4. Troisièmement, et sur un plan plus concret, le CCNR a déterminé que les télédiffuseurs devaient présenter des mises en garde à la reprise après les pauses publicitaires durant la seconde heure de diffusion, et non pas uniquement durant la première heure comme il serait normalement requis, lorsqu’ils savent qu’un contenu destiné aux adultes risque d’être vu avant l’heure critique dans certains fuseaux horaires5. Dans le cas présent, l’émission n’avait pas la longueur voulue pour que cette exigence s’applique.

Quatrièmement, bien que ceci ne soit pas directement pertinent, le CCNR a précisé que l’exception pour le fuseau horaire ne s’appliquait pas aux messages publicitaires et promotionnels et que ceux-ci, lorsqu’ils renferment un contenu exclusivement destiné aux adultes, devaient dans tous les fuseaux horaires être présentés après l’heure critique6. La raison en est que les téléspectateurs, dans le cas des messages publicitaires ou promotionnels, n’ont pas accès à l’information préalable que donnent les classifications et les mises en garde.

À la lumière de ces explications, le comité confirme qu’à son avis, cet épisode de Workaholics comportait un contenu réservé exclusivement aux adultes. L’épisode devait donc être diffusé dans la plage des heures tardives après 21 h, que Much lui a effectivement assignée. Presque toutes les scènes de cette émission de 30 minutes étaient à tout le moins suggestives, quand elles n’étaient pas carrément de nature sexuelle. Il renfermait également une abondance de mots vulgaires pour désigner des actes sexuels et les parties du corps, sans compter une instance non censurée du mot fuck. Si l’on ajoute à cela les thèmes développés au cours de l’épisode – films pornographiques, masturbation, partouzes, utilisation d’un chien à des fins sexuelles –, on obtient une émission nettement destinée à un auditoire adulte.

Classification

Nonobstant sa conclusion quant à la teneur réservée exclusivement à un auditoire adulte, le comité décideur estime que la classification « plus de 14 ans » accordée à cette émission n’est pas fautive. S’il semble y avoir contradiction entre ces deux avis, c’est que la classification d’une émission et sa mise à l’horaire portent sur deux types d’information différents. La classification tient compte du degré de violence, de sexualité et de langage grossier. La catégorie 14+ indique la « possibilité d’utilisation de jurons fréquente ou de forte intensité » et des « scènes de nudité et/ou d’activité sexuelle ». La catégorie 18+ prévoit, quant à elle, un « langage explicite » et des « représentations explicites de sexe et/ou de nudité ».

Le comité estime que l’alternance constante de contenu suggestif et de thèmes ouvertement sexuels place cet épisode des Workaholics à la limite de la catégorie 18+, mais que l’absence de représentations explicites de sexe fait légèrement pencher la balance en faveur de la catégorie 14+. La décision de Much de lui accorder la cote 14+ paraît donc acceptable en vertu de l’article 4.0 du Code de l’ACR concernant la violence. Le comité tient aussi à souligner que Much a respecté les dispositions des codes en fournissant tout au long de l’émission des mises en garde détaillées qui signalaient aux téléspectateurs des « scènes d’activité sexuelle », du « langage grossier » et des « thèmes adultes ».

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, Much a répondu à la plainte en faisant valoir le côté humoristique de l’émission et en réfutant directement les arguments de cruauté soulevés par la scène du chien. Ce télédiffuseur ayant rempli son obligation de se montrer réceptif, il n’y a pas lieu d’en exiger davantage de sa part.

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

1 CHCH-TV (E!) concernant E!’s Wildest Spring Break Moments (Décision CCNR 08/09-1097 et -1743, 1er avril 2010)

2 Showcase Television concernant le long métrage Caniche (Décision CCNR 01/02-0032, 3 mai 2002)

3 Bravo! concernant le documentaire Give Me Your Soul (Décision CCNR 00/01-1021, 16 janvier 2002); voir aussi WTN concernant Sunday Night Sex Show (Décision CCNR 99/00-0672, 31 janvier 2001); History Television concernant un épisode de la série Sexual Century (Décision CCNR 02/03-1495, 30 janvier 2004); OUTtv concernant le long métrage L.I.E. (Décision CCNR 09/10-1703, 7 janvier 2011); et TV5 concernant Le sexe autour du monde (« Japon ») (Décision CCNR 11/12-1648, 24 octobre 2012)

