The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA has refused to uphold an appeal against its earlier ruling, which found that a song by Katy Perry was not harmful to children.
Ashby Kurian, a pastor, had complained to the commission that East Coast Radio had played a song that he, as the father of two girls, found inappropriate and offensive.
Perry’s Last Friday Night contained suggestions of nudity, inappropriate sexual behaviour, and law-breaking, he said.
“One very effective way to teach children to remember a message is through songs, as it also works subliminally,” he said in his original complaint to the commission.
“Please put a stop to this or we will have more school-going boys and girls ending up in the 7pm news of bunking school, drinking and rape.”In its response, East Coast Radio submitted that the song had been an enormous hit around the world.
“This song has enjoyed huge airplay on TV, other radio stations, YouTube, and it has been widely downloaded, so we can’t be solely responsible for the knowledge of the song,” said Nick Grubb, chief operating officer of Kagiso Broadcasting, on behalf of East Coast Radio.
“I think the reasonable person will listen to the song for the happy tune and singalong melody and not assume that what is portrayed in the song is right or should be tried.”
Kurian rejected the radio station’s assertion that the lyrics were not explicit and children would not understand the sexual connotations.
The commission’s tribunal, chaired by Professor Kobus van Rooyen, in its written judgment, found there was no excessively or grossly offensive language in the lyrics of the song.