TORONTO, August 22, 2011 – On July 28, HBO Canada aired the documentary “Hugh Hefner, Playboy, Activist and Rebel” at 3:30 p.m. Because the program featured adult topics and nude photographs it was clearly outside the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council’s (CBSC) guideline for restricting such material to after 9 pm. In a letter in support of several League members’ complaints, the League pointed out that this traditional “watershed hour” is widely disregarded, particularly by specialty networks. “Most will include a viewer advisory, but these advisories tend to lose their meaning, if not go unnoticed entirely, when they’re repeated over and over again. A far better course would be to observe the 9 pm guideline consistently.”
The CBSC response – saying it couldn’t deal with our concerns because our letter wasn’t about just one program – displayed only a limited understanding that our complaint concerned a general and growing problem. Nevertheless, they stated that they will process and attempt to resolve our members’ complaints, and we will report on the outcome.