4 WTN concernant Sunday Night Sex Show (Décision CCNR 99/00-0672, 31 janvier 2001); Bravo! concernant le documentaire Give Me Your Soul (Décision CCNR 00/01-1021, 16 janvier 2002); History Television concernant un épisode de la série Sexual Century (Décision CCNR 02/03-1495, 30 janvier 2004)

5 History Television concernant le film documentaire Argentina’s Dirty War (Décision CCNR 00/01-0944, 3 mai 2002)

6 Space: TheImaginationStation concernant un message promotionnel pour Drive-In Classics (Décision CCNR 01/02-0699, 13 septembre 2002)

APPENDIX A

CBSC Decision 15/16-0525

Much re Workaholics (“Dorm Daze”)

Much aired an episode of Workaholics entitled “Dorm Daze” on December 25, 2015 at 9:00 pm Eastern Time. In the episode, their employer sends the three men to a college campus job fair to recruit new workers for the telemarketing company. In addition to the scene described by the complainant, the episode includes instances of coarse language, references to sex and drugs, and some sexual imagery. The following is a description and transcription of the majority of the episode:

21:00:11-21:00:52

Blake & Ders are sitting on a couch in formal attire. They clink champagne glasses.

Blake: Hey.

Ders: Hey.

Blake: Hollywood’s biggest night, huh? What’d you put down for best foreign?

Ders: You know me, man, just puttin’ down the Danish one. Tryin’ to keep it Scandinavian, so …

Blake: Oh. Man, I hope tonight tops last year because I really feel that it was just a bunch of people, like, I don’t know, sucking each other off on the red carpet.

Ders: Yeah, it kinda was.

Blake: Yeah, it was, like, one big circle jerk, right?

Ders: Yeah.

Blake: [calls into the kitchen] Oh, Adam, Adam, it’s starting, it’s starting!

Adam walks into the room from the kitchen carrying a tray.

Adam: Who’s hungry?!

Blake & Ders: Oh yeah!

Blake: All right. That looks great.

Adam lifts cover off tray to reveal food that looks like two breasts and a penis.

Adam: Tit-tay!

On their television set, an announcer says “Welcome to the AVN Awards Show where we honour the best in adult entertainment” and there is a corresponding title sequence of quick shots of naked women flaunting for the camera.

Adam: Who do you guys have for best MMFTPATM?

Blake & Ders lean forward to look at the papers on which they have written down their guesses for the award winners

Ders: Umm.

Blake: I have to look at my mark.

Ders: Gianna.

Blake: Yep, and I got Chloë.

21:01:04-21:03:44

The three men are walking into their workspace.

Ders: Adam, I can’t believe you got every category right.

Blake: You even guessed best dong-umentary.

Adam: Yes, well, 12 Inches a Slave was a no-brainer. But, I’ll admit it, having a pornographic memory doesn’t hurt. I cannot forget a dick. Like –

Ders: Which is crazy, ʼcause you can’t remember anything else, right?

Adam: Yeah. No, I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast. I can’t remember, like, my social security number. Which is an issue sometimes. But I remember, like, every frame of the porno that I cranked down to in the mirror last night.

Blake: Did you just say you cranked down in the mirror?

Adam: You guys don’t crank down in the mirror? Okay, I’ll teach you somethin’. Okay, so you are the mirror [gestures towards Ders, whom Adam is facing]. This right here, the screen [gestures to his computer screen behind him]. That’s where all the porno’s happening. So I put on a porno back here and I look in the mirror and it’s like I’m in the porno. [Blake looks at him quizzically, then looks at Ders who is gesturing as he is trying to figure out the placement of screen & mirror that Adam is describing.] It’s like a pop porno and then I’m looking at myself at the same time and going, like, “You’re having fun. This is fun. Look at you.”

Ders: Sure.

Blake: Seems like a lot of work, but very cool.

Adam: [shrugs] It’s not.

Blake: I like to just squeeze it ʼtil it pops and move on, you know?

Adam: It’s not, it’s not a lot, it’s not.

Ders: It’s a little overwhelming for me, so if we could, uh, if you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to ask you [addressing Blake] about the giant bag you brought to work. What’s up with that?

Blake: Hello, it’s my costume bag from my theatre days.

Ders: Oh oh.

Blake: When we were watching the AVN Awards, it kinda got the ol’ actor juices a-flowin’.

Adam: I had different juices flowing. Semen.

Ders: Me too.

Their female boss tells Ders she wants him to go to a college job fair to recruit 100 people interested in working at the telemarketing company.

