A full-frontal penis on Australian prime-time TV has got the nation talking – from those spellbound by the member to those looking for the nearest wall to slide down in fainting disgust.
Shaun Micallef’s satirical show Mad As Hell aired in its usual 8.30pm slot, which is known as the lauded ‘pre-watershed’ in the UK but clearly things are a little different, er, Down Under.
On Wednesday’s episode, host Shaun interviewed ‘defamation expert’ Plonk McGrundle (played by comedian Francis Greenslade) on the country’s strict defamation laws – which was hilariously censored – before turning his attention to the ABC’s (Australian Broadcasting Corporation; akin to the BBC here) rules on censorship.
It was at this moment a dude appeared behind Plonk/Francis, with full peen on display as he announced ABC chairwoman Ita Buttrose ‘wants to wind the segment up now’.
Why a fully-naked man was called upon to wrap up Shaun’s probing into the broadcaster’s censorship rules isn’t totally known (we have some ideas…), it’s certainly caused a stir online with conservative groups releasing full-on press releases condemning the segment.
Sadly for many, while you may think this sort of move would have the show taken off the air without a second thought, ABC rules state for programme’s rated M (that is, for mature audiences) ‘nudity outside of a sexual context may be shown but depictions that contain any detail should not be gratuitous’ or ‘prolonged’. And naked man’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment was hardly prolonged, so to speak.
There was also a warning ahead of the episode that told audiences there would be nudity. People are also pointing out a penis appeared on the programme in 2018 so we should all be pretty used to it now.
Oh, and the broadcaster had earlier shared full-frontal nudity in an episode of MotherFatherSon, so clearly they’re going for a whole vibe here.
Still, the pearls have been clutched, with Christian organisation Family Voice sharing a statement, lashing out at the episode.
According to both Guardian reporter Josh Taylor and Shaun, who shared the message, its statement read: ‘The TV show Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell surprised viewers last night with a glimpse of male nudity.
‘Despite the episode’s rating as M, with a warning for coarse language and nudity, it does nothing for families with children watching the show in good faith and expecting a standard of viewing that is acceptable to all mum and dads.’
Its statement then went on to share the precise timestamp of the penis moment should others want to take a peek – helpful – as Shaun responded in jest: ‘Frankly, I agree with them.’
Another clear critic of the spontaneous peen for the sake of spontaneous peen, wrote: ‘I must have missed SOMETHING on #MadAsHell. Or was it gratuitous dick just for the hell of it? What next? Someone slipping on banana skin? Oh haha hilarious! Otherwise love the show.’
Others were just absolutely baffled and highly amused by the moment as they reacted on Twitter.
Responding to the Family Voice statement, one mused: ‘Why do I get the strong impression they’re just upset because it was male nudity?
‘”We sat down as a family expecting to see some boobs. Y’know, normal family stuff. But instead THERE WAS DONG!!! OH THE HUMANITY!!!”‘
Another joked: ‘Gotta watch out for all these kiddies enjoying the biting political satire. Do better, Shaun.’