CRTC Approves CAB Equitable Portrayal Code
On Monday March 17, the CRTC approved the CAB Equitable Portrayal Code effective immediately. It replaces the CAB’s Sex-Role Portrayal Code for Television and Radio Programming. The CRTC stated that the Code clearly establishes that its goal is equitable portrayal and that its focus, in order to meet that goal, is to "overcome unduly negative portrayal." It further noted that the use of the term "unduly" and the inclusion of Clause 10 help the Code to strike the correct balance between ensuring that programming on Canadian television is respectful, fair and accurate in its portrayals of all Canadians and ensuring that the Code is consistent with the freedom of expression and journalistic, creative and programming independence enjoyed by broadcasting undertakings, as required by the Broadcasting Act. The Commission also stressed that the Code, like its predecessor, is intended to be a condition of licence for all radio and television licensees and as a result, adherence is not voluntary in nature, as the CAB had explained in its reply.
CAB Files Reply to Comments on the Proposed Equitable Portrayal Code
On Thursday, November 29, as part of the CRTC’s Call for Comments on the CAB’s proposed Equitable Portrayal Code (EPC), the CAB filed its reply comments to interventions. In its comments, the Association addressed such issues as: the voluntary nature of the EPC; the lack of penalties or clear dispute resolution mechanisms; the use of the word “unduly” in the EPC; and the need for greater clarification regarding the meaning of terms such as “Degrading Material”, “Exploitation”, and “Prevailing Community Standards”. The CAB is confident that its revised Equitable Portrayal Code addresses the research findings of the Task Force Report and the CAB Persons with Disabilities Report relating to stereotyping and negative/inaccurate portrayal. For more information on the CAB’s Reply Comments click here.