Adam: [excitedly] We’re going back to college, we’re going back to college! [makes “humping” motion]

Ders tells Adam & Blake he does not want to take them with him. He asks other co-workers to go, but they do not want to. Adam & Blake beg Ders to take them, promising they will not let him down, so Ders reluctantly agrees.

21:04:03-21:04:38

Ders, Blake & Adam are setting up their booth at the college job fair. Ders reveals that he has brought a karaoke machine and suggests that they sing songs to attract recruits.

Adam: [takes the microphone from Blake & talks into it] Fuck this shit. Very stupid, very dumb idea.

Adam & Blake say that, despite their promise, they are going to go off and goof around because Ders insulted them by suggesting they would not work hard.

Blake: You were a jerk and you blew us off and you said we weren’t going to help you, so now we’re not going to and we would’ve done really well too. We would’ve, like, worked our balls off.

Blake & Adam go off to goof around while Ders works at the booth.

21:04:54-21:05:45

Blake & Adam are walking around the campus. Blake wants to toss a boomerang around.

Adam: I’m getting, like, weird vibes, though. It’s, like, full body déjà-vu.

Adam notices a tree and has a memory of two people kissing passionately in front of it.

Adam: [grabs Blake’s arm] Oh! Dorm Daze! This is the college campus where they shot 24 of my 36 favourite college pornos! This is it! This is the vibe, that’s why I was getting that vibe.

Blake: Oh, okay, okay. That’s awesome, man. Now, uh, hey, [affects Australian accent] go long, mate, I want to toss you the boomer.

Adam: I’ve gotta find the dorm room where they shot the gang bang sequences. Pay my respects.

Adam leaves Blake to “go find porno”.

21:06:03-21:06:48

Ders is singing karaoke to try to attract people to the booth. He is wearing a t-shirt with a military camouflage design. The booth beside him is manned by four male US Coast Guard officers.

Coast Guard Officer #1: Hey, Army Man.

Ders: Yeah?

Coast Guard Officer #1: You, uh, take requests?

Coast Guard Officer #2: Because I, uh, request that you take that mic and shove it up your ass.

Officers #1 and #2 bump fists.

Ders: Who are you guys? Oh, US Coast Guard. I get it, ʼcause you guys coast on the backs of the people who really guard our country.

A male college student laughs and stops to listen to Ders some more.

Ders: Oh my god, did one of you guys just fart? ʼCause it smells like salty dick.

More students gather around to laugh at Ders’s jokes. The Coast Guard officers appear annoyed.

Ders: Ooh, I’m downwind. Uh, you guys want to see my impression of the Navy?

Ders makes a booping noise and mimes looking through a periscope.

Ders: And here’s my impression of the US Coast Guard.

He starts to mime pulling down a periscope, but then waves his arms with microphone in one hand, waggles his tongue and makes noise to imply fellatio. Students start to line up to sign Ders’s recruitment form.

Ders: Just, uh, need your name, email, phone number and stool sample. Just kidding, I’m not the Coast Guard.

21:09:25-21:11:02

Blake goes to the campus theatre school’s auditions for Shakespeare’s Hamlet and gets kicked out when he performs a scene from his own screenplay for a Crocodile Dundee sequel. A young blonde woman follows Blake out. We later learn her name is Crystal. Crystal compliments Blake on his acting and invites him to come participate in a short film she and her friends are making.

21:11:03-21:12:49

Adam is roaming the dormitory hallways looking for the room in which he believes the porn movies were filmed. When he sees a room marked 18, he has a vision of a group of people filmed through a doorway. Some are lying down, some are standing, in various states of undress, legs and arms entwined as they engage in sexual acts, accompanied by female moaning sounds. The vision ends and Adam opens the door and walks into the room. There is no one in the room, but it is filled with typical dorm room items, such as a dresser, phone, computer, posters on the walls, etc. Adam makes his way around the room, touching the walls and furniture. He repeatedly has visions of scenes from the porn movies, featuring images of women moaning. He tries to figure out if it is indeed the correct room by placing himself in various positions to “re-enact” scenes. At one point, he humps the floor and then vigorously shakes a chair as if he is having sex with it. He takes a guitar a raises his leg over the neck as if to insert it in his anus. He kneels on the bed as if there is a woman underneath him trying to figure out how a scene would have been filmed.

Adam: [talking to himself] If the semen spray landed here, Buster would have to shoot from here. And Eric was over there and he didn’t even bust. Was there a second semen sprayer? No, no, start from the beginning, Adam.

