■ Drill instructor Tony Rosenbum in
(photo: Mastif Media)
WARSAW, July 12, 2006 – The
Polish commercial television channel Polsat has dropped plans to screen the
Danish gay reality TV series Gay Army, amid fears that the company
would be hit by a massive fine from the Polish media watchdog National Radio
and Television Council.
It was two weeks ago that Polsat
announced that it would be screening Gay Army, a hit in Denmark,
Norway and Sweden.
The six-part show follows a group
of gays who are sent to a “boot camp” for training. By the end of the
series, the hope is that they will be able to fight with “real” soldiers.
Although unseen in Poland, Gay
Army is said to have attracted a number of complaints to the National
Radio and Television Council who announced that it would be “monitoring the
The National Radio and Television
Council has the power to fine a television channel up to one million PLN
(€250,000, £170,000, $USD 320,000) if it finds a programme objectionable of
Polsat decided to drop the series,
due to a “significant number of viewer protests”, on the same day that the
National Radio and Television Council announced it decision to closely
monitor the series.
Earlier this year, Polsat was fined
£1 million PLN when Polish feminist Kazimiera Szczuka mocked what she
claimed was a bigoted children’s presenter on the Roman Catholic-controlled
The Council ruled that the remarks
by Ms Szczuka had “offended religious feelings”.
“However absurd may it seem
protesting a performance before actually seeing it has already become a
Polish political custom under the conservative right,” the Polish website
“Over the past few years several
performances in public theatres have been cancelled by local councils in
Warsaw and other Polish cities when the right-wing council members decided
the performances were “indecent” without actually seeing them.
Polish gays are furious that Gay
Army, an often funny reality show that does not push any limits in
mainstream European or United States, has been axed.
The are claiming double standards –
and homophobia – from the government’s watchdog Council.
Polsat show soft-core heterosexual
porn programmes after 11.30pm – the time slot that was scheduled for Gay
Army, which cannot be seen as pornographic in any way.
■ Lars (left) and Dennis, two of the
recruits in Gay Army.
The has never been any Council
reaction to the current erotic programming of Polsat – nor, as far as is
known, any viewer protests.
made by Mastiff Media – a Danish company, stars as the drill instructor Tony
Rosenbum, who was the real live United States Marine warrant officer in the
2002 America reality show Celebrity Boot Camp.
Is Gay Army “indecent”?
Judge for yourself ... click
HERE for a page of video clips from Kanal 5
Sweden who have transmitted the series.
[This report prepared with the help