Man and Woman Have Sex on TV. So What?

Monday, June 13, 2016

 Big Brother has returned for another series, and yet again it has caused a lot of controversy.

I'm not a fan of Big Brother.  I couldn't care less about the show.  When the show started in 2000 it was simply a social experiment - formed on the the character 'Big Brother' from George Orwell's book Nineteen Eighty-Four - and the contestants were 'normal' people from different walks of life.  Now it's a fast-ticket into fame.

Last night I went over to the dark side gave in a watched the episode in question (Sunday 14th June 2016) after seeing a series of Tweets from disgusted viewers.  The episode featured very loud confrontations, and some very sexual scenes between contestants Marco Pierre White Jnr (son of Marco Pierre White Snr) and Laura Carter.  I'm not condoning what they did - the scenes were extremely cringe-worthy to say the least, and that belt scene was beyond weird - but I think people are over-reacting a little bit, and I think some people are being quite prudish.

I don't understand why people are complaining.  What do people expect?  This is Big Brother, not a children's show on the CBeebies channel!  Big Brother is notorious for many things - sex, nudity, massive alcohol consumption, explosive confrontations and outbursts, violence, racism, sexism, bullying, exploitation of the mentally ill and homophobia - so sex on the show is nothing new, and last night's romp was not the first time a couple have had sex on reality TV.  Also, the episode was broadcast after 9pm (after the watershed) and viewers were consistently warned about confrontations and sexual scenes so I can't see how Channel 5 has broken any rules.

Maybe I'm extremely liberal-minded, but I really don't see sex on telly as a big deal, as long as it's shown after the watershed, and Big Brother is not the only show to feature sex.  (Have you seen Geordie Shore, Love Island or Ex on the Beach?!)  If it bothers you that much, stop watching Big Brother and go to bed!

I also think it's strange how some viewers/Tweeters are saying that Marco and Laura actions could have an effect on 'impressionable teenagers'.  First of all, I don't think young teenagers (i.e. aged 13 or 14) should be watching the show.  Secondly, a lot of young people in their mid to late teenage years (i.e. 16-19) are probably having sex anyway, as well as living the stereotypical 'Skins' lifestyle.  Teenagers aren't naive or stupid, they know what sex is, and I doubt they would be so weak-minded and tempted to jump into bed with another person after seeing a couple of zelebrities shagging on TV.  When I was a teenager I wasn't easily swayed because I had strong personal values and beliefs.  I knew I wasn't ready to start having sex so seeing a couple romping on TV would not have made me change my mind.

Plus, I really don't appreciate the level of slut-shaming.  I've seen a lot of Tweets and Facebook posts claiming that Laura is a "slag" and a "slut" with "no self respect."  I don't condone the act of having sex on national TV at all, but it takes two to tango, and a woman should not be shamed for being sexually active.  Sex is a natural thing and the sooner people start realising that, the better.

It will be interesting to see what the outcome is.  Will Ofcom deem the episode worthy of an investigation?  Only time will tell, but for now I sit here wondering how this whole situation has been blown out of proportion, as well as cringing at the same time.

Are you a fan of Big Brother?  What did you think of Sunday's episode?  What do you think of the controversy?

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