On April 24, 1998, shortly after 11 pm in Winnipeg, Showcase Television
aired a controversial theatrically-released feature film entitled Kids as part of
its Showcase Revue series. Kids is best described as a
“docu-drama” about inner-city teenagers and the controversy surrounding it stems
from its depiction of teenagers (most of whom are young teenagers, stated to be in the 13
to 15 year old age range) as being heavily involved in drugs and actively and frequently
engaging in sexual activity.
The movie is a montage of scenes which are intended to provide
“glimpses” into the world of these teenagers. One such glimpse records a young
girl’s first sexual encounter and another depicts the viciousness of a group of teens
as they beat a man in the park. Among other things, the movie “documents” the
story of a boy who, despite being infected with the AIDS virus, continues to indulge his
primordial passion, which is having sex with virgins. It also documents the story of one
of his “victims”, an unpromiscuous girl, who, after a single incautious act,
must come to terms with suddenly becoming HIV positive so early in life. In the last
“active” scene of the movie, this young girl is raped by one of her friends at a
party while she is unconscious as the result of an excessive indulgence in drugs and
The airing of the movie was both preceded and followed by a sober
discussion of the realities depicted in the film between the host of the Showcase Revue
series and various authorities on teenage sexual practices, drug use and AIDS. The
broadcast of the film was preceded by the following audio and on-screen viewer advisory:
“The following contains nudity, sexuality, violence and coarse language. Viewer
discretion is advised.” Moreover, an on-screen icon shown at the beginning of the
movie rated it as “18+”. During the course of the broadcast of the movie, a
short audio advisory was repeated after each of the seven commercial breaks. It stated
simply: “We now return to Kids. Viewer discretion is advised.”
The Letter of Complaint
On May 8, a viewer sent the same complaint to the CBSC, the CRTC and
Shaw Communications stating that:
I wish to bring to everyone’sattention the choice of programming made by the SHOWCASE network recently. On Friday,April 24th at 11pm (Winnipeg time), SHOWCASE aired a film titled Kids. I had heardof the storyline in the local movie reviews last year when it made the rounds in theatresand couldn’t believe they were going to show it unedited at a relatively accessiblehour for young viewers. SHOWCASE prides itself in its “art films” which areusually cheaply made exercises in soft core titillating tripe (my opinion), but this timethey’ve gone right off the deep end into the swamp known as child pornography. I donot use this phrase lightly; “kiddie porn” is a criminal offense and a majorplague on the Internet. I believe SHOWCASE has entered this market, probably unwittingly,in their zeal to be seen as the “film noir” king of the hill.
The storyline of the film is moronically simple: a few days in the lifeof teenagers in a large metropolitan area. There’s one problem; these kids are heavyinto sex, drugs and wasting time, which the film-maker painstakingly details throughout.The central characters are all mostly under eighteen, one of whom states he is “crazyabout f**king virgins” and is shown graphically acting out his desires at thebeginning and end of the movie. In between these two low points is a non-stop barrage ofteenagers talking sex and drugs, thinking sex and drugs and doing sex and drugs. Most ofthese kids appear or are stated to be underage. At one point everyone ends up at a houseparty where children as young looking as ten are present and participating. The finalefeatures one male youth raping his friend’s girlfriend (graphically) while she ispassed out and a ten year old sleeps on the couch next to them.
I suppose the underlying theme of this piece of garbage (my opinion) isthe seriousness of urban moral decay and teenagers’ careless attitude toward sexuallytransmitted diseases, etc., etc., but that is something for the ticket buying adult publicto decide. SHOWCASE has no right to place this movie at the disposal of the general publicand their innocent children, who believe me are losing their innocence faster and fasterin a world that has to shock you harder just to get your attention.
The Broadcaster’s Response
The Viewer Relations Coordinator of Showcase replied to the complainant
on May 15 in the following terms:
Thank you for expressing your concernsabout SHOWCASE Television’s programming to the CBSC.
While we agree with you that this is a disturbing film on acontroversial topic, we must stress that Kids is a work of dramatic fiction. Thecast was composed of a number of convincing young non-actors who appear to be improvisingtheir lines. The naturalistic screenplay was written by nineteen-year-old Harmony Korine,a real inhabitant of the skateboarding world that the film describes. Its deadpan”cinéma-vérité” style has led many viewers to mistakenly believe that Kidsis a documentary.
