Casualty in breach with Ofcom over F-word blunder

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Casualty in breach with Ofcom over F-word blunderBBC

Casualty is in trouble with Ofcom over two F-bombs.

The medical drama normally broadcasts on a Saturday night, where this wouldn't be a huge deal (interestingly, the show usually starts airing shortly before the 9pm watershed, so it is pushing the boat a little bit), but this incident took place during a broadcast at 10.30. In the morning.

The channel Drama aired a repeat of the episode in question on June 12. As per the broadcasting rules, the audio was edited so the F-bombs couldn't be heard. The subtitles, however, erroneously included the language for anyone who had turned them on to see.

Media regulator Ofcom received a complaint about this and found that Drama was indeed in breach of its code, declaring the F-word "the most offensive language" from its public research in 2021, and demanding an explanation.

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The UKTV-owned channel explained that it works with company Red Bee Media on its subtitles, and there are "processes and checks in place that should have prevented this word", and that the person who made the error "did not check the broadcast time and wrongly assumed that the programme was scheduled post-watershed".

Both UKTV and Red Bee explained this was the first time this had happened, the person responsible has been disciplined and suspended until completing a retraining course, and all staff involved in subtitles have been given "refresher training".

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"This subtitling error occurred due to human error and we apologise for any offence caused," UKTV stated.

Ofcom acknowledged the steps taken following the complaint but criticised UKTV for not making an on-air apology at the time.

Casualty airs on Saturdays on BBC One and streams on BBC iPlayer.

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