Is 'br****s' obscene?
August 25, 2009 9:03 AM   Subscribe

I think the UK television gameshow Countdown just beep-edited out the word 'breasts' from their broadcast. Is this mandated by law or some broadcasting code?

Is there some UK 'obscenity' law that prohibits the word breasts before the watershed? This was on Channel 4(+1), so I assume it was the same in the non-timeshifted broadcast, but don't know.

Oh, and if you search youtube for countdown videos you'll find amusing examples of swear words coming up as answers, but 'breasts'?!
posted by knapah to Law & Government (9 answers total)
 
I just watched it on 4OD, it's around 19mins 20secs into the show.

"Sorry about this, but it's [beep]"
posted by knapah at 9:16 AM on August 25, 2009


I was half-watching this (on 4+1) while surfing round the tubes and I couldn't help but smirk with the hosts and contestants when the letters B R E A S and T came up (though not in that order) and then even another S (along with A and D or something, as far as I caught), but that quickly faded when the first word volunteered was "BEEP!", followed by the other bloke going "me too, glad I didn't have to say that".

What. The. Fuck?

The word 'cock' is bandied around Top Gear constantly, and they're also before the watershed, but apparently, while we're fine to discuss male genitalia in the bluest of language, the mere mention of a word like 'breasts' spins the censors into a tizzy? Have we bred 1950s sexism and prudishness into Ofcom?
posted by Dysk at 9:20 AM on August 25, 2009


Are you sure it was 'breasts'? Because 'bastard' would fit from the letters. And that's been censured pre-watershed in the past. On Radio 5's Film Review slot with Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo's they were only allowed one use of it during the review of Inglorious Basterds the other week...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:37 AM on August 25, 2009


Ah. My sense of outrage may have been misplaced. Oops.
posted by knapah at 10:07 AM on August 25, 2009


The word 'cock' is bandied around Top Gear constantly, and they're also before the watershed, but apparently, while we're fine to discuss male genitalia in the bluest of language, the mere mention of a word like 'breasts' spins the censors into a tizzy?

Watershed or not, too very different shows with very different viewerships.
posted by Artw at 10:53 AM on August 25, 2009


if there was an E as Brother Dysk says, "bastard" wouldn't fit... unless they were actually spelling it the Inglourious Basterds way...
posted by brainmouse at 11:31 AM on August 25, 2009


Strange, because I'm 99% certain this was broadcast intact...
posted by twine42 at 11:38 AM on August 25, 2009


Isn't Youtube a wonderful thing...
posted by twine42 at 11:41 AM on August 25, 2009


These are the beeb's guidelines.

Channel 4 independent producers guidelines on the topic. Offensive language section.

The guidelines are hilariously British in their tortured use of agency concealing passive voice and weakening qualifiers. I feel myself stuttering in my head as a I read it.

It is well established that one may generally, possibly, occasionally find oneself assless after necessary laughing has occurred, only after the watershed and if justified by the non-lost plot and by exceptional extraordinary circumstances, while keeping in mind the cumulative effect of laughing and asslessness, particularly during tea time.

Here is the list of naughty words the guideline alludes to.
posted by srboisvert at 1:43 PM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


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