In fact, with Kids the filmmaker has made a filmed, fictionalwarning of the extreme consequences of several disturbing trends that he observed amongyoung people around him: risky sexual behaviour, substance abuse, violence and severeapathy. It is a nightmarish vision of what may happen in the future. It condemns, ratherthat condones, the behaviour exhibited by the film’s young, but not innocent,characters.
Because of the subject matter, we made every effort to schedule andprogram this film in the most responsible manner possible.
First, SHOWCASE preceded this controversial film with a frankintroduction by host Chas Lawther and guest Janet Rowe, a representative of the AIDSCommittee of Toronto, in order to provide viewers with a meaningful context for some ofthe important issues raise in the film. Ms. Rowe provided an expert’s perspective onthe actual behaviour of Canadian teens in an effort to dispel some of the commonly-heldmyths about the risky behaviour portrayed in the film.
On September 27, 1997, the Ottawa Citizen wrote: “Wisely,SHOWCASE has combined the broadcast with commentary by Toronto AIDS activist Janet Rowe inorder to give the film some context.”
Second, the film was programmed at an hour when younger viewers wereleast likely to be watching without adult supervision, on a night before school. Thebroadcast hour, 11pm, was a full two hours after the “watershed” hour that theCRTC mandates as the cutoff time for adult-oriented programming.
Third, as described below, audience advisories were shown at everyappropriate point to warn any new viewers about the mature content of the film.
Critics have labelled Kids “A profoundly important utterlycompelling masterpiece” (Gavin Smith, Film Comment), “A wake-up call tothe world” (Janet Maslin, The New York Times) and “A masterpiece. Thekind of film that pulls the ground out from under you.” (Amy Taubin, the VillageVoice). Leonard Maltin describes the film: “A telling portrait of 90s stylehedonism and the result of kids growing up without parents to guide them. Utterlymatter-of-fact and nonjudgmental…” (1997 Movie and Video Guide). Kids alsomet with great acclaim at the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals in 1995. AsPulitzer-Prize winning film critic Roger Ebert has written, “Kids is the kindof movie that needs to be talked about afterwards. It doesn’t tell you what itmeans.” (Roger Ebert’s Video Companion).
Kids is a film preceded by a very distinguished criticalreputation. It enjoyed a successful commercial release and is available in many videostores.
Given your concerns, we would like to take this opportunity to explainSHOWCASE’s programming policy. It is our programming mandate at SHOWCASE Televisionto offer an alternative to other broadcasters’ offerings. One way that we haveachieved this distinction is to broadcast high quality, festival-style dramatic films inour late night movie series The Showcase Revue.
Each film that is aired on SHOWCASE Television is considered verycarefully. Before we decide to broadcast a film, our Programming Department screens it toensure that it is suitable for broadcast. The determination of suitability includesensuring that the broadcast would not contravene the Canadian Association ofBroadcasters’ “Sex-Role Portrayal Code for Television and RadioProgramming”, the “Broadcasters’ Code for Advertising to Children” orthe “Voluntary Code Regarding Violence in Television Programming”. Controversialprograms are also screened by members of our senior management group in order todouble-check compliance with the Codes.
Once we decide to broadcast television programs, our ProgrammingDepartment then schedules them at a suitable time. For example, we air series whichcontain scenes of violence or have content intended for adult audiences only after 9pm,according to these Codes. A number of the movies shown on The Showcase Revue, manyof which are critically acclaimed award-winners from international film festivals, aredefinitely meant for an adult audience, and are shown at 11pm (Eastern).
In order to assist our viewers in making their viewing choices, we runa viewer advisory before such programs indicating whether they contain scenes of violence,nudity and/or coarse language. If appropriate, a “viewer discretion is advised”advisory is shown before the broadcast begins and after commercial breaks. The followingis an example of one of our viewer advisories run throughout a program’s broadcast:”The following program contains scenes with nudity, sexuality and coarse language.Viewer discretion is advised.”
In the case of Kids, this practice was followed scrupulously,and the introduction by our movie host also advised our audience of what lay ahead.
