Career Development: Task 3

Banned Media

Assessment Task 3 – (Criteria 1.3)

PART 1 – Initially discuss and explain the purpose and process of the regulatory bodies for TV, film and advertising in the UK.

PART 2 – Examine 1 TV programme, 1 film and 1 TV advertisement that have been banned by the relevant regulatory body and critically reflect on the regulatory bodies decision to ban the production.


FOX has recently removed an episode from the latest season of Family Guy. The episode contained a clip showing mass deaths at the Boston Marathon, and although the episode was written and produced months before the tragic events that took place, FOX took the decision to remove the episode ‘Turban Cowboy’ as it would have caused extreme controversy in the aftermath of the Boston terror attack. Despite the episode being pulled, clips from the episode have been seen online and have been called ‘sick’ and ‘tasteless’. I think the decision to pull the episode was a good move for FOX as it would only provoke huge controversy and upset thousands of loyal Family Guy viewers, however if it wasn’t for the circumstances in Boston, I’m sure this would have been aired and the controversial clip would have been just another slightly crude Family Guy joke like many others that the fans of the show have come to expect from a show that continues to push the boundaries of comedy. The clip in question has become the source of absurd conspiracy theories about Family Guy ‘predicting’ the Boston terror attacks that took place in April this year. This level of controversy has all took place even though the episode was never aired on television, so if FOX had proceeded with the airing I’m sure there would be a call for the show to be punished in some way or even be cancelled.



The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a 1974 horror film directed by Tobe Hooper. The film is basically about a group of friends who get kidnapped and violently murdered by a disfigured character who wears a mask made from the skin of his previous victims. This film was deemed too graphic, violent and disturbing for release and was banned outright in many countries including France, Sweden and Singapore; it was also banned by British film censors in 1975, again in 1977 and then again in 1984 but after a change in policy the film was finally released uncut in 1999, 25 years after it was first banned.



A recent commercial by web hosting company has been banned in the UK for being ‘sexist and degrading to women’. The advert features ex-Baywatch pinup Pamela Anderson being squirted with cream in a co-workers fantasy. Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it could cause serious offense to viewers but the Australian web company called it ‘anything but degrading to women’ and they deliberately portrayed Pamela Anderson and her on screen assistant as ‘attractive, dynamic and confident business people’, a contrast to the male ‘nerdy’ characters. Despite Dreamscape Networks (The Company behind objections, the ASA banned the advert for portraying sexually exposed cleavages and giving the impression that men viewed female colleagues as ‘sexual objects’.


The ASA are the regulators for advertisements in the UK and it is their job to ensure media is not misleading, offensive to the public or harmful. In 2011, the ASA took action to change or remove over 4000 adverts in the UK. For films, the BBFC (British Board of Film Censorship) look at issues such as drugs, violence or sex to determine a suitable rating for the film prior to its release.