Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What do Tin Tin and Mad Men Have in Common?

tin-tinFrom Hurriyet News:

Turkey’s media regulatory agency is fining television channels across the broadcast spectrum for smoking on screen in series, music videos and cartoons, but stations are fighting back in the courts.

The Supreme Board of Radio and Television, or RTÜK, fined private channel TV8 50,000 Liras for scenes in the Tin Tin cartoon that depict villains smoking.

RTÜK member Hülya Alp attached an annotation to the decision saying, “All audiences, including children, distinguish the fictional and non-fictional. Here, having the villains smoking not only fits with the villains’ features and facts, but also smoking is being identified as a part of the series of evil acts they are performing.” Alp also said the blurring effect being employed so frequently works against the ban because it increases attention attracted to smoking by disrupting the concentration of viewers.

RTÜK also fined private channel E2 50,000 Turkish Liras for the “Mad Men” series, citing many instances of scenes that show “lighting a cigarette, smoking, blowing smoke into the air, offering [a cigarette] to another, putting out cigarettes and drinking.”

The channel went to court to fight the fine, and the verdict came in the channel’s favor. The court’s decision was based on an expert report that pointed out the series was shot before the smoking ban was enacted. According to related articles of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television, removal of the mentioned scenes in works shot before the law would cause negative results. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=tin-tin-fined-for-his-villains8217-smoking-2010-02-16

Hasn't this thing gone a bit far? The whole point of "Mad Men" is to show how those things, like smoking and drinking in the office, like making passes at your secretary or calling her 'honey' or 'sweetie' are passé. The RTUK member makes a perfectly logical point. Doesn't the blurring effect actually create more attention to the smoking?


  1. Nomad, I got your blog from another one I was reading from Turkey,,, I live in a couple of locations in Turkey many years ago and I'm afraid much has changed from when I was there. When I first arrived In Istanbul I could smell the Turkish tobacco as the door to the aircraft opened. The pungent smell permiated the air throughout the area. Now to read that even smoking a cigarette earns a fine from the authorities....Wow!! I would say they are really infriging on the individual's rights as they have done here in America. They chip away constantly and have done so for many many years. stay well....

  2. As an ex-smoker, I probably have a pretty balanced view of things. If you want to quit, it is a lot easier now because you don't have so many people smoking around you. Personally, I rarely went to bars for health reasons so I didn't think much about smoke there. I do recall being on a bus- in the olden days when smoking was permitted- and, even as a smoker, I really felt as though I was going to keel over. It was hard to take a breath because there was so much smoke. Seriously. I had to take baby breaths.
    But all this silliness about blurring out people smoking in film and programs is ridiculous and my "dander" is up if anybody goes messin' with my Mad Men. Tin Tin has to fend for himself, I'm afraid.

  3. The blurred cigarette is so flawed in so many ways. For one, it reminds me of smoking and makes me want to smoke.

    I generally don't subscribe to the sliipery slope to Iran theory of AKP, but these insidious, judgmental little things make me nervous.

  4. Last night, we watched a show where the cigarettes were all blurred out but not the joints. :)

  5. Like so many silly things, it takes a little push to make the whole thing farcical. I remember when Reagan wanted every worker to have urine tests. They encouraged employers to have these tests done regularly. Then workers who did not use drugs would sell their urine and so, the only way to be sure that this urine came from that person was to have some poor person watch as the worker urinated in a cup. Everybody then claimed (rightly) it was a violation of their privacy. That's when the whole thing went belly-up and became a big joke.
    It's getting close to this point already.


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