But SHOWCASE Television is more than a network showing only movies withadult interest. SHOWCASE is a general interest specialty channel which offers all-fiction(drama and comedy) programming consisting of movies, made-for-television production andmini-series, from Canada and from around the world. A significant portion of ourprogramming week is also dedicated to family and children’s programming. We believethat our programming mix offers viewers an exciting alternative to the other televisionservices available to them.
It is certainly not our intention to offend our viewers but tointroduce them to the wealth of quality, unique drama that has been pioneered in Canadaand around the world. Not all shows will suit all tastes, but we have tried to constructthe SHOWCASE schedule to deliver something for everyone – children, adults and families.
Thank you for taking the time to express your views. We do appreciatefeedback and hope that this letter had addressed your concerns. Given the wide variety ofCanadian and international programming available on SHOWCASE, we hope that you will findprograms within our schedule that suit your viewing tastes.
The complainant was unsatisfied with the broadcaster’s response
and requested, on June 8, that the CBSC refer the matter to the appropriate Regional
Council for adjudication. This request was accompanied by the following letter:
I am writing to continue the process ofmy complaint regarding the airing of the program Kids which was seen on theSHOWCASE Network the night of April 24, 1998. I have received the network’s responseand had dialogue with them on the phone. I am not satisfied with their explanations andwould like my complaint sent to the Regional Council.
The program in question was a fictional drama set in a documentaryformat, meant to show the viewer a disturbing picture of life on the street for inner-cityteenagers. It details the attitudes and actions of a couple of young men in particular,one of whom states early on that he “loves to fuck virgins” and spends time inbetween doing drugs and spewing testosterone making sure he accomplished [sic] hismission. The opening scene, in fact, is him wooing and then bedding a very naive, verynaked underage girl. The bulk of the film is a portrayal of his and his peers reckless,apathetic action and attitudes, culminating in a non-supervised house party where kids asyoung looking as 10 are exposed to an orgy of drugs, sex and violence, the highlight ofwhich is the graphic raping of an unconscious 17 year old girl while a small boy sleeps onthe couch next to her.
My complaint was not the making of the movie. Any movie should be shownto adult, interested parties who are willing to pay for the right to see it. I object tothe presentation of this film on regular television, albeit cable, where it is subject toviewing by minors. SHOWCASE has clearly ignored your code regarding violence in televisionprogramming: section (4) exploitation – “The sexualization of children through dressor behaviour is not acceptable.”
The letter I received from SHOWCASE went through great pains explaininghow they had made every effort to comply with the codes, stating (quote) “Before wedecide to broadcast a film, our Programming Dept. screens it to ensure … that (it) wouldnot contravene the CBSC’s ‘Sex-Role Portrayal Code for TV and RadioProgramming’. Controversial programs are also screened by members or our seniormanagement group in order to double-check compliance with the Codes.” I decided tophone the author of the letter and challenge her on this point. She proceeded to repeatvirtually everything in the letter but would not admit that the station had contravenedsection 4. The letter also made another falsehood: (quote) “The film was programmedat an hour when younger viewers were least likely to be watching without adultsupervision, on a night before school.” When I challenged her with the fact itwas shown on Friday, April 24th, she responded that I had seen the repeat broadcast andthat the original had been shown in mid-week. Apparently, repeat broadcasts don’tfall under the same iron-clad scrutiny as originals with SHOWCASE.
My point is this film should never have been aired. I don’tbelieve in censorship, but neither do I believe in unaccountability. I believe SHOWCASEshould be held accountable for contravening your guidelines, and the punishment shouldsend some message that your group means business. If SHOWCASE honestly believes in theirright to show whatever they want, let them move to pay-per-view and see how many peopleare anxious to view them. Otherwise make them obey the rules or our children will be thelosers.
The CBSC’s Ontario Regional Council considered the complaint under
the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Violence Code and Sex-Role
Portrayal Code. The relevant provisions of these Codes read as follows:
Sex-Role Portrayal Code, Clause 4 (Exploitation)
Television and radio programming shallrefrain from the exploitation of women, men and children. Negative or degrading commentson the role and nature of women, men or children in society shall be avoided. Modes ofdress, camera focus on areas of the body and similar modes of portrayal should not bedegrading to either sex. The sexualization of children through dress or behaviour is notacceptable.
Guidance: “Sex-ploitation” through dress is one areain which the sexes have traditionally differed, with more women portrayed in scantclothing and alluring postures.
