These reports are case summaries of complaints which appeared to raise issues of substance in relation to the interpretation of the ITC Programme Code. Summary statistics of non-substantive complaints can be found in the full reports which are obtainable from the ITC.
Showing Complaints & Interventions Report for BRASS EYE
Channel: Channel 4
Date & time: Thursday 19 July: 11.05pm
Complaint from: 6 viewers (not upheld)
In this repeat of a programme from the series first shown in 1997, one of the sketches involved Chris Morris parodying a confessional show presenter talking to a member of his studio audience about her experience of child abuse.
A number of viewers complained that they were offended by the sketch which they felt was inappropriate for humorous treatment, and inappropriately involved a child talking about her experience of abuse.
In the sketch complained of, Chris Morris parodies the presenter, in such a way that would lead viewers to readily recognise the type of show host that is the target of his satire. In doing so, he presents the superficial, almost perverse, nature of the presenter talking to a little girl in the studio audience in a manner which demonstrated how a would-be abuser could win her confidence. The motives of the presenter are clearly shown to be suspect when he then immediately dismisses, with derision, an older woman in the audience who has had a similar experience and offers to talk about it.
The ITC was satisfied that the satirical target was clearly indicated in this sketch to be the presenters of such shows and not the victims of abuse. It also noted that the reference to abuse was by subtle suggestion rather than through any explicit language and that the actress who played the little girl was an adult, much older than the 12 years she was playing.
The ITC concluded that the sketch did not represent a contravention of the Programme Code, either in terms of offence against taste and decency, or in relation to the involvement of children in programmes.