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Romanian audiovisual authority, MEPs notify European Commission over violent cartoons

de A. Comanciu     HotNews.ro
Joi, 17 ianuarie 2008, 17:03 English | Regional Europe

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The main audiovisual regulator in Romania, the National Audiovisual Council (CNA) decided on Thursday to notify the European Commission and UK regulator Ofcom that cable television AXN regularly broadcast cartoon depicting squirrels that commit suicide in various manners. Four Romanian MEPs also announced they would address the Commission in Brussels about violent cartoon on TV, given the problems risen by the "country of origin" principle applied across Europe.

AXN, a cable channel that is licensed in Britain and obeys the audiovisual policies pursued by British regulator Ofcom, broacasts from Hungary for countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Its broadcast in Romania, where AXN is promoted by HBO, used to include on a regular basis a very short clip from a series called "Violent Squirrels", which was broadcast during the day, when children watch TV.

In the clip, a squirrel with painted body, smile on her face, leaves itself hit by a car on a street.

The main Romanian regulator could not take any move to ban the clip, as necessary under Romanian legislation which prohibits depiction of suicide during day time. That is because, under the country of origin rule applied on broadcasters active in other countries than the country of origin, AXN broadcasts complies with the rules of Ofcom, from which it obtained its license.

A HBO representative in Romania told HotNews.ro on Thursday that AXN stopped broadcasting the clip during the day.

At the end of each Suicidal Squirrels episode, a direct ad sends views to www.suicidal.tv, where several such clips are available.

Also on Thursday, a group of Romanian MEPs belonging to the Democratic Liberal Party announced they submitted a written notification urging the European Commission to come up with a solution regarding the issue of TV violence in cartoon shows broadcast under the country of origin principle.
























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