Jackson Super Bowl controversy smacks of hypocrisy

MUMBAI: The latest controversy to hit American television revolves around pop icon Janet Jackson partially flashing her bosom during the half time special at the Super Bowl on 1 February.

Media watchdog - the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - ordered an immediate investigation while both MTV and CBS where the event aired, tendered their apologies.

FCC chairman Michael Powell had the following stinging remarks to make about the event. "I am outraged at what I saw during the halftime show of the Super Bowl. Like millions of Americans, my family and I gathered around the television for a celebration. Instead, that celebration was tainted by a classless, crass and deplorable stunt. Our nation's children, parents and citizens deserve better."

All this brouhaha however strikes us as being rather strange and hypocritical coming as it does from a country where shocking stunts on TV and the media are nothing new. At the MTV awards show, Britney Spears and Madonna shared a luscious kiss which was basically a publicity stunt and got the event the desired attention.

In this context, CBS couldn't have been so naive as to not expect something controversial to occur. Its statement read, "We attended all rehearsals throughout the week and there was no indication that any such thing would happen. The moment did not conform to CBS broadcast standards and we would like to apologise to anyone who was offended."

This is also not the first time that Jackson has flaunted her sexuality to gain an audience. In the past years, she has appeared on covers of magazines like Rolling Stone in a suggestive manner. Whatever be the outcome of the FCC inquiry, CBS couldn't have been unhappy with the ratings of the event. It issued a release stating that 143.6 Million Viewers watched all or a part of Super Bowl XXXVIII making it the most watched Super Bowl ever.

Coming back to the controversy, it is an open secret that sexism is very much part of the National Football League's subtext thanks to the scantily dressed cheerleaders flashing their thighs to the audience, many of whom are minors. Some super bowl ads too have been provocative. However the NFL has generally been careful to keep provocation out of the limelight during the telecast so that even children can soak in the event.

If the FCC is seriously worried about the intrusion of tasteless and inappropriate behaviour then why isn't it doing anything about some of the reality shows on American television? In Jackson's defense it can be said that the stunt did not last too long. On reality shows be it Survivor on CBS or Temptation Island on Fox, shocking things happen quite often without anyone raising a hue and cry. FCC's inaction is surprising considering that it wants broadcasters to exert "a greater degree of social responsibility".

Of course this is not the first time Viacom has gotten into trouble with the FCC nor will it be the last. Its radio station Infinity has been served notices in the past for violation of indecency rules. At times, the content has explored the dark corners of the human mind like paedophilia.

It now remains to be seen whether the FCC is successful in implementing a stricter code of conduct in a country whose obsession with obscene celebrity behaviour and fascination with controversy circulating in media circles knows no bounds.

Latest Reads
TV is story-teller's new novel; audience is Bharat, not India: Star's Banerjee

MUMBAI: Since five to six years, television has become the talking point. Th series such as 'Breaking Bad' to Transparent to Narcos to 'Game of Thrones' to 24, and now POW (Prisoners of Wars) has changed the experience of television viewing.

Television TV Channels GECs
Star World to air 1-5 of 'Homeland'

Star World and Star World HD is all geared up to air the pulse-pounding action series 'Homeland.' The show tackles geopolitical moral conundrums of our current world. It has recently unveiled the teaser for the upcoming season 6 shows how Carrie Mathison will circumvent around another international...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Share all World Cup, T-20 feeds with Prasar Bharati, rights holder told

The telecast of all official one-day and Twenty-20 matches played by the Indian Men’s Cricket Team will henceforth have to be shared by the rights holder with the public broadcaster Prasar Bharati under the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act 2007.

Television TV Channels Terrestrial
Saregama returns to film music acquisition with Pen pact

Saregama India has inked a two-movie deal with Pen Movies. With this agreement, Saregama has acquired the music rights of upcoming Bollywood releases of Pen which includes Kahaani 2 -- Durga Rani Singh, featuring Vidya Balan and Arjun Rampal.Kahaani 2 is slated for a release on 2 December.

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
Q2-17: Zeel numbers, PAT up on higher Ad and Subscription revenue

The Subhash Chandra led content and broadcast player Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (Zeel) reported a 23 per cent hike in consolidated revenue for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q2-17, current quarter) as compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

Television TV Channels GECs
Best Deal TV appoints Hari Trivedi as COO

MUMBAI: Best Deal TV has appointed Hari Trivedi as the chief operating officer with immediate effect. Based in Mumbai, Trivedi will be responsible for overall sales and marketing. He would also be initializing lowest price offers and deals on Best Deal TV.

Television TV Channels People
Disney announces successor of MD Siddharth Roy-Kapur

MUMBAI: Walt Disney International has announced the successor to its former managing director Siddharth Roy-Kapur. As a second stint with the organization, Mahesh Samat has made a comeback and will lead The Walt Disney Company India as the managing director. He will pursue his new responsibility...

Television TV Channels People
Life is more imaginative than fiction in a story like POW, says writer-director Gideon Raff

MUMBAI: Sometimes, coming back home after 17 years is not always a happy ending. "Prisoners of War" is the story of three Israeli soldiers, who were held captive for that many years following their kidnapping while on a secret mission with their unit.

Television TV Shows Thriller
IPL media rights bidding postponed sine die

MUMBAI: The BCCI has made it clear that the media rights auction cannot take place till the time it gets a concrete go-ahead and a formal approval from the Justice RM Lodha committee. Till the evening of 24 October (Monday), BCCI did not receive the okay from the committee which said, "it is in...

Television TV Channels Sports

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories