Contempt knows no bounds!!!
This should never have happened...
C4 apologises for Bloody Mary show
Television channel C4 has apologised for the screening of the Bloody Mary episode of the South Park series and said it would not repeat the programme.
And while it rejected about 100 formal complaints about the programme, C4 said it had reviewed its internal processes for dealing with religious programmes.
Chief operating officer Rick Friesen said C4 probably would not have screened the episode knowing what it did now about the amount of offence taken.
Because of the strong reaction, the company had decided not to take up its rights to repeat the episode.
Catholics condemned the decision by C4 -- a sister channel of TV3 owned by CanWest TVWorks -- to screen the episode of the cartoon show involving a menstruating statue of the Virgin Mary. It was shown at 9.30pm one night last month.
Today Mr Friesen said formal complaints about the programme had been before a standards committee and had not been upheld.
Responses were being mailed out and any complainants still not satisfied could take the matter to the Broadcasting Standards Authority.
"However, C4 acknowledges the strength of feeling in relation to the programme, and we sincerely apologise for any offence taken," Mr Friesen said.
"We have detected a shift in the public's perspective on matters of a religious nature. As a result, we have reviewed our internal processes for dealing with religious programmes, particularly in relation to religious satire."
If it was felt a programme was going to offend a large group the broadcaster would have to look closely at whether or not it was run, or edited.
Catholic Church spokeswoman Lyndsay Freer said CanWest's "so-called sincere apology" was "self-serving".
"They knew in advance that screening Bloody Mary would give deep and widespread offence, given the correspondence they had received in advance from Christian leaders and leaders of other faiths. Yet they went ahead and screened the programme," she said.
"CanWest was wrong and now seeks to restore its position with a semi-apology. Clearly they are feeling the heat and are taken aback by the extent of the offence and outrage that has been caused."Mr Friesen said: "It's simply being responsive to the communities we serve. We want our audience to respect and understand what we do as broadcasters, and to do that we have to be sensitive to what viewers want and what they can be offended by.
"It doesn't mean we're going to get rid of all offence, that's not going to happen. It would limit what television broadcasters run too severely. It's extreme cases we're talking about."
C4 was targeted at the 15 to 29 age group and intended to be "as edgy as we ever have been".
Running the episode had a "very minor" impact, with one sponsor leaving TV3, but no effect to ratings was detected.
Thanks Herald for the full quote...
Why can't C4 (and parent TV3) stand up and defend freedom of speech!!!
And why can't the Catholic Church get out there in the streets with guns and rockets and set a few Embassies ablaze?