Adam has one foot up on the bed and a series of strings extending from his crotch to the walls to represent semen spray. Two students walk into the room.

male student: Who the [beep] are you!?

Adam: Is this where the porno was?

male student: I don’t know what you’re talking about, man, just, just get outta here.

Adam: You know what? I believe you. I don’t see porno in your eyes. So I’m going to have a look around first.

Adam notices a female student walking down the hall carrying a book titled Female Sexuality.

Adam: Female sex. That’s code word for porn.

Adam runs out of the room to follow the young woman.

21:12:53-21:13:47

The four Coast Guard officers approach Ders’s booth. One of them is drinking from a fast food cup with a straw.

Ders: The Coast Guard, what’s goin’ on? Wait a second, if you guys are here, who’s doing nothing on the boat? [laughs] ʼCause you guys, I don’t know what you do. What do you guys even do? Do you have boats?

Coast Guard Officer #2: Yeah, we get it. Yeah, you’re a regular Gabriel Iglesias.

Ders: I wouldn’t say that. Fluffy’s very talented.

Coast Guard Officer #1: You really shouldn’t make jokes about the military like that.

Ders: Hey, what are you guys going to do, give me a code red?

Coast Guard Officer #1: That’s actually not a bad idea.

There is an aerial view of the four Coast Guard officers holding Ders stomach-down on the ground with his pants partway down to reveal his buttocks. The officer with the drink pours it onto Ders’s buttocks. The camera shifts to ground level.

Ders: Come on, guys, please! Don’t do this! Oh, man!

Coast Guard Officer #2: Nothing like the taste of Code Red on a hot day, am I right?!

Ders: [close-up of his contorted face being held against ground] My butt hairs are all fizzy now!

Coast Guard Officer #1: I think Officer Petty Tailwags is looking a little thirsty.

He picks up a small dog who has been with them and brings it closer to Ders’s behind.

Ders: What? Who’s Officer Petty Tailwags?

Officer #1 holds the dog to Ders’s behind and the dogs licks it.

Ders: That’s not good, that’s not good, that’s not good! That’s not … bad.

Coast Guard Officer #1: There we go.

Officer #1 wiggles his tongue to imitate the dog licking while he continues to hold Petty Tailwags to Ders’s behind.

Ders: [looks confused] O-o-okay.

Coast Guard Officer #2: Normally we spend our shore leave [beep]. Not teaching manners to phone jockeys.

He tears up a piece of paper (presumably Ders’s recruiter list) and throws it on Ders’s head.

21:13:46-21:14:47

Adam follows the woman with the book into a lecture hall where a women’s studies class is taking place. The female professor is lecturing about patriarchy and women being portrayed as sex objects.

Adam sits down beside another female student and whispers to her: Sex objects? Is she talking about dildos or what?

Professor: Is there a problem, young man?

Adam: No. I just saw this hot chick walking with a book that said “sex” and I figured she was leading me to the porno room or something.

All the female students turn to him in disgust.

Professor: Young man, would you come down here to the front of the room? And, and let us ask you some questions.

Adam: Oh, hell yeah, bitch. Cool. All right. This is fun. [to a student he passes] Damn girl, you got some sweater meats up there.

Adam walks down the steps of the lecture hall to sit in a chair at the front of the room.

Professor: Fascinating. Did you see how he wasn’t able to take more than just a few steps without talking about sex?

Adam crosses his arms and put two fingers up on each hand in a sort of smug hip-hop gesture.

Professor: It’s really as if he has no control over his base desire.

Adam: I didn’t know I was going to be in a room full of freaking hot young Mileys or else I probably would’ve worn my [affects aggressive voice] big dick jeans. Ha ha!

He holds one leg out and gestures to his crotch holding his hand out to represent a large penis. Two young women in the front row exchange looks of disbelief.

21:17:34-21:18:05

Crystal leads Blake into a room that she says is their movie set. He is excited to think he will be acting in a real movie. She introduces him to Landon, the director.

21:18:06-21:21:12

Adam is still sitting in the chair at the front of the women’s studies classroom.

Professor: So tell me, Adam, what is it you like about porn?

Adam: To begin with, everything. Not to be, like, sentimental or cheesy, but I love how there’s soft cupping of the balls, the general way they just caress the shaft. [imitates gagging as if performing fellatio] All the gagging. It’s just beautiful to me.

Professor: Well, Adam, I have some bad news for you. Those women are being exploited.

