Sky has been criticised by television watchdog Ofcom for airing a ‘bare knuckle fight’ on an episode of WWE Superstars last year.
A viewer contacted Ofcom to report a promotional video aired during the show featuring Wade Barrett. The video contained bare-knuckle fighting, designed to highlight Barrett’s ‘bare-knuckle brawler’ persona. Shots in the video included several close-up shots of punches and kicks to the head and chest in slow motion.
Sky said that the video was intended to reflect Barrett’s persona “as a dark and dangerous character”, and that WWE wrestling is “highly dramatic and pantomime”. They did, however, accept that the video package depicted “real” fighting outside of the ring, and therefore it may not have been suitable for a Saturday morning when it was likely that children were watching.
“The scene in question depicted bare-knuckle fighting in an underground setting, clearly distinguishing it from staged competitive wrestling that takes place in a ring with a referee. The dark, aggressive and realistic nature of this scene combined with close-up slow-motion punches and kicks to the head and chest with powerful sound effects to underscore the impacts to make the material, in Ofcom’s view, clearly unsuitable for children.”
Sky have apologised for any distress caused and said that it would undertake a review of it’s guidelines to ensure they remain compliant in regards to WWE footage broadcast on it’s channels. They have also contacted WWE and advised them to refrain from producing scenes in future that depict “real” fighting.
If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, then here’s the offending promo so you can decide on its vulgarity for yourself;
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