OK, kiddo! Here are all the fantastically amazing posts tagged with CRTC complaints
Television viewers in Hamilton, Ontario last week found their breakfast interrupted (enhanced?) by nearly three minutes of “eye-popping hardcore gay pornography.”
The mihap, which happened around 9:30 a.m. Friday during the CHCH morning news show, is reportedly the result of severed cable lines outside of the station’s control that had been spliced back together incorrectly. As a result, viewers were treated to a free viewing of Lucas Entertainment’s After Hours instead of their usual morning news chatter.
When normal broadcasting finally resumed, the station’s news anchors and management issued an apology: “We’d like to apologize to some of our cable viewers for the inappropriate content that aired around 9:30 this morning.”
It actually makes a lot of sense that they’d only apologize to “some” of their viewers, because I can assure you no apology would be necessary in my household!
The CRTC, Canada’s broadcast regulation agency, says they’ve received three complaints over the incident. They are now investigating to determine which cable company was responsible for the mixup and will prepare a report outlining the steps that will be put in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Hmm… I wonder how this would play out if the incident happened in the uptight United States?
- Three minutes of gay porn interrupts Canadian TV newscast [Digital Journal]
- Oops! A morning news broadcast to remember [Hamilton Spectator]
Shaw Cablesystems has responded to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission after the commission found that the cable provider had tried to hide OutTV, a gay and lesbian television station.
Shaw, which was obligated to carry and promote OutTV alongside other channels of the same category, had excluded the station from its free preview week, moved the channel into a block of pornographic offerings without notifying the station or subscribers, omitted it from promotional pamphlets and their “all in” package, and made it the only by-request-only channel of its category, effectively requiring interested parties to out themselves to the cable behemoth if they wanted to tune in.
Shaw has now agreed to move OutTV out of the pornographic section, but has pretty much ignored all other aspects of the original complaint. In particular, they still refuse to offer OutTV during its free preview week—unless the small station forfeits its subscriber fees—and will still make the station available by special request only.
Coming out to my massive telecommunications corporation was one of the hardest things that I, like all gay people, have had to go through. But it’s a necessary step if you want to move on with your Lifetime Network.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has ruled against Shaw Communications, a Calgary-based cable provider, for subjecting OUTtv, a GLBT channel, to “undue disadvantage.”
OUTtv filed a complaint with the CRTC last April over unfair treatment. As a Category 1 channel, Shaw was obligated to carry and promote OUTtv alongside other Category 1 stations, but somehow didn’t quite give it equal attention. It was excluded from every free preview week, had its station number changed twice without notification, was placed alongside Hustler, Playboy, and Red Light District even though there it had no adult content, and was excluded from Shaw’s “All In” package, making it the only Category 1 station to have a by-request-only subscription (and therefore requiring viewers to, essentially, out themselves to subscribe). As a result, viewership of OUTtv was a full 21 times lower on Shaw than other providers.
As punishment, Shaw will have to write an essay on what they did wrong and how they’ll fix it.
Canada’s only gay and lesbian television channel has filed a complaint with the CRTC over treatment by a local cable provider.
OutTV says that not only does Shaw Communications exclude the channel from their “All In” package and make it a by-request-only subscription (the only specialty station to receive this treatment), but they have also moved the station’s channel number multiple times, first from 100 to 200, then to 370. Worse, the last move put the station immediately beside adult offerings: Channel 371 is Hustler, 372 is Playboy, and 373 is Red Light District.
Brad Danks, OutTV’s chief operating officer, said that shaw has been entirely uncooperative:
They are supposed to notify you before they move you. We’ve said, “We don’t have adult content. Why have you got us with adult channels?” There’s no reason given. They say nothing.
I once subscribed to OutTV (before I realised that I almost never watch TV and cancelled my digital service entirely), so I can vouch for its harmlessness. Putting it alongside porn channels is a misclassification, and forcing subscribers to request it by name when no other specialty channel requires that action means that interested parties will, essentially, have to out themselves in order to get it.
(Say, don’t a few of the shows on OutTV’s neighbouring channels start off with someone outing themself to their cable serviceman? “Did somebody call a cable guy?” Bow-chicka-wow-chicka…)
Anyway, OutTV does not carry adult content and is a “category one” licensee in Canada, which means that all cable providers must carry it and abide by CRTC packaging regulations. If anyone has had issues ordering OutTV, Brad asks that you visit his website to share your experiences and strengthen their case.
The episode, entitled “Traditional Mother,” is about a stereotypical gay couple who wishes to be married in a church/mosque shared by the Anglican and Muslim community. While several characters in the episode are supportive of the campy couple, others aren’t. Feeling unwelcome, the couple leaves for Toronto.
Cute plot, no?
Well, after the episode aired last February, an anonymous complainant filed a grievance with the CRTC, saying that the CBC was “vilifying and portraying homosexuals as being unimportant plus stupid,” and that they “showed the world how to harass homosexuals [...] under the guise of comedy.”
Now, I understand that it’s not in good taste to play up campy gay stereotypes for comedy when gay people still experience real harm, but I have to side with the CRTC and CBC. Everyone portrayed in Mosque is an exaggerated caricature, and gay people aren’t going to be the exception. Plus, if having fictional anti-gay characters were an actionable offense, I’d be in pretty big trouble myself.
So, I’ll come out and say it: I’m generally tolerant of comedic fictional intolerance. Not that I’m necessarily endorsing Mosque, mind you. Carlo Rota, one of Mosque’s actors, ridiculed my team during a commercial break on the set of Test The Nation. Although… He was also a recurring character in Queer as Folk, so maybe he gets a second chance.
- CRTC Finds No ‘Abusive Comments’ in CBC’s Little Mosque on the Prairie [Broadcaster Magazine]
- CRTC Ruling [Little Mosque Blog]