UK pay-TV broadcaster Sky showed a hard-hitting sexually explicit movie at 21.00 immediately after having screened 5 back-to-back episodes of The Simpsons.
Broadcasting regulator Ofcom, in its report on a complaint received regarding strong language and sex scenes within an 18-rated action-thriller movie ‘Wanted’, said: “The complainant said that her 11-year-old son was watching and that she considered the scene unsuitable for the time of broadcast. The film was scheduled to start shortly after the 21:00 watershed. From 18:30 to 21:00, five episodes of The Simpsons were broadcast. Before the film started, a continuity announcement said:
“Now on Sky1, the art of bullet bending. It’s all in the wrist. Flashing images as James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie star in Wanted”.
The movie started at 21.02 but by 21.03, Ofcom said the film showed a couple having sex on a kitchen table in a scene that lasted about 10 seconds. Audience figures for the age group 4-15 show that 7,000 children were watching Wanted at 21:03, said Ofcom.
Sky said that the EPG information was specific in alerting viewers to “strong language, sex, graphic violence” but this had not been made clear by the continuity announcer, and this was an error.
Sky said that in future it would ensure that such movies would not be screened before 22.00, and that it would adjust showing of The Simpsons so that no episodes were aired from 20.30 unless there was an uncontentious ‘family’ film following at 21.00.