Jerry Springer: The Opera

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Daniel Middleton Media Law and Ethics Jerry Springer: The Opera & The BBC’s Decision to broadcast Jerry Springer: The Opera was broadcasted by the BBC in 2005 and was strongly protested against by the group Christian Voice who tried to take legal action against the broadcaster for blasphemy however it was thrown out of court (Tryhorn, 2007). From a legal standpoint the opera is not deemed to be a direct attack on any specific groups, and there are those who deem the production to be of high cultural and musical significance, and implies that TV has a moral responsibility (Billington, 2003). The decision taken by the BBC apparently came “after the most careful consideration”, however it allegedly exceeded the blasphemy threshold and was…show more content…
The portrayal of religious figures such as Jesus wearing a nappy, the suggestion that Jesus was homosexual and the singling out of Christianity sparked outrage within Christian groups resulting in a barrage of complaints (Hodgson, 2005). The show received more than 16,000 complaints however deemed not in breach of broadcasting guidelines by Ofcom (Noah, 2005), it also had clear warnings before and during the show (Hodgson, 2005). The BBC said “the outstanding artistic significance of the programme outweighed the offence caused to some viewers”, it is also argued that the row placed artistic freedom of expression under threat (Hodgson, 2005). The BBC has six public purposes which are set out by the Royal Charter and Agreement, these are the values that the BBC strive to achieve out with its purposes of informing, educating and entertaining (Anon, n.d.). The six public purposes include; Sustaining citizenship and civil society, Promoting education and learning, Stimulating creativity and cultural excellence, Representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities, Bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK and Delivering to the public the benefit of emerging communications technologies and services (Anon, n.d.). The process…show more content…
(Shakil, n.d.) (Kant and Paton, 1964). Kantian ethics says that we are obligated to act in accordance to principles and rules regardless of the outcome (Shakil, n.d.). Maxims are the moral principle behind any action (Kant and Paton, 1964), the formulation of categorical imperatives is that it should be capable of serving as a universal law, to treat people as ends in themselves and the other is the term ‘Kingdom of Ends (Categorical Imperative, 2005) (Warburton, 2006). People should carry out an action only if they fully believe that if universalised it would be acceptable (Miller, 2008). The principle of ‘treat people as ends’ means treat people as you would expect to be treated. (Miller, 2008). You should not use people as a means to an end, as not to use them for your own person benefit (Warburton, 2006). The ‘Kingdom of Ends’ is used to help describe the formulation of the categorical imperative, stating that you should ‘act as if through your maxims you were a law-making member of kingdom of ends’, if you could not will your maxim to be law in this state then it would not stand as a moral principle (Warburton, 2006). Kantian ethics looks at the actions, not the consequences and state we must do moral acts as they are good in themselves (Chadha, 2010)(Sjöstedt,

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