Saturday, December 11, 2010

A break from our usual programming: X-Factor final. And tarts and that.

I rather fancy i'm pretty unshockable. I've seen all your Frankie Boyles and your 2 Girls One Cup and such. And survived.

But I did think that the dance routine around Christina Aguilera's solo number was a bit rich. Fine for Zoo readers with their elasticated waistbands and muscly wrists, but not ideal for X-Factor's young, and substantially female audience.

What's the lesson there? If you want to make it in showbusiness, you had better get your arse out? It may be the truth, but like the non-existence of Santa Claus it's an inconvenient truth that as parents we postpone telling for as long as we can.

I was cross and tweeted about it a bit. My wife actually did something about it. Here's her email to ITV. You might find the email address or some key turns of phrase helpful if you felt the same way we did.

Subject: X Factor, Saturday 11.12.10

It's before 9pm on Saturday 11th December. I am at home with my husband and my 8yr old daughter. We've treated ourselves to a take away and are curled up to enjoy the build-up to the X Factor final.

My daughter would usually be in bed by 8, but as this is a bit of a treat we agree she can stay up until 9pm. Besides, this is X Factor, it's hardly going to be explicit lyrics and sexual content, so I hardly even give this decision a second thought.

So, let me tell you now that I am really, really disappointed to be writing an angry note after having sat here while Christina Aguilera and her dancers have been on. I am offended for the following reasons

1. it is deeply inappropriate to broadcast such explicit and sexual content in a prime-time family show, before 9pm. If that dance is appropriate for a young audience, why don't you broadcast it at 8:45am on CITV? ITV, a public service  broadcaster, forgets that it has a responsibility to screen appropriate content for the likely audience. If I want to watch porn, I know here to find it, and it isn't ITV at 8:45 on a Saturday night. Perhaps you'd like to remind yourselves of this?
2. X Factor, clearly raising the expectations of young people hoping to become famous, sets an example that suggests that, if you're female, it's probably best to wear an Ann Summers get-up and writhe about simulating sexual acts.
3. X Factor, currently trading on a reputation for style and fashion based around the choices of judges and contestants lets itself down badly by demonstrating such poor sartorial taste.

For your information, I will also be writing to Ofcom.

I would appreciate a reply, an explanation, and an apology.


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