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Friday 14 December 2018

OMG ... Xpose rapped in 'F-word' storm

TV3's Xpose has been rapped on the knuckles after using the 'F-word' on the programme.

A complaint lodged to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) over its use of the expression 'OMFG' has been upheld, with the authority rejecting the station's assertion that it could also stand for 'flipping.'

One viewer said he was disgusted at the use of this term before the watershed and said his four-year-old daughter had then asked him what it meant.

The gaffe happened last July while presenter Karen Koster was speaking to co-presenter Glenda Gilson at about 6.10pm. Referring to a story about Nadine Coyle possibly not rejoining the girlband, Karen said: "OMFG Glenda, one member of Girls Aloud has been axed. Here's everything you need to know."

Viewer Freddie Symmons then lodged a complaint to the BAI over the use of the term. In its defence, TV3 claimed that Xpose had an overwhelmingly adult audience, with 88pc aged over 18 and that its content was not aimed at children.





Argued

Although it regretted the use of the term 'OMFG', the full obscenity was not used and presenters had reasonable freedom to be spontaneous in their speech on a live show. There was also ambiguity about what OMFG meant, as the F often signified "flipping", meaning the complainant's version of its meaning was debatable, it argued.

Yet the BAI said that it could not accept this assertion. While OMG (Oh My God) was part of colloquial language, their research showed use of the F-word had strong potential to cause offence.

The BAI ruled that TV3 had not exercised due care against the use of coarse or offensive language, and its use in a planned manner was gratuitous.

Its judgment stated: "The research revealed that the use of the F-word with a religious name carried even a greater potential to cause offence."

While the term OMG was popular with children, most parents would not like them to use the F-word and the BAI said it was likely that children would be part of Xpose's audience at 6.10pm.

Although no fines are imposed for such findings, TV3 was required to broadcast a statement outlining the BAI's decision.

mfinn@herald.ie

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