Adam: [looks confused] Nope.

Professor: No, it’s true. Many of them are confused, young actresses hoping to be in a movie.

The scene switches to Blake preparing for what he thinks is a scene in a regular movie. Crystal is sitting beside him on a couch, lighting and then smoking a marijuana joint. Landon hands Blake a bottle with an alcoholic beverage.

Landon: Here’s some acting juice.

Blake: [accepts it happily] Oh, are you kidding me?

Blake then takes the joint from Crystal.

The scene switches back to the women’s studies professor.

Professor: They’re offered drugs and alcohol to lower their inhibitions. They’re victims, Adam.

The scene switches back to Blake. He asks the director what exactly the scene is.

Landon: Well, tell you what. The scene is sit down right about here [pats end of bed] and then Crystal is gonna gobble your knob. [he takes drag of cigarette]

Blake suggests doing a less explicit scene first, but Landon declines. The scene switches back to the professor.

Professor: Sad victims of a dark industry that caters to perverted misogynists!

Adam: Don’t talk about porno like that. It’s, like, fun. Everybody, they’re all having fun.

Blake is getting intoxicated.

Blake whispers nervously to Crystal: They’re not going to show my actual, um, my penis, are they?

Professor: They manipulate women emotionally to make them think they have no choice.

Crystal: What’s the matter? You don’t like sex?

Crystal grabs Blake’s crotch. Blake squirms nervously.

Blake: I do, I do. I do, I do, I do, I do. It’s just, um, you know what, I should go. Uh, I hear my mom calling me. I gotta go. I’m so sorry.

Blake gets up off couch and grabs his hat to go.

Landon: [angrily] Whoa, whoa, whoa. Whoa, whoa, what the hell, man? You drink my booze, you smoke my weed and now you want to [beep] leave?! I don’t think so, man!

Blake: All right. Stop yelling at me! All right! I just want to act. I just want act, okay! And I just, don’t be mad, all right?

Landon strokes Blake’s cheek and says “sh, sh, sh” to try to calm him down.

Professor: They break these women down to get what they want. That’s how they get them!

Landon: You’re in the big time now. You’re going to act. You don’t want to disappoint all these people, do ya? All these people here workin’ hard to make you look good. Why don’t you take this [hands Blake a tube of lubricant], use that closet to grease up your hog and then get your [beep] together, we’ll make some movies.

Blake takes the lubricant reluctantly and nods, still clearly under the influence of the alcohol and marijuana. The scene switches back to the Professor and Adam.

Adam: You’re scaring me.

Professor: Good! You should be scared. What if your mother was in this situation?

Adam: [upset & sensitive that his mother would be implicated] My mother doesn’t make porno. She makes ham sandwiches.

Professor: But porn stars are women, just like your mom.

Adam: [on the verge of tears] So some porn stars are done from a long day on set and they go home and make a little boy ham sandwiches?

Professor: Yes, Adam. Porn stars make little boys ham sandwiches too.

Adam: [gets up angrily and knocks chair over] I’m going to find that porno room and I’m not going to be the one crankin’ down in the corner and potentially being a [beep]! No! I’m going to shut it down! ʼCause no mommy should go home and make ham sandwiches for little boys with ejaculate on their fingers! I’m doing it … for the mommies!

Adam runs out of the classroom.

21:21:12-21:22:01

Ders approaches the Coast Guard officers at their booth and tells them he wants to apologize. Then he tells another joke that insults the Coast Guard, grabs their list of recruits and runs away with all four officers in pursuit. Ders climbs up a ladder to get away, but the Coast Guard officers find him and try to get him down.

21:22:02-21:22:17

Crystal is wearing a blank bra and panties and sitting on the bed in the “porn room”. Landon is crouched by his camera, which is facing the bed. Blake comes out of the closet wearing only green patterned boxer shorts. His torso and arms are covered in lubricant and he looks dejected.

Landon: Let’s roll people. Time to get that dick out, homey.

21:22:18-21:23:03

Adam barges into a dorm room where a young man and woman are lying on a bed, kissing. The professor and students from the women’s studies class look on from the doorway behind him. The man is shirtless and the woman is wearing a black bra and black pants. Adam pulls the man off the woman and covers her with a blanket.

Adam: Stop! Stop! Is this a porno? Cover up your bosoms! You could be my mommy and my mommy doesn’t have her boobies flopped out. They’re flopped in.

The young woman looks at Adam quizzically.

