Love Island at 5pm is ‘pornification of our culture’, says Family First

Stuff co.nz 5 June 2019
Family First Comment: “It’s being led by broadcasters, with the watchdog asleep at the wheel,” he said. “It promotes voyeurism, a porn culture, sexualisation.” ​McCoskrie said it was “absolutely inevitable” that children will watch Love Island at 5pm. “A lot of families won’t quite realise just what the content is,” Concerned parents, however, would do well to heed McCoskrie’s advice: “Keep that remote control very handy and be prepared to use the on-off switch very liberally.”

The UK reality series Love Island kicks off Wednesday night – or shall we say afternoon – on Three, with a new crop of hopeful singles heading to the villa in the hopes of finding love… or something.

This season, like those before it, will feature an initial 12 contestants, typically clad in little more than their swimming costumes, constantly coupling and re-coupling in the hopes of avoiding a vote off by the public and walking away with a cash prize of nearly $200,000.

They’ll do it at 5pm, every night of the week.

And Bob McCoskrie, national director of conservative lobby group Family First, isn’t happy about it.

“This is a programme with explicit sexual content and also explicit language,” he told Stuff.

“I also have had concern expressed around body image and the messages it’s sending to young people, and especially young girls,” he said, also pointing to the fact that two UK contestants have committed suicide after appearing on the Love Island – something that broadcaster ITV has said it is addressing in forthcoming seasons.

In the UK, McCoskrie pointed out, Love Island airs at 9pm, the hour that marks the watershed after which adult content can be shown.

In New Zealand, the watershed is at 8:30pm, with a G-only timeslot between 4 and 7pm.

And Andrew Szusterman, chief content officer at Three’s parent company, Mediaworks, is reassuring viewers that the Love Island aired at 5pm will indeed be family friendly.

He told Stuff that the company would review and, if necessary, cut episodes of Love Island to make them appropriate for 5pm audiences.

“Clearly it will not have explicit content nor drunkenness nor near nudity,” he said. “All episodes aired at 5pm will be compliant with Broadcasting Standards and hence suitable for that slot.”

Uncut episodes would be made available on Three’s on demand service, ThreeNow.

“We believe that the subject matter being covered off is in line with content being aired on competing networks at the same time,” Szusterman added.

At 5pm, Love Island will be up against game show The Chase on TVNZ 1 and reruns of animated sitcom The Simpsons, followed by Home and Away, on TVNZ 2.

Szusterman said that “regardless of where and when content is consumed, and like all other content that exists whether that be online or on linear, it is up to individual households to decide whether it is appropriate viewing for them”.

But that’s not enough for McCoskrie, who thinks that the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) should take a greater role in policing what goes out over New Zealand’s airwaves.

“Broadcasting standards have plummeted and I point the finger directly at the BSA for not doing their job,” he says.

Currently, the BSA has no power to determine when a programme should air or what classification it should hold – these decisions are entirely at the broadcaster’s discretion.

The Crown entity only steps in at the point at which a formal complaint has been raised with the broadcaster, who will deal with the complaint in the first instance. If the complainant is still unsatisfied, they can refer their issue to the BSA.

McCoskrie, however, called that a “pathetic excuse” that is leading to the “pornification of our culture”.

“It’s being led by broadcasters, with the watchdog asleep at the wheel,” he said. “It promotes voyeurism, a porn culture, sexualisation.”

​McCoskrie said it was “absolutely inevitable” that children will watch Love Island at 5pm.

“A lot of families won’t quite realise just what the content is,” he added.

But Szusterman said that Three’s target demographic was 24-54. “Based on global trends, the show plays to a very similar demographic to competing shows on other networks here in New Zealand,” he reiterated.

The new UK season of Love Island is a precursor to the first New Zealand version of the format, which will air later this year.

Whether or not that will also be in a tea-time slot has yet to be determined, Szusterman said.

Concerned parents, however, would do well to heed McCoskrie’s advice: “Keep that remote control very handy and be prepared to use the on-off switch very liberally.”
https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/tv-radio/113217131/love-island-at-5pm-is-pornification-of-our-culture-says-family-first

Kids shouldn’t be watching Love Island (and not because of the bikinis and sex)
The SpinOff 5 June 2019
The latest season of British reality show Love Island is set to hit TV screens at the unconventional tea-time hour of 5pm. Jihee Junn explains why the decision is troubling.

Here are five words I never thought I’d say: I agree with Bob McCoskrie.

“This is a programme with explicit sexual content and also explicit language,” McCoskrie told Stuff. “I also have had concern expressed around body image and the messages it’s sending to young people, and especially young girls,” adding that the show promotes “voyeurism”, “sexualisation”, and “a pornification of our culture”.
READ MORE: https://thespinoff.co.nz/tv/05-06-2019/kids-shouldnt-be-watching-love-island-and-not-because-of-the-bikinis-and-sex/

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