You may remember a few years ago the whole Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand scandal at the BBC when they called up Andrew Sachs. Since then there’s been a culture of people getting outraged on behalf of other people at things on the TV or the Radio.
For example using the Ross & Brand incident, the day after the show they had 2 complaints and that’s how it stayed until The Mail on Sunday published a story about it over a week later the number of complaints rose to 1,585 and it kept rising until it reached around 38,000. It’s a good chance that a majority of these people hadn’t even listened to the show.
Ever since “Sachsgate” there’s been a culture of people complaining about every little thing and the BBC not standing up for the content that it’s put out and instead apologising for what they put out and saying it shouldn’t of been broadcast.
Whilst reading the Guardian website I came across an article and it well it made me sad. It makes me sad because they shouldn’t have to go pandering and apologising to everyone that finds every little thing offensive. In this case it was because of a play on words – “cox sackers” (sounding like Cocks Suckers) referring to the cambridge boat team sacking their cox. How many people complained you might ask. One. One person complained. This complaint twice got rejected by the BBC management so this person went and complained to the BBC Trust, who upheld the complaint claiming that children could of heard it.
The phrase was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 which isn’t known for it’s high child listenership and if it was they probably wouldn’t of understood it. I’ve grown up with my parents listening to Radio 4, it was always on so i heard things like ‘Round The Horne’ and ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue’ which every week featured lines like this:
“…DJ Samantha rolled her sleeves up and had a good rummage downstairs for the teams this afternoon. She’s pulled out some dusty old seven inchers that could all be made big again given sympathetic handling…”
I don’t ever remember as a child thinking anything else apart from the literal meaning of it. Never thought of the double entendre that’s there.
If this kind of thing happens the BBC saying they’re sorry for everything, programme makers are going to be scared that they’ll get a wrap on the knuckles because they made a joke or used a phrase that one person didn’t like. The BBC need to stand up against people who make petty complaints just because they’re worried that The Daily Mail might publish an article saying something about them that they don’t like. The truth is you can’t be a 100% crowd pleaser and the BBC shouldn’t pretend to be and stand by their content if it’s not done anything wrong.