Violence Code, Clause 1 (Content)
1.1 Canadian broadcasters shall not airprogramming which:
• contains gratuitous violence in any form*
• sanctions, promotes or glamorizes violence
(*”Gratuitous” means material which does not play an integralrole in developing the plot, character or theme of the material as a whole).
Violence Code, Clause 3 (Scheduling)
Programming 3.1.1 Programming which contains scenes of violence intended for adultaudiences shall not be telecast before the late evening viewing period, defined as 9 pm to6 am.
3.1.2 Accepting that there are older children watching television after9 pm, broadcasters shall adhere to the provisions of article 5.1 below (vieweradvisories), enabling parents to make an informed decision as to the suitability of theprogramming for their family members.
Violence Code, Clause 5 (Viewer Advisories)
5.1 To assist consumers in making theirviewing choices, broadcasters shall provide a viewer advisory, at the beginning of, andduring the first hour of programming telecast in late evening hours which contains scenesof violence intended for adult audiences.
The Regional Council members viewed a tape of the program in question
and reviewed all of the correspondence. The Council is of the view that the broadcaster
has not breached any of the aforementioned provisions.
Freedom of Expression as a Starting Point The Council agrees with the complainant that the subject matter of the
movie in question is quite disturbing. It does not, however, conclude that, on that
account, a violation of broadcast standards has occurred. In many ways, this complaint is
similar to the complaint dealt with in CITY-TV re “Eclipse” (CBSC
Decision 97/98-0551, July 28, 1998). In that decision concerning a movie dealing with such
themes as homosexuality, prostitution, adultery and juvenile sexuality, the Council stated
The Ontario Regional Council has nodifficulty in concluding that Eclipse was controversial, both in its subject-matterand in its presentation. By accepting this as a fair characterization of the movie, theCouncil does not, however, conclude that the film should not have been aired. In general,the CBSC has long held that the basic general principle of freedom of expression willmilitate in favour of a broadcast, whether controversial or otherwise, except in thosecircumstances in which some overriding standard imposed by the private broadcasters intheir Codes supersedes. In a decision of the Quebec Regional Council which also dealt witha controversial documentary film with a sexual theme, namely, CFJP-TV (TQS) re”Quand l’amour est gai” (CBSC Decision 94/95-0204, December 6, 1995),the Quebec Regional Council expressed this perspective in the following terms:
The recognition of this influential role of broadcasters has resultedin burdens imposed both from the heights of Parliamentary statute to thebroadcasters’ own self-regulatory instruments. Thus the Broadcasting Actprovides, among other things, in Section 3(1)(d) that
the Canadian broadcasting system should
(ii) encourage the development of Canadian expression by providing awide range of programming that reflects Canadian attitudes, opinions, ideas, values andartistic creativity…
That encouragement of diversity is also reflected in Article 7 of the CABCode of Ethics which encourages the “presentation of news and opinion on anycontroversy which contains an element of the public interest.” That same articleprovides that such “healthy controversy is essential to the maintenance of democraticinstitutions” and the Regional Council has little difficulty in concluding that thesubject of the documentary program in question falls into the realm of “healthycontroversy”. The Council further acknowledges that this program will not beeveryone’s “cup of tea” and it assumes that some members of society wouldbe offended by the film. That is not, however, the criterion by which the programmust be judged. It is rather that the film discusses a controversial subject which is anacknowledged component of Canadian society. By the nature of the medium, this discussionoccurs in images rather than in words alone. Nothing else could be expected and thebroadcaster can hardly be faulted on this account.
The Quebec Regional Council confirmed Canadian privatebroadcasters’ right to cater to the tastes of some with programming which may beoffensive to others in CFJP-TV (TQS) re été sensuel (CBSC Decision 95/96-0233,August 14, 1998). In that decision, the Council considered whether an erotic film aired asa part of TQS’s late-night series Bleu Nuit was exploitative.
