It’s been reported today that ITV have been forced to edit a scene in classic seventies film Death on the Nile after Ofcom received, and upheld, ONE complaint.
The complaint came from a viewer who said that as the film was recently broadcast by ITV before the 9pm watershed, a scene which depicted one of the drama’s characters, Jackie de Bellefort – who was played by actress Mia Farrow – committing suicide, the footage was too grisly for children to watch.
The film, which stars Peter Ustinov as Agatha Christie’s detective Hercule Poirot, was shown at 3.30pm on Saturday March 17, and the suicide scene shows the character putting a revolver to her had and shooting herself, causing blood to trickle from the wound.
Yesterday, Ofcom responded to the complaint, saying, “Her suicide was shown in some detail and was not, in our opinion, appropriately limited…
“Given the Saturday afternoon scheduling of this film, our assessment was that it was likely that a significant number of children would have been watching ITV’s main and public service channel at this time.
“While recognising the importance of including such a pivotal scene, we were concerned that the impact of the second gunshot was not edited or removed.
“As a result, we considered that, on balance, the likely expectations of the audience for this channel — and of parents in particular — would have been exceeded by broadcasting this particular sequence at the length and with the detail shown on a Saturday afternoon.”
After ITV promised to edit the film for future pre-watershed audiences, Ofcom decided to take no further action.
Their statement concluded, “We therefore consider the matter resolved.”
An ITV spokesman said, “In keeping with our periodic review of pre-watershed material and in the light of viewer concerns, particularly those of parents, we undertook some additional editing of this scene for future daytime broadcasts.”
What’s your opinion on this story? Is it a total over-reaction or a valid point?