The nude antics of reality television contestants on the Big Brother program prompted Australian government politicians Tuesday to demand a review of how much nudity can be shown on free television down under.
The fifth Australian series of Big Brother is the raunchiest yet seen in Australia, with the uncut version featuring regular nudity, views of the contestants in the shower, and a steamy hot-tub romp by two contestants.
Government MP Trish Draper raised her concerns at a closed meeting of government MPs and senators after the latest uncut episode of the program, classified for viewers 15 years and older, featured contestants taking nude photographs of each other.
"What we basically have is pornography and full frontal nudity on television at a time when children are watching. These people have an aspiration to be porn stars," Draper told Reuters.
Draper and several other government backbenchers have asked Communications Minister Helen Coonan to brief MPs and senators on the existing rules for broadcasting nudity and adult material on free to air television.
But Big Brother housemate Michelle, who took part in the hot-tub romp and was voted off the show earlier this month, said people should switch off their televisions if they did not like what they were watching.
"You put 15 sexually active people in the house who obviously enjoy sex and are young, it is going to happen. We are bored and we are going to do things," she said after being voted out.
Australia's third-ranked television broadcaster Ten Network Holdings Ltd. has broadcast the Big Brother series as part of its strategy to target and build up a younger audience.
A Ten spokeswoman said the program complied with the existing industry code of practice.
"We appreciate that it's not to everyone's taste, but it does adhere to the code," the spokeswoman said.
Coonan said she had written to the broadcast regulator to examine if the voluntary classification system was adequate for reality television programs.
"The government takes very seriously the issue of protection of children from exposure to program material that may be unsuitable," Coonan said in a statement.
Big Brother is a reality television show where a group of strangers are locked in a house and gradually voted out by the audience. Local versions of the show are produced around the world, from Britain to South Africa. Source