Digital radio service Cheesy FM is in trouble with Ofcom for playing a Black Eyed Peas song with eight instances of a swear word in it.
Ofcom received a complaint about the broadcast of a music track, “Boom Boom Pow”, by The Black Eyed Peas at approximately 18:25 on Feb 9th 2017. It included eight instances of the word “sh*t” or “sh*ttin’”. The track was played immediately after the song “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from the children’s film Mary Poppins, which could have appealed to a younger audience.
Cheesy FM said it deeply regretted the accidental broadcast of the track. It explained that “the offensive version of the song was inadvertently loaded onto [its] playout system alongside the ‘clean’ version…”. It said this version of the track had “never been played before this incident”.
The Licensee said the track had been deleted from its system and that it had “conducted a thorough review of all music”. Additionally, it said a strict double-check system had now been introduced to prevent similar repeats of the incident in future.
Ofcom said: “We acknowledged Cheesy FM’s submission that the offensive language was broadcast in error. We also took into account the steps the Licensee said it had taken to prevent similar incidents being repeated in future. However, our Decision was that the broadcast of this material was in breach of Rule 1.16 of the Code.”
The track was played as a filler during a
syndicated show by Shaun Tilley. Shaun told RadioToday: “This is solely Cheesy FM’s offence and nothing to do with me at all. The track was from 2009 I believe and I have only ever provided them with pre-produced 70s, 80s and 90s themed content which I stopped immediately when my invoices were not paid. I refuse to accept any blame whatsoever for any material they themselves have chosen to add without my knowledge.”
Cheesy FM has issued a statement regarding the above which we are publishing in full below:
There were a number of inaccuracies in the article ‘Cheesy FM in breach for unedited sweary song’, published on RadioToday.co.uk on Monday 19 th June:
The show wasn’t syndicated. It was a Cheesy FM programme created in partnership with Shaun Tilley.
The Black Eyed Peas song in question was not a filler track as stated. The song was scheduled in Shaun’s programme at 6:25pm. Shaun forward announced the track in the recording supplied to OFCOM.
Shaun pre-recorded his links and was in no way to know that the track had 6 instances of the word sh*t or shi**in’. We didn’t assign any blame on Shaun.
Our communications with OFCOM clearly state that Cheesy FM accepted the song was in our playout system in error.
Shaun is not correct in saying he only provided us with 70’s, 80’s and 90’s programming. The 6-7pm hour of his show contained tracks from all decades until we changed the format later in 2017.
Cheesy FM wasn’t given the opportunity to address these claims prior to publication.
In the interest of fair reporting of an incident it is only fair that we add the above.