Policy 1.1.2: Stereotypes in CBC/Radio-Canada Programming

Effective : September 21, 2005


  1. "Stereotype" may be defined as: "a fixed or conventional notion or conception as of a person, group, idea, etc. held by a number of people and allowing for no individuality, critical judgment, etc." (Webster's New World Dictionary, 1974).
  2. Stereotypes are generalizations, drawn from perceptions that certain qualities and characters are commonly shared by certain groupings in society, reflecting race, language, national, regional or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, marital status, physical attributes, or occupation. The use of stereotypes other than as character or plot elements required for the successful creation of a program or program segment tends to reinforce prejudices and can be perceived as an attack on the dignity of the individual.
  3. Those responsible for program content should be alert to the cumulative power of the electronic media to shape tastes and to contribute to the definition of individuals and ideals, and therefore should refrain from indiscriminate portrayal of detrimental stereotypes. Common sense, good judgement and good taste should be part of the basic discipline of all production and on-air broadcasters who should not only present persons as individuals, but also challenge stereotypes when these may be introduced uncritically by other participants.
  4. Stereotyping in CBC/Radio-Canada programming is acceptable only when it is essential to the realization of a program's purpose. The use of stereotype characters in CBC/Radio-Canada presentation may arise only from the requirements of the plot, such as in drama, comedies, etc.


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