Effective: July 6, 1994
Television has a powerful role in shaping the attitudes of society to contemporary issues, and in affecting the behaviour of those who watch television programs. The CBC/Radio-Canada, as the nation' public broadcaster, accepts as its role both the reflection of society as it exists and has existed; and the depiction of the higher aspirations, standards and values of humankind.
As part of this role, the CBC/Radio-Canada will exercise strong control over the depiction of violence in its programs.
In all its programs, CBC/Radio-Canada will avoid any advocacy or promotion of violence.
The CBC/Radio-Canada will favour, as general policy, programs in which dramatic conflict arises and is resolved by methods other than violence and terror.
The CBC/Radio-Canada will restrict the depiction of violence in its news and current affairs programming (see Journalistic Policy).
The CBC/Radio-Canada will make a special commitment in children's programming (see Program Policy 1.1.7)
The CBC/Radio-Canada will pay rigorous attention to the scheduling of programs with violent scenes. Such programs will generally be scheduled during adult viewing periods.
The CBC/Radio-Canada will provide viewers with clear advisories when violent scenes are to be shown. The advisories will be carried in on-air promotion and during the presentation of such programs.
To ensure that depiction of violence is not gratuitous or glamorized, producers and programmers will observe the following guidelines:
- Violence must not be presented as an easy solution; or as entertaining.
- Scenes of pain and suffering, and the showing of wounds must be brief and relevant.
- Violence must not be shown as erotic. Rape and sexual assault must not be shown desired or welcomed by victims.
- The depiction of abuse of any disadvantage person requires great sensitivity.
- Cruelty to animals should be shown rarely and only when integral to plot development and theme. Producers and programmers will sometimes decide that the artistic merit of a program or the significance of a theme merits exceptions to the guidelines. In such cases, they must ensure that their supervisor is consulted.
In cases of special concern, they will ensure that the Vice-President of the Network approves the program. In these cases, viewer advisories must be shown at the beginning of, and during, the exempted program.
Note: While this policy largely relates to television, its general principles are applicable to radio as well.