‘An erect penis in a blurry silhouette’. The Australian Communications and Media Authority has found Channel Ten morning show Studio 10 in breach of its the broadcasting code of practice after the PG show aired two small images that showed “a man is depicted from a rear side-angle with an erect penis in blurry silhouette”.
The man was actor Rob Lowe, and the segment, which aired on January 1, 2016, was a roundup of significant events in 1988. Entertainment reporter Angela Bishop presented the segment, which broadcast, for 19 seconds, a large shot of Lowe behind two small images of “a number of people on or near a bed”.
“Both these smaller images are low resolution and appear to have been captured from video footage,” the investigation report reads. Mind you, not so small that no one noticed — ACMA says it got a complaint in March 2016.
Studio Ten is classified PG, which means it can only show “restrained” depictions of sex and nudity suitable for children to watch with supervision. ACMA didn’t think Studio 10 met this threshold, and breached the classification part of the code.
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In its submission to ACMA, Ten blamed human error, saying it generally sought advice from the classification department before broadcasting that kind of stuff. The show’s EP has spoken to staff about it, and “Network Ten has also taken steps to ensure the segment will not be broadcast again or made available on the Studio 10 website”. — Myriam Robin
Upping the pressure. Most voters say the economy, health and a fair taxation system are the most important issues in deciding their vote. But viewer lobby ABC Friends is trying to raise the profile of another issue this election — funding to the ABC.
It plans to release 10 or so videos on social media, and to conduct targeted campaigns in marginal seats in favour of any candidate who’ll pledge to restore the ABC’s funding.
Given the Liberals’ record on cutting the ABC — Tony Abbott tried to neutralise the issue last election by saying there’d be no cuts to the ABC or SBS but Aunty’s budget is $100 million a year less now than it was in 2013 — one wouldn’t think they’d get support from ABC Friends. So far, Labor has announced $21 million over four years for women’s sport. So one presumes the campaign would favour Labor and the Greens, even though Labor’s latest pledge doesn’t replace the lost funding.
The first ad does not tell people who to vote for. Rather, it considers a dystopian future where Kerry O’Brien is forced to host cooking shows, Leigh Sales is kicked off the ABC’s version of Survivor, and Four Corners hasn’t aired for years. But it doesn’t tell people how to vote.
The seats the group plans target are Page, Richmond, Dobell, Banks, Paterson, Eden-Monaro, Macquarie, Lindsay, Macarthur, Robertson, New England, Corangamite, Deakin, La Trobe, Indi, Petrie, Capricornia, Brisbane, Bonner, Fairfax, Lyons, Braddon, Bass, Cowan, Perth, Hindmarsh, Wakefield and Solomon. All are on margins of less than 5% (apart from New England, which they say was chosen for its profile and to showcase regional ABC issues), and most are held by Liberals.
“Although ABC funding hasn’t raised an eyebrow so far this election, we’re throwing everything we have at changing public opinion because we see this as a crucial election for the national broadcaster,” said ABC Friends’ Ranald Macdonald, who’s a former editor-in-chief of The Age. If the government is returned, the group fears “the spectres of advertising or sell-offs”. — Myriam Robin
Video of the day. Shaun Micallef on Mathias Cormann’s newfound love for Bill Shorten.
Front page of the day. Apparently there was some sort of sport on last night …