Music Video Comedy Program Required More Viewer Advisories, Says Canadian Broadcast Standards Council

Ottawa, June 3, 2013 – The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) today released its decision concerning an episode of Cliptoman broadcast on MusiquePlus.  The CBSC concluded that none of the content violated any broadcast codes, but that MusiquePlus should have aired advisories coming out of every commercial break in both audio and video format.

Cliptoman features comedians commenting on music videos.  A viewer complained that the show consists solely of nasty insults towards the artists.  She specifically mentioned a vulgar joke made about the late actor Patrick Swayze which she felt was very inappropriate.  The CBSC also noted that the episode it examined contained some swear words and some jokes with sexual innuendo.

MusiquePlus aired the challenged episode on November 7, 2012 at 9:00 pm.  The service aired one viewer advisory at the beginning of broadcast, in video format only, alerting viewers to the potentially shocking content.  It did not broadcast a classification icon.

The CBSC’s Quebec Regional Panel examined the complaint and found no problems with the content of the show because broadcasters are allowed to air programming that criticizes and mocks public figures.  It observed that, while the sexual comments were relatively mild, MusiquePlus appropriately aired the program after the Watershed hour of 9:00 pm due to the coarse language.  It also stated that Cliptoman is a hybrid program composed of both talk segments and music videos, two categories of programming which are exempt from classification.  There was, therefore, no obligation to rate this program.  The Panel did, however, find a breach of Clause 11 of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Code of Ethics for MusiquePlus’s failure to repeat the advisory coming out of all commercial breaks and for providing the advisory in video format only.

The CBSC was created in 1990 by Canada’s private broadcasters to administer the codes of standards that they established for their industry.  The CBSC currently administers 7 codes which deal with ethics, equitable portrayal, violence, news and journalistic independence.  Nearly 760 radio stations, satellite radio services, television stations and specialty and pay television services across Canada are members of the Council.

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