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29 October 2014
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Governors' Programme Complaints Committee finding on complaints against Jerry Springer - The Opera

Category: BBC

Date: 30.03.2005
Printable version

The Governors' Programme Complaints Committee (GPCC) has today published its finding after considering complaints received against the broadcast of Jerry Springer - The Opera.

The Committee, which met on Thursday 17 March, decided by a majority of four to one not to uphold complaints against the BBC's decision to broadcast the opera and found that BBC management's decision to broadcast Jerry Springer - The Opera was not in breach of the relevant editorial standards, codes and guidelines.

The majority view of the Committee was that:

The offence - particularly the offence to religious beliefs - caused to sizeable numbers of people should not be underestimated or taken lightly

Reasonable and comprehensive attempts were made to minimise offence through appropriate scheduling, clear warnings, and the use of other programmes prior to the broadcast to set the piece in context

The BBC is committed to freedom of expression and has a duty to innovate, to reflect new and challenging ideas and to make available to its audiences work of outstanding artistic significance

In all the circumstances, the outstanding artistic significance of the programme outweighed the offence which it caused to some viewers and so the broadcasting of the programme was justified.

Richard Tait, Chairman of the GPCC, said: "The Governors' Programme Complaints Committee is required to consider whether transmitted programmes have met the requirements of relevant editorial standards, codes and guidelines.

"Each of us as members of the GPCC approaches these considerations with an open mind and I am grateful to my colleagues for their contribution to a thorough process conducted with integrity.

"As a Committee all of us are satisfied that we addressed the issues raised by the many people who contacted the BBC both before and following transmission of Jerry Springer - The Opera and gave each due consideration before reaching our judgement."

Notes to Editors

1. The following Governors are members of the GPCC:

Richard Tait (Chairman)

Deborah Bull

Merfyn Jones

Fabian Monds

Angela Sarkis

2. The GPCC's remit can be accessed via

3. The BBC received around 55,000 complaints about Jerry Springer - The Opera prior to broadcast (including emails and telephone contacts) and approximately 8,000 complaints following transmission.

The BBC received a total of approximately 2,200 supportive messages.



Category: BBC

Date: 30.03.2005
Printable version


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