The Quebec Regional Council takes no issue with the assertion by thecomplainant that the film in question is an erotic film. The only question, however, whichit is called upon to decide here is whether the film is exploitative. The othercontentions of the complainant which relate to whether this film or other such films are”idiotic” and whether or not the broadcasting of such a film is”disrespectful of people like myself” are marketing questions. Theyrelate to the broadcaster’s choice of material to air. If there is no breach of aCode (or, of course, the Broadcasting Act or Regulations or other laws of theland), the broadcaster is entitled to put the film on its airwaves. In a worldwhich has become increasingly oriented toward niche broadcasting, any station or networkappreciates that its choices will never appeal to everyone. This does not mean thatsuch choices should not be made but only that, in making such choices, the broadcasterknows that only some, but not all, of the public will be pleased. It goes without sayingthat the broadcaster hopes always to make the correct choices but, where no Code isbreached, the viewer is always free to go elsewhere. That is, in the end, theviewer’s only option and it is, from society’s perspective, a fair option,provided that society’s codified values have not been breached.
In this case, while the Ontario Regional Council understands that thecomplainant was offended by the explicitness of some aspects of the film, it cannot findthat there is any way in which the broadcast of Eclipse has violated anybroadcaster Code provision. It is explicit but not exploitative. As to the aspersionsregarding the quality of the film, the Council does not ever comment. Such mattersare, of course, purely subjective and beyond the purview of the Codes and the Council.They must, in fairness, be solved by the on-off switch in circumstances in which, as here,the broadcast comes well within the purview of the broadcaster’s freedom ofexpression.
The foregoing lengthy quotation describes the general freedom enjoyed
by broadcasters to air any programming, so long as that programming does not, in whole or
in part, violate any provision of the Codes (or, of course, the Broadcasting Act
and the associated regulations). Applying those principles to this case, the Council finds
no breach of any of its Codes. While it understands that the situations portrayed
will be unsettling to many, if not most adults, and likely to the vast majority of
teenagers either, the Council does not share the complainant’s view that the material
is pornographic in any public law sense. While it has more to say on this issue in the two
following sections, the Council wishes to state at this point in the decision its view
that the broadcaster played the film at an extremely discreet hour, well after the
watershed in the originating time zone thereby avoiding the likelihood that any
unsupervised children would see the film. Furthermore, the the broadcaster was extremely
responsible in its presentation of the film in a context with panel discussion
before and after the screening of the film. In these respects, Showcase exercised its
freedom of expression in a thoughtful and responsible way and not in an exploitative or
prurient manner. While the Council expresses no viewpoint on the broadcaster’s
entitlement to air the film at 9 pm, on the cusp of the watershed, where it would
obviously have been more enticing and accessible to the young people about whom the
complainant is justifiably concerned, the fact is that Showcase did not push that
Moreover, a reason for the existence of reasonably broad latitude with
respect to broadcasters’ programming freedom is that the fullness of its exercise is
balanced in the Codes by requirements relating to scheduling, rating and the provision of
viewer advisories, which enable viewers to make informed choices as to what may or may not
be palatable for them and their families. The Council considers that Showcase did
everything necessary through scheduling and advisories to ensure that the movie would not
be likely to reach anyone other than its target audience.
The Sexualization of Children
The complainant argues that the movie Kids constituted
“child pornography”. Without getting into any analysis of the criminal aspects
of “pornography” (over which the Council has no jurisdiction in any event), the
Council notes that the sexualization of children is prohibited by Clause 4 of the Sex-Role
Portrayal Code but it is not convinced that this provision is triggered in this case.
In the one previous case in which the Council has had to deal with the
issue of the sexualization of children, namely, CILQ-FM re the Howard Stern Show
(CBSC Decision 97/98-0487, 488, 504 and 535, February 20, 1998), the Ontario Regional
Council considered the comments made by the radio show host regarding children’s
participation in sexual activities. The Council stated:
The Regional Council has not previouslybeen called upon to assess the content of talk radio programming of a more serious naturethan that involving the participation, real or imagined, of children in sexual acts.However permissive the view of society may be toward consensual sex among adults, there isno tolerance in civilized societies for child pornography in any form. As theSupreme Court put this point in defining the three categories of pornography in Butlerv. R., it explained that “explicit sex that is not violent and neither degradingnor dehumanizing is generally tolerated in our society and will not qualify as the undueexploitation of sex unless it employs children in its production. [Emphasisadded.]”
The comments at issue in the CILQ-FM case included the following
dialogue between Howard Stern and his side-kick Robin Quivers:
: In the State ofNew York, there’s an alarming rate of syphilis among babies, Howard.
Howard Stern: Who are they getting it on with?
Robin Quivers: Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah! I don’t know. Ah, ah,ah, ah, ah! Could you imagine?
