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Complaint that Ireland AM showed condom being put onto model of erect penis

The complainant said it was “completely inappropriate”.

Image: Shutterstock/MOSO IMAGE

A WOMAN COMPLAINED to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland after TV3 showed a condom being put on a model of a penis.

The BAI rejected the complaint concerning an episode of Ireland AM, which is broadcast every weekday from 7am to 10am.

The complainant said that she objected to a part of the programme on 11 February this year at 7.45am, which showed a model of an erect penis having a condom put onto it.

She believed that “this type of material is completely inappropriate on a programme that many households have on in the morning, before children go to school”.

The complainant stated there may have been warnings before the item, but she changed channel to TV3 and none was evident to her.

She was “extremely disappointed” and felt that the content was not suitable for her family.

TV3′s response

TV3 said that this feature was “not taken lightly” and that there were three separate on-air warnings “to give parents time to ensure children should not watch the segment”.

It said that the resident doctor felt that they should demonstrate how to use protection appropriately, and that TV3 “received positive feedback regarding how responsible they were in the approach”.

It also strongly denied that the piece featured detailed scenes of a sexual nature, or nudity.

It was a medical and educational model of the male reproductive organ and whilst the topic was in relation to contraception, it was not a conversation in relation to sex.

BAI rejects complaint

The BAI forum decided to reject the complaint. It said that it considered “whether the model of the erect penis which was displayed during a segment on sexual health was likely to cause harm and offence in the manner suggested by the complainant”.

In this context, the Forum had regard to the broadcaster’s responsibility in relation to the time of broadcast, the audience expectation, the programme type and the broadcaster’s use of prior warnings about the programme content.

It was of the opinion that “due care” was exercised by TV3, and noted that the station has a mainly adult audience. It also noted the warnings.

The BAI forum said that the programme was aimed at adults and not scheduled either side of a children’s programme, and was part of an informative piece on contraception.

The Forum did acknowledge that the time of broadcast meant that some children could view the programme and that some viewers may have found it inappropriate but noted that there was nothing in the programme likely to cause undue offence or to cause harm.

It was the view of the forum that the content was factual and informative, and “did not constitute sexual content”.

Other rejected complaints

ben judah book Source: Amazon

The BAI also rejected a complaint about an interview with Ben Judah, author of the book Fragile Empire: How Russia fell in and out of love with Vladimir Putin, on the Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk.

The complainant said that the 2 March interview amounted to “Russophobia” and “Russia-bashing”.

The complaint was rejected, with the committee finding that “while the guest was critical of the Russian State in terms of the manner in which it operates as a functioning democracy, it is editorially legitimate to examine a news and current affairs topic from a particular angle”.

A complaint about RTÉ’s Sunday with Miriam show on 1 February and its coverage of adoption was also rejected.

Read: Radio station put underage caller on air, then used her voice as part of promotion>

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