Sidhu Moose Wala & Amrit Maan music videos get BritAsia TV into trouble

Sidhu Moose Wala in '47'

BritAsia TV has been reprimanded by media regulator, Ofcom for broadcasting two offensive music videos outside the watershed.

Ofcom said it had received three complaints that the music videos of ’47’ (Sidhu Moose Wala) and ‘Combination’ (Dr Zeus & Amrit Maan) contained offensive language and imagery that promoted gang culture and the use of guns.

The broadcast of ’47’ by Sidhu Moose Wala featuring MIST, Steel Banglez and Stefflon Don lasted approximately three minutes and included one use of the word “shit”, and three uses of the word “bloodclaat”, both of which were spoken in English. The artists repeatedly held what appeared to be AK-47 assault rifles and, in the final scene, raised the guns to point them directly towards the camera. In other scenes: gun shots were fired into a car repeatedly; large numbers of what appeared to be bullets cascaded across the screen; and, the artists made hand gestures mimicking the use of guns.

The broadcast of ‘Combination’ by Amrit Maan and Dr Zeus lasted approximately four minutes. Multiple images of guns were shown in the video, including: a man kissed a gun he was holding while sitting and standing next to a wheelbarrow that contained several more guns; two men rode motorcycles with several large guns strapped to their backs; a woman sitting in a car with her face covered by a scarf picked up a gun implicitly warning off another woman who was flirting with the artist; a camera view from above which showed a man surrounded by a large number of guns scattered around him on the floor; the artist picked up a rifle and pretended to use it as a billiard cue; and, a gun was pointed to the camera with audio of gun shots.

In response, BritAsia TV said that it had a “strict QC and compliance process” in place. It did not consider that the broadcast of ’47’ raised any issues under the Code and said that Combination was broadcast in error.

Ofcom said it took into account the BritAsia TV’s representations that the tracks themselves and the artists are well-known. However, we considered the resonance that the British Asian community may have had with the tracks and artists did not lessen the BritAsia TV’s need to ensure the broadcasts complied with the rules of the Code. The music videos were not preceded by a warning to alert viewers to the violent content, and Brit Asia TV typically shows a variety of music content, including content likely to appeal to younger audiences. Given the above factors, we considered that the violent content in ’47’ and ‘Combination’ was not justified by the context and Rule 1.11 was breached.

Ofcom welcomed that in its response to its Preliminary View, BritAsia TV said that it would update its playlist criteria and existing procedures. However, Ofcom considered that the two broadcasts of ’47’ were in breach of Rules 1.3, 1.11 and 1.16 and that the broadcast of ‘Combination’ was in breach of Rules 1.3 and 1.11.

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