Policy 1.1.7: Violence in Children's Programming

Effective: July 6, 1994

The CBC/Radio-Canada produces and selects children's programming to entertain and to enhance the creative growth of Canadian children. The Corporation does not consider that young people should be sheltered from the realities of life, but neither does it assume that children are prepared for adult entertainment from the beginning.

The CBC/Radio-Canada recognizes that the portrayal of aggression and violence may lead to anxiety or imitative behaviour in children. To the extent possible the Corporation will attempt to prevent such reactions. At the same time realizing that it is the adults in the child's daily life who are ultimately responsible for the programming brought into their homes.

Even though violence is pervasive in the real world and in the world created by the entertainment industry the CBC/Radio-Canada will avoid the depiction of violence in children's programming. Exceptions can occur only when the effective presentation or development of an idea or theme requires it. The CBC/Radio-Canada places a high value on providing positive role models in its children's programming. It stresses co-operative interaction and the non-violent resolution of conflict and ensures that children and adolescents are portrayed as full participants in society.

Producers and production staff should be aware of such program material elements that might adversely affect children, such as:

  1. excessive aggression, including torture and sadistic beatings;
  2. all forms of cruelty to animals and scenes of attack by wild animals on children and pets;
  3. undue cruelty shown by adults to children, or children to other children;
  4. lingering depiction of pain and suffering, wounds or death;
  5. weapons or other items being used as weapons that are easily obtainable by children;
  6. criminal actions that children can easily imitate, such as hanging scenes, etc.
  7. sequences intended to create artificial tension which is not needed to directly advance the storyline;
  8. cartoon material that attempts humour through stripping people of their dignity, through the portrayal of aggression linked with sexual overtones or with stereotypes.

The Corporation expects program officers and producers to apply careful standards of judgment in selecting scripts, in commissioning or purchasing program material, in scheduling programs at times suitable for younger audiences.


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