Dated: 23 October 2006
Starhub Cable Vision (SCV) has been fined by the Media Development Authority (MDA) for showing footage of lesbian sex and bondage on Zone Reality Channel’s reality series Cheater.
The reality programme featured cases handled by the Cheaters private agency where a person seeks to find out if his/ her partner is being unfaithful in their relationship. The episode concerned was aired during the period of 22 to 26 May 2006 and repeated on 29 August 2006. It contained footages of a woman engaging in lesbian sex acts with another woman. While pixilation was used during the sex scenes, it was still obvious to viewers that the women were naked and engaging in unnatural sex acts. The programme also showed the woman tied to a bed in a bondage session with two other women.The visuals were deemed to be sexually suggestive and offensive to good taste and decency
The programme also promotes lesbianism as a lifestyle, which breaches the Programme Code. The woman manages to get her boyfriend to accept her lifestyle and to invite other people to engage in threesomes with them.
Bearing in mind the adult nature of the programme, MDA also noted that Cheaterswas carried on a channel available on SCV's Family Plus Tier which is aimed at a general audience. The Programme Advisory Committee for English Programmes (PACE) was consulted, and it concurred with MDA that the programme was unsuitable for telecast due to its presentation and treatment of unnatural sex acts.
This episode of Cheaterswas therefore found to be in breach of the Subscription TV Programme Code as it failed to comply with guidelines which disallow the promotion, justification and glamourisation of lesbian lifestyles and their explicit depictions.
Taking into account the severity of the breach, and that the programme was shown on a channel on SCV’s Family Plus Tier, as well as SCV’s explanation on the matter, MDA found that a financial penalty was warranted and issued SCV a fine of $10,000. SCV has since paid up the fine."