Young man: What is this? Who are all these people?

Adam: Shh.

Adam sees the professor and students reflected in a full-length mirror in the room.

Adam: The mirror.

Adam has a vision of himself masturbating in a bathroom with a laptop computer behind him. On the laptop screen is a woman, wearing a purple bra, lying down on a bed with another person holding her legs and gyrating against her as if they are having sex.

Adam: I always crank down while looking into a mirror.

Professor: Really?

Adam: Yeah. So I can see myself enjoying it. It’s not weird. A lot of dudes do it nowadays. It’s, like, a millennial thing. [The young man shakes his head “no”] That doesn’t matter. What matters is the image is reversed. That means the porno’s not in room 18. It’s in the reverse version of that. Room … um.

Professor: Eighty-one?

Adam: Yeah, that’s it! Let’s go!

21:23:05-21:23:15

Ders is on the ladder and the Coast Guard officers are trying to shake him down.

Ders: I’m serious! C’mon, man! You already made a dog toss my salad. Stop it!

21:23:24-21:23:48

Blake is standing in his boxers in front of Crystal who is sitting on the bed. Blake is rubbing/pinching his crotch to try to get aroused for the porn movie scene.

Landon: Get that pecker out, buddy.

Blake: [face scrunched up as he tries to get an erection] I’m working on it.

Landon: Time to get it out, though. Seriously.

Blake: [stops touching himself & steps away from Crystal] Okay, I can’t.

Landon: What?

Blake: I’m sorry. It’s, like, it’s very small. All right. It’s like the, you know, the plastic thing at the end of a shoelace.

Landon: Just take it out now, man! I need it now. [Blake grunts] I need that penis out, Blake!

Blake scrunches up his face in distress.

21:25:13-21:27:54

In the porn room, Crystal is still sitting on the bed in her black bra and panties. Blake is standing, crying and very slowly pushing his boxers down because he does not want to participate.

Landon: Quit crying and let me see that dong, bro! Just do it, man!

Blake: [crying] I am.

Landon: Take your dick out now!

Adam barges in with the professor and female students behind him.

Adam: Party’s over, porno boy! [Blake makes a surprised, squealing noise] Blake. You’re the one who’s doing the porno? New Adam is mad at you for doing this porno and old Adam is frickin’ pissed you didn’t invite him, so now you have two mad Adams to answer to!

Blake: Man, I’m, like –

Adam: Two mad Adams!

Blake: I’m sorry, all right.

Adam: Madams!

Blake: I’m mad at myself too.

Blake and Adam hear Ders outside the window. Ders is on the window ledge after having jumped off the ladder to escape the Coast Guard officers. Adam and Blake pull Ders into the room through the window.

Ders: What is going on in here?

Blake: He gave me a bunch of beer and, like, she gave me some weed and then they’re telling me to show my little henderson. I’m, like, dude, I don’t want to.

Adam takes a blanket off the bed and covers Blake up.

Adam: That’s what they do, that’s what they do.

Landon stares at Adam and shrugs.

Adam:Cover up your bosoms because I’m about to save you and this poor, sweet innocent girl, Crystal, from her evil oppressor, Landon, who I actually appreciate his films!

Adam starts to approach Landon in anger, but Crystal grabs Adam’s arm.

Crystal: No, no, no. Don’t do that. Don’t.

Adam: You don’t even know what you’re doing ʼcause he washed your brain.

Crystal: I, I’m not brainwashed. You know I’m a producer on this. I own 40 percent of the company. Plus I love to squirt on film. It’s kind of my thing.

Adam: So, you’re telling me that some girls do like doing pornog?

Crystal: Oh yeah.

Professor: That’s right, Adam. No man has a right to tell a woman what to do with her body. Even if she’s being sexually exploited.

Adam: I knew you were an idiot [points at Professor]. Hell, yeah. Cool. [to Crystal] I’m a big fan.

The Coast Guard officers barge in and demand that Ders give them back their list.

Coast Guard Officer #2: We’ve been running all over campus. We should be chasing chicks, not dudes.

Blake: Hey, hold up. You want to be chasing chicks? What, you guys tryin’ to get your bone on or something?

Coast Guard Officer #1: Oh yeah.

Coast Guard Officer #2: Yeah.

Blake: Cool. Oh well, what if, uh, [to Landon] what if these bros get in your little movie?

Landon: That’s, uh, that’s a good idea. Maybe do kind of a Coast Guard gang bang kinda thing.

