'Schoolgirl' reference gets DJ in hot water
EmptyTORONTO -- Canada's broadcast censors have sanctioned a Halifax radio jock for "sexualizing children" by describing his excitement at attending a Rolling Stones concert as that of a "little schoolgirl."
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council on Wednesday said that J.C. Douglas, director of programming at CFRQ-FM, violated an industry code on sex-role portrayal when he joked that he had "budding breasts" and "rock-hard nipples" after attending a rain-drenched outdoor concert by the Rolling Stones in September 2006.
Responding to a written complaint from a listener, the CBSC said Douglas' "inappropriate physical reference" made during a 10:30 p.m. concert commentary with fellow announcer Scott Mars sexualized children.
Douglas, in a letter to the complaining listener, argued the words "an excited schoolgirl" referenced a 1990s catchphrase made popular by Canadian comic Mike Myers' sketch comedy character Dieter on "Saturday Night Live. "
"The context of the aforementioned comments of Sept. 23 was a humorous reference to a popular character and catchphrase from recent pop culture, and would not reasonably be interpreted by the adult audience listening at the time to be a sexualization of children," Douglas argued.
He added his on-air commentary did not aim to "ridicule or objectify girls' bodies."
But the CBSC, citing a 1998 ruling against "The Howard Stern Show" after shock jock Howard Stern referred to sexual activities with children, rejected that defense.
"The reference was clearly sexual and, when the reference to 'budding' breasts was added to 'little schoolgirl,' the intent to refer to children was unmistakable," the CBSC panel ruled.
"In the circumstances, the panel's conclusion cannot be otherwise than that the broadcaster unacceptably sexualized children, contrary to the prohibition contained in ... the CAB Sex-Role Portrayal Code," it added.
CFRQ-FM will now be required to broadcast the CBSC decision in primetime.
The CBSC referees the Canadian airwaves on behalf of self-regulating domestic radio and TV stations.