Global Television must apologize to its viewers for not warning them about the bloody, drawn-out death of Bugs Bunny at the hands of Elmer Fudd during an episode of Family Guy.
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council ruled on Thursday that the broadcaster did a good job warning viewers about sexual content and bad language in the show, but didn’t provide a heads up about violence. To make amends, Global must tell its viewers it violated the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Violence code during prime time viewing hours, and then repeat the message once more time at any time.
The CBSC investigated an episode of the show that ran on July 23 at 5 p.m., in which “there was a spoof of a Bugs Bunny cartoon in which Elmer Fudd shot Bugs at close range with a rifle. Bugs screamed and gripped his chest as blood poured out of him. He died in a prolonged and dramatic manner, after which Fudd Twisted Bugs’ neck and dragged Bugs’ lifeless body by the ears through a pool of blood.”
It wasn’t the violence that bothered the regulator, but the lack of warning.
“The panel finds that the scene was definitely somewhat gruesome and uncomfortable to watch,” it wrote. “It recognizes, however, that the scene was intended to satirize the violence found in that type of cartoon program. The gag was somewhat tongue-in-cheek since Family Guy itself is an animated program that sometimes contains violence.”
The complaint, filed by a viewer, also took issue with the language used in the episode. The viewer took particular offence to Stewie – a talking baby – talking about shaving his genitals, as well as to the use of several profanities and the word “porno.”
The panel said the warning of strong language was sufficient, although it did condemn the show’s contents as being in “poor taste.”
“The National Conventional Television Panel has concluded that none of the substance of this Family Guy episode was in breach of the Codes,” it wrote.
“It recognizes, however, that many viewers would find elements of this program to be in poor taste. In addition to the categories of content discussed above, the panel notes that some viewers might find the scenes of the man eating dinner in a bathroom stall and Stewie throwing up on [animated dog]Brian to be disgusting and tasteless. Such matters of taste do not amount to code violations.”
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