Ders: Yeah, yeah, yeah! And if you guys want to get crazy, get weird, they’ve got this little French bulldog that you know can toss a salad like, —

Blake: Sure.

Ders: It’s, it’s crazy good.

Adam: How do you know that?

Blake looks at Ders in disgust.

Ders: Could, it could toss a salad. You know it could, you know it could.

The scene cuts to a line-up of young men outside the “porn dorm room”. Some of them are wearing Coast Guard uniforms, some are shirtless. The sound of a woman moaning with sexual pleasure can be heard in the background. Ders, Blake and Adam go along the line-up getting signatures while they discuss how they will likely be successful in getting 100 recruits and that they should stop being mad at each other.

Ders: Also, oh, I was thinking, we should, um, we should get, like, a dog for the house. For, like, security and stuff, like not. To, like, play with.

Adam: That dog licked your butthole, didn’t it?

APPENDIX B

CBSC Decision 15/16-0525

Much re Workaholics (“Dorm Daze”)

The Complaint

The CBSC received the following complaint on December 25, 2015:

On Wed, Dec 23, 2015, at approx 7:00 pm, I was scrolling through my TV ‘favorites’ and I came across the most disgusting programming content being aired on Much TV.

It depicted a group of men/boys holding down a man while allowing a bulldog to perform what I consider an act of bestiality. I don’t care whether the act was actually between dog and man, or whether the camera angles were such that the act was not actually taking place; the point was that it left me with the impression that it actually was an act of bestiality.

  1. I have several complaints regarding this:
  2. 1) the man be[ing] held down was obviously upset, practically screaming that he didn’t like what was happening to him and trying to get up/away;
  3. 2) the men holding him down were laughing hysterically and appeared to be straining to keep/force the man to be held down (face to the floor, naked hind-side in the air);
  4. 3) it appeared the dog was being forced into the act/s, and although eventually became a willing participant, it can be considered nothing less that animal cruelty;
  5. 4) for whatever reason this was being done, it appeared to be an act of plain and simple perversion, probably to the level of pornography; and
  6. 5) it was aired during prime time (during the Christmas holiday season no less – when lots of people, especially children, are watching TV!!)

I immediately changed the channel and removed this channel from my TV favorites, but I am still upset about it two days later. Upset enough that 1 feel this form of TV programming needs to be reported.

I trust you will react and investigate accordingly.

Thank you.

The CBSC asked the complainant to identify his/her time zone. The complainant informed the CBSC on January 8, 2016 that he/she resides in Edmonton, Alberta.

Broadcaster Response

Much responded to the complainant on January 22, 2016:

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has forwarded to us a copy of your electronic correspondence dated December 25th, 2015, regarding the series “Workaholics” which aired on Much on December 23rd, 2015, at 9pm ET (7pm MT), for our attention and response.

Before we address your specific concern, it should be noted that in addition to our own programming policies, Much producers, programmers, editors and on-air presenters follow the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Code of Ethics, Equitable Portrayal Code for Radio and Television Programming, and Violence Code (collectively, the “CAB Codes”) in accordance with our broadcast licence conditions. (If you would like to view the CAB Codes, you may do so at www.cbsc.ca)

Workaholics” is a comedy series that follows Blake, Adam and Ders, three friends who work together as telemarketers from 9 to 5, live together from 5 to 9 and party together 24/7. Whether they’re at their house in Rancho Cucamonga or getting ready to rage at a Renaissance Faire, the guys find trouble wherever they go. In the episode mentioned in your letter, the guys attend a college job fair on business where Ders feuds with Coast Guard officers.

We reviewed the scene noted in your complaint where Ders is recruiting new staff at the fair when a group of Coast Guard officers walk past his booth. Ders instigates them by asking: “if you guys are here, who’s doing nothing on the boat?” suggesting that the officers do very little while on duty. They do not find his joke amusing and the ribbing continues with Ders asking “what are you gonna do, give me a code red?” “Code red” is slang for when a red slurpee is poured into someone’s pants or on their behind. Liking that idea, the officers hold him down and proceed to pour a red drink over his bare behind after which time they hold a small dog named Officer Petty Tailwags against him to lick the soda off Ders’ backside.

Further to this, you express concern about the content of the scene described above as an act of “bestiality”. The entire act is one of revenge but comedic in nature by the officers on Ders for disrespecting the military and is their attempt at “teaching [him] manners”. Enlisting their troop dog, Officer Petty Tailwags into the act is not, in our opinion, animal cruelty since he was not harmed or hurt in this scene. While the episode does contain a scene which may be construed as crude it is part of its sense of humour and we do not believe it contains any explicit or adult-only material that would make it inappropriate for telecast.

