BCCC conducts session on Portrayal of Women on TV

18 Mar,2013


By A Correspondent


Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC), the independent self-regulatory body for non-news general entertainment channels set up by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), conducted an interactive session with the S&P/Creative/Programming teams of its member Channels to sensitise them about the ‘Portrayal of Women in Television Programmes’ recently in Mumbai.


A.P. Shah

BCCC members and representatives of the channels discussed women-related thematic issues that ranged from sex, nudity, obscenity, stereotyping and violence.


BCCC Chairman Justice (Retd.) A.P. Shah said, “Scenes of violence against women can have a damaging impact on all sections, especially children. For instance, such violent depiction can put a vulnerable section like women domestic help at high risk. Such scenes should be done in a subtle manner.”


Shabana Azmi

BCCC Member Shabana Azmi said, “The business of camera is the business of images. If fragmented images of a woman’s body are shown, it is actually robbing the women of all autonomy and subjecting her to male gaze. If we objectify women, there will be a little chance that society will have great respect for them.”


Talking about violence, Ms. Azmi said, “Violence may be necessary for the story. But mistreatment should not be glorified. It can be suggestive and creatively done. It can be done in a way that doesn’t reinforce violence against women. It is time to introspect how we can contribute to minimise violence against women.”


Vir Sanghvi

BCCC Member Vir Sanghvi said, “Our concern is with entertainment that promotes stereotyping of women in a situation where they are portrayed in a negative fashion and where they are consistently portrayed as victims who are to be enjoyed or to be mistreated. If mass media promotes that image, it will have horrific consequences.” Mr. Sanghvi said if content auditors look into the content as dispassionate viewers themselves, the chance of objectionable content being aired gets minimal.



Sudhir Mishra

The Council also invited filmmaker Sudhir Mishra to interact with the Channel representatives on stereotyping of women. Mr Mishra said, “Stereotyping leads to tragic ends. If we are corroborating the stereotypes, then we are corroborating the idea of women needing protection and, in turn, corroborating awful things.”


“If you project yourselves on screen the way you are, there will be no stereotyping,” Mr Mishra said.


The BCCC members reiterated their intention of not curtailing artistic freedom of the content creators but only to sensitise them.


Issues like portrayal of Children and stereotyping of Minorities in television programmes were also discussed at the interaction which was well attended by all general entertainment channels.


Wajahat Habibullah, Chairman of National Commission for Minorities, and also a member of BCCC said, “Targeting a particular community can cause lot of damage to the psyche of that community. We need to develop practices that are constructive and are not curtailing creativity.”


The session turned out to be a fruitful one for the broadcasters as they also got an opportunity to share their sensitivities and structural limitations regarding content that goes on air.


In view of the increasing number of complaints pertaining to southern Channels, BCCC will conduct a similar session in Chennai/Hyderabad in the coming months.


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