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Edited Love Island UK broadcast did not breach standards

The Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) has found that the heavily edited first episode of Love Island UK met the G (General) classification and did not breach the children’s interests standard given its edited form and target and likely audience.

The Authority found that the episode was not the same as the unedited version available on-demand on ThreeNow.

The Authority found that the broadcast did not cause harm at the level that justified intervention by the Authority. The Authority acknowledged that Love Island UK contained some mature themes, and may not reflect values that all parents and caregivers would endorse for children in their care, but found that it did not contain content that would alarm or distress children to the extent justifying intervention.

‘Audiences should have the freedom to make viewing and listening choices. It is not our role to denounce broadcasts which some may consider to be in poor taste or indecent, provided such broadcasts do not cause harm at a level requiring our intervention,’ the Authority said.

The nature of the programme (including that it was not designed for a child audience nor likely to attract one) was an important factor in the Authority’s decision. The Authority identified that the name of the programme, the scheduling of it between news programmes targeted at a mature audience and the information about the programme provided in the electronic programme guide, signalled that the programme was targeted at a mature audience, and was not designed for children.

‘Although it was broadcast at a time when children may be watching, the programme was not designed to attract a child audience and the presentation of the more mature themes would not have alarmed or distressed any children who happened to be watching.’ the Authority said.

The Authority considered that ‘the nature and content of the show would have been clear to parents and caregivers who have a responsibility to be live to the individual needs of children in their care.’

The Authority also emphasised the important role that parents and caregivers play in monitoring their children’s viewing habits and having the capacity to talk to children about what they watch and listen to, as supported by its recently published research on the impacts on children and young people of exposure to nudity on television and in other media.

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