We assigned an AGVOT (Action Group on Violence in Television) 14+ classification code to the series, which allows for “mature themes,” “strong or frequent use of profanity” and programming that “might contain scenes of nudity and/or sexual activity within the context of narrative or theme.” Under this classification code, “parents are strongly cautioned to exercise discretion in permitting viewing by pre-teens and early teens” as programming with this classification code “might not be suitable for viewers under the age of 14.” We also air the episode with a viewer advisory that states: “The following contains scenes of sexuality, coarse language and mature subject matter. Viewer discretion is advised”.

In addition, the CAB Codes require that material intended for an adult audience not be telecast before 9 pm, which is considered the watershed hour for adult programming. In accordance with these codes, we aired this episode at 9 pm in the province from which our signal originates, and accompanied it with an appropriate rating and advisory.

As broadcasters, we have found both the AGVOT rating system and viewer advisories to be very effective tools for concerned viewers such as yourself to provide guidance in your programming decisions. (For more information about the AGVOT classification system, please visit www.cbsc.ca/english/agvot/index.php.)

While the comedy featured in “Workaholics” may not always seem admirable, their opinions and actions are not presented as being ideal. In consideration of this fact, we carefully consider when and how we broadcast the content and designate it with an appropriate viewer advisory. While we understand the program may not appeal to everyone’s tastes, as it was accompanied by the appropriate advisory and rating, we think it is suitable for air and believe this decision is in full accordance with the CAB Codes. Although the special may be considered in poor taste to some, we do not believe it is problematic vis-à-vis the CAB Codes.

As you mention children in your email, we would like to mention that Much is not a children’s station and our programming should not be considered appropriate viewing for children, particularly under the age of 12. Our primary audience is an adult one – most of our viewers fall between the ages of 18-49.

Much is a member in good standing of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council and adheres to the Council’s guidelines.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact us and I hope this response has been helpful.

Additional Correspondence

The complainant sent an additional letter to both Much and the CBSC on January 23, indicating his/her dissatisfaction with the broadcaster’s response:

Thank you for the response. It is, however, not acceptable.

All the response did for me was simply reaffirm the reason why I do not watch stations, or programs, that cater to the lowest form of humanity. Any network that airs this form of depravity as so-called “comedy” needs a serious reality check. Justifying the actions of the perpetrators of this form of offensive programming by saying that it’s aired on an “adult” network after 9:00 pm is nonsense. It may have been 9:00 pm where it originated, but it was shortly after 7:00 pm when it was shown in my region. During the Christmas holidays, no less. As far as explaining and/or justifying the content – there is nothing you can say that justifies it, in my opinion.

And no animal cruelty? I hope someone takes your family pet and treats it in the same manner as those questionable young men did with that poor dog; then we’ll see how you, and maybe your children, feel about it.

It is so sad that this is acceptable to Bell Media, and it really makes me question those that are in charge of programming in that organization.

But even more offensive to me is that the CRTC reneged on their responsibility in this matter to allow the network to “police” itself. Of course the network feels justified in allowing the programming – they have invested time and financial resources in doing so. What else would we expect?

Regardless, with all this said, I do not expect anything positive to come out of my complaint, so Bell Media can, and will, continue to air programs that are of what I consider of the lowest moral code. What I will be doing is commenting on this program and the response from the CTRA [sic] and Bell Media to anyone who will listen.

The CBSC requested clarification from the complainant as to whether he/she wanted the CBSC to proceed with its process. The complainant replied with the following on February 2:

My answer to your question is, I don’t know.

I saw a portion of a program I found extremely offensive so I went to http: //www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/info_sht/g8.htm and lodged a complaint.

Naively, I guess, I thought that once I did my due diligence to participate in the process of bringing my complaint/concern forward that those who work in the department that is advertised on-line as the place to make such complaints that that same department would appropriately deal with the complaint.

This has not happened, however, and it appears from this response from you, as well as the fact that all that was done was to make it possible for the network to justify their programming, that no further action to call the network to task for their offensive programming. They are going to carry on, carrying on, with no standard.

I did my duty. If nobody else is going to do theirs, so be it.

The CBSC considered that the complainant was clearly dissatisfied and felt that something should be done in this matter, so it accepted to move this complaint forward in its process.