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Inside Move: Royal pain?

French minister nails nets for sex content

In the lead-up to France’s presidential elections next month, a government minister has lashed out at the amount of — quelle surprise — sex on French television.

Segolene Royal, minister for children and families, last week rapped broadcasters for “permissively … showing and saying everything” on programs too accessible to children.

She also took a swipe at France’s broadcasting authority, the Conseil Superieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), for “lacking courage” in leashing French webs.

A report commissioned by Royal on the impact of the media on minors points the finger mainly at France’s cable and satellite channels and Canal Plus French paybox.

Exposure to such shows amounts to “audiovisual child abuse,” the report asserts.

But some believe Royal’s report is merely campaign posturing on behalf of presidential candidateLionel Jospin, the outgoing Prime Minister.

At Canal Plus, whose reputation for screening hardcore material outweighs the reality of its one sex film a month, a company source points out that it’s easy for parents to disable its decoder, or in the case of digital subscribers, to use a parental lock.

A CSA spokesman says the agency can only enforce existing rules, such as the requirement that channels display an appropriate ratings icon.

“We’re there to regulate, not to legislate,” he says. “If the minister is so keen to toughen up on pornography, she should ask her government to do something about it.”

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