Sunday 18 November 2018

Broadcasting body dismisses complaint about fake penis used on TV3's Ireland AM

Ireland Am presenters Anna Daly, Mark Cagney, Sinead Desmond and Alan Hughes
Ireland Am presenters Anna Daly, Mark Cagney, Sinead Desmond and Alan Hughes
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has dismissed a complaint by a female viewer about a fake penis which featured in a segment on Ireland AM.

The TV3 breakfast show, which broadcasts weekday mornings from 7am, ran an item in February about safe contraception and demonstrated how to correctly use a condom with the fake penis as opposed to the traditional banana.

Just one viewer complained about the "erect penis" but her complaint was dismissed in a BAI report which was published in September.

"The complaint concerns a discussion on contraception that took place during this programme. The complainant objects to the part of the programme which she states showed a model of an erect penis having a condom put onto it," reads the report.

"The complainant is of the view that this type of material is completely inappropriate on a programme that many households have on in the morning, before children go to school. The complainant states there may have been warnings before the item, but she changed channel to TV3 and none was evident to her.

"The complainant states that she was extremely disappointed with this part of the programme, as she frequently watches with no issues. The complainant feels this was completely inappropriate content which is not suitable for her family."

However, TV3 responded by defending their use of the fake penis, pointing out that they had given viewers three separate warnings prior to the segment.

"TV3 states this feature was not taken lightly and with this in mind, there were three separate on-air warnings to give parents time to ensure children should not watch the segment," read their initial response.

"When talking about contraception, their resident doctor felt that they should demonstrate how to use protection appropriately as, unfortunately, in her practice she sees mistakes made that have resulted in unwanted pregnancies. With this serious outcome in mind, TV3 received positive feedback regarding how responsible they were in their approach."

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