The Conservative party is to criticise soaps over their lack of responsibility in regards to showing alcohol, and the affects of it, on-screen.
Jeremy Hunt, the shadow culture secretary for the Conservative party, will criticise soaps for the amount of alcohol on-screen. The Tories are expected to attack soaps and their broadcasters because of their lack of responsibility when it comes to alcohol’s presence on-screen.
Hunt will make his criticisms of soaps, and broadcasters, at a speech about broadcasting to LSE students. The Telegraph has published what they believe will be part of his speech to the students.
“It’s not good enough for Channel 4 to say they are doing their bit with a Dispatches programme on alcohol abuse like’Drinking Yourself To Death’ when 18% of the screen time in Hollyoaks is accounted for by alcohol references. Nor can Five claim to be doing their bit with Diet Doctors Inside Out when the gym instructor in Home And Away is seen with alcohol in 50% of his scenes
“I’m not saying there should be no alcohol references in any soaps. To deliver large audiences, programmes need to reflect the world in which we actually live and not some Truman Show fantasy of what we would like it to be. Nor do we want to fall into the trap of co-opting broadcasters into social engineering.
“But just as it would be wrong in a plural and democratic society to require broadcasters to produce programmes that meet government objectives and promote social behaviour, so it is also wrong for broadcasters to produce programmes that legitimise negative social behaviour.”
Part of Jeremy Hunt’s speech according to The Telegraph
Soaps have often been attacked for glamourising alcohol, drugs and violence so this is nothing new. Only last year soaps were criticised for the amount of scenes set within their respective pubs.