Howard Stern: Yeah, nothing better than a good baby!
Robin Quivers: Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah!
Howard Stern: Yeah, I mean, I don’t like to talk about itthat much on the air because people think I’m sick. You know what the worst thingabout having sex with your sister is?
Robin Quivers: Oh, please!
Howard Stern: Breaking the crib.
That case presented a clear violation of Clause 4 of the Sex-Role
Portrayal Code. The host was, after all, albeit in jest, advocating the sexual abuse
This case is not so clear. While young persons are depicted in the
movie as involved in sexual activity, the movie is about the dangers of such
promiscuity, among other things. The Council does not believe that the restriction on the
sexualization of children was meant to prohibit all programming dealing in any
way with child sexuality. For example, the Council does not expect that a violation of
Clause 4 of the Sex-Role Portrayal Code would result from the broadcast of
programming (whether documentary or dramatic) which deals with the sexual abuse of
children. In this regard, the Council notes that the Special Committee on Pornography and
Prostitution (chaired by Paul Fraser, Q.C.), in its report titled Pornography and
Prostitution in Canada, stated the following:
Child pornography epitomizes thedifficulty we face in defining pornography and in deciding what action if any, isappropriate. Whether or not someone considers a work pornographic depends on thesubjective assessment of the viewer and is often a question of the intent of the user.
In the Council’s view, the movie Kids is not the type of
programming which the drafters of the Sex-Role Portrayal Code sought to prohibit.
Gratuitous or Glamorized Violence
While the movie is not particularly violent, it does include a lengthy
scene which depicts the rape of a young girl while she lies unconscious on a couch amidst
dozens of sleeping/passed out teenagers. This is not the first occasion on which the
Council has had to deal with complaints about programming containing rape scenes. In CTV
re Complex of Fear (CBSC Decision 94/95-0022, August 18, 1995), the Council dealt with
a complaint about a movie of the week which told the apparently true story of a series of
rapes in an apartment complex. The Council stated:
The RegionalCouncil noted four rape scenes in the film. While any scene depicting rape is necessarilyawful, the members remarked that no scene lasted more than several seconds, none depictedthe actual rape, and none glamourized the rape. In fact, scenes following the rapesdepicted the consequences of the rape: the shock and despair of the victims as theyrelated the event to the police; the occasional refusal of police to accept thecharacterization of the event as a rape; victims’ self-doubt as to blame for theoccurrence; the imputed role of previous victim behaviour as a contributing factor; and soon.
In no way did these scenes encourage or glorify violence against women.While the film dealt with a form of crime that is defined by violence against women, thefilm itself did not depict gratuitous, or unnecessary, violence against women. In otherwords, the Council affirmed that a film about rape does not necessarily condonerape.
In this case, the rape scene is quite lengthy, lasting close to five
minutes. It is the final “active” scene of the movie. While, as stated in the
decision excerpt quoted above, rape scenes are always disturbing, the Council notes that
this particular scene is neither graphicin the sense that sex organs were not shown, nor
agitated by violent action or sounds, but rather is depressingly slow moving and silent
and, on another level, haunting. The young girl who is raped is the one who, throughout
the movie, has been coping with the knowledge that she is carrying the AIDS virus. However
unpleasant the rape scene, by virtue of what it represents, the Council does not consider
it violates the Codes. In the Council’s view, despite its length, this scene was
integral to the plot’s development, including the irony of its setting and the twist
of the plot, in the sense of the viral nemesis which will ultimately be suffered by the
rapist. For these reasons, coupled with the absence of a graphic or explicit presentation
of this scene, the Council considers that it not gratuitous, and that it did not otherwise
sanction, promote or glamorize violence.
In addition to assessing the relevance of the Codes to the complaint,
the CBSC always assesses the responsiveness of the broadcaster to the substance of
the complaint. In this case, the Council commends the broadcaster on its thorough and
detailed response. Although the complainant was not convinced by the arguments of the
Showcase representative, the Council does believe that the broadcaster addressed fully and
fairly all the issues raised by the complainant and, consequently, has not breached the
Council’s standard of responsiveness. Nothing more is required.
This decision is a public document upon its release by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. It may be reported, announced or read by the station against which the complaint had originally been made; however, in the case of a favourable decision, the station is under no obligation to announce the result.