Saturday, May 14, 2011

Katie Price Slams Channel 4

Katie Price Slams Channel 4
Katie Price condemned Channel 4 for repeating Frankie Boyle's show containing a controversial joke he made about her disabled son.

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has launched an investigation after Price accused the comic of being a "bully" in the wake of his comments about her son Harvey, who suffers from septo-optic dysplasia and autism, on his show Tramadol Nights.

In a statement, Price accused the broadcaster of "embracing and exploiting discrimination" by airing the material again last night.

She said: "By repeating Frankie Boyle's show, Channel 4 are embracing and exploiting discrimination. They are saying it is ok to ridicule people - even children - for disability in a way they would not dare over race or sexual orientation.

"The people who control the channel are endorsing this behaviour and it is disgusting. Even the fact that Ofcom are investigating the first broadcast has not made them divert from this path.

"This issue is not about me, other than Harvey is my son. This issue is about discrimination."

She added: "By broadcasting these vile sexual comments about Harvey, and then insisting on repeating them, Channel Four are trying to take us back to an era when discrimination was accepted. They mustn't be allowed to get away with it."

Her comments came as charity Mencap became the latest voice to take Boyle to task over the joke.

Esther Foreman, its campaigns manager, labelled the material "disgusting", adding it propagated "ignorant views" about disability.

She said: "It is disgusting that Frankie Boyle has chosen to target a child with a disability with these so-called jokes. Ignorant views like this help to fuel the verbal and physical abuse that people with a disability, and their families, are regularly subjected to. Comedy like this takes us back to the dark ages.

"How can we eradicate negative stereotypes and expect the general public to treat people with a disability with the respect they deserve when such vile jokes are aired on national television? How can Channel 4 justify broadcasting this? The answers they have given so far are not satisfactory in the slightest?"

A spokesman for Ofcom earlier said: "We can confirm that we have received a complaint from Katie Price.

"Having considered this and other viewers' concerns, we have now launched an investigation into the show."

Price announced on Thursday she had asked her lawyers to contact the watchdog if Channel 4 did not apologise.

Head of Comedy, C4, Shane Allen said: "We are aware that Frankie Boyle's comedy can be very challenging which is why we have gone to careful lengths in scrutinising the material editorially, in scheduling the series appropriately and by giving clear and strong warnings into each of the programmes.

"We think that it is important that a space on terrestrial TV exists for comedy that takes risks and pushes boundaries and we stand by our original decision to broadcast the programme."

A message at the beginning of Boyle's programme, first broadcast on Tuesday night, warned viewers the show contained "very strong language and uncompromising adult content".

It is not the first time the comedian's jokes have landed him in trouble.

In April he had an on-stage argument with the mother of a Down's syndrome child after making fun of the condition, while in August 2008 he said Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington looked like "someone who's looking at themselves in the back of a spoon".

The Ofcom investigation is likely to consider whether the show broke sections of the Broadcasting Code about "generally accepted standards" of material which could be deemed offensive.

Source: thisislondon