Keira Knightley gets censored: too violent!

I love a good public service announcement that cuts to the chase. Particularly when it exceeds my otherwise high tolerance for violence/destruction and makes my skin crawl. This is one such advert. Too bad that the UK censors deemed it too violent for television. In an age when our tellies screen dozens of murders per day, some of which are real, it seems a bit rich to deem a PSA on domestic violence too violent for viewers.

In early April, the UK charity Women’s Aid, which battles domestic violence, released this public service announcement, directed by Atonement director Joe Wright and starring Keira Knightley. Without showing graphic violence you couldn’t see on any crime procedural any night of the week, Wright creates a genuinely disturbing two-minute film that unsettles precisely because it’s shot so straightforwardly.

But now, Clearcast, the body that’s responsible for approving ads for British television, has reportedly decided that the PSA is not suitable for television unless they cut the end. You know, the part with the domestic violence in it.

I find it tragic that we are willing to wallow in violence for entertainment, but are afraid to look at something that resembles the real thing. Good on ya Women’s Aid, for bringing some reality to our diet of reality TV.

30 thoughts on “Keira Knightley gets censored: too violent!

  1. Are you crazy? Do you have any idea just how unsettled people would be if they were to see actual violence of television? Why don’t we just show the results of Iraqi IED’s on the human body – do you seriously think we would be able to recruit the young to defend our corporations and their imperialist ambitions? Do you really think we would be able to sell ‘happy family’ mum, dad, and the kids advertising with that sort of filth, yes, filth, appearing on the same screen?

    Good grief! Time to join the real world, people.

  2. Great ad.

    A travesty to ban it. It would hopefully be very effective.

    Reminds me of a certain high profile case here….

  3. Weak ad….one slap and a few obviously pulled kicks….pathetic.Should have been shown but with some Jake the Muss realiism added.

  4. I wonder about the effectiveness of these types of ‘reality’ ads. Sure most find the violence repugnant. But aren’t these ads just preaching to the converted? Do the real thugs care? In fact it may provide a stimulus for them to increase their thugish activities. ?

    Also, isn’t there a danger that constant exposure to such depictions of violence may cause us to become desensitised to such gratuitous violence? This may lead to a greater acceptance of these vile deeds – quite the opposite of the ad promoters’ intentions, I would think.

  5. It is not an effective ad and should be banned. People are supposed to be intelligent creatures yet more and more we just go for the quickest easiest way to get a reaction.
    The bastards doing this sort of thing would probably just think its funny.

  6. the film is crap,
    grossly emotional artistic violence
    and of course all violence is perpetrated by men,
    not,

  7. So two women die in Britain from domestic violence each month. Anyone know how many men die from the same cause?

  8. Who is this Gel – J are you in a state of reverence? Real Violence huh?
    US suicides in Iraq have overtaken casualties – that’s what real violence does to the sheltered mind

  9. @peterquixote-
    The video is not stating or even implying that all violence is perpetrated by men. However we are unfortunate that there is a significent amount of domestic violence being perpetrated by men against women. While you may think it is quite acceptable for so many women to fall victim to this, there are thankfully others who don’t. Unless we as a whole are prepared to face up to this and confront it, it will be quite difficult to solve it.

  10. Why doesn’t Keira grab hold of some nearby rigging, cut through the retaining knot with one stout blow of her cutlass, and be lofted skywards, leaving her assailant shaking his fist in impotent rage?

  11. And so it should be banned!

    The message they are trying to get across is that ALL men are violent and that ALL men fly into these violent rages for no apparent reason.

    I have no time for men who “Vietch” women, IMHO they are spineless and gutless , however I have even less time for the feminist low life who think that the worst crime anybody could commit is being born a man.

  12. Bro; Commnunication is the most important thing.
    I’ll never forget a drive in th Falcon when I mentioned physical attacks by women – each of five guys had similar stories.
    There is the News and the Known – a mix of both is advisable,at the least.

  13. Who’s Geoff?

    I’m Joe Public. Honest.

    Male on female violence is the big issue being addressed. Female on male violence isn’t, but so what? That’s not the point, BB.

    This ad is emotive, but targeted well (i.e. violence is not just a lower class issue, as our sportscaster aptly demonstrates)

    They should run it here.

  14. The message they are trying to get across is that ALL men are violent and that ALL men fly into these violent rages for no apparent reason.

    big blow is so full of shit that he is beyond rational thought. What they are saying is that if two women die each month from domestic violence, then many more are likely suffering. Whether equal time should be given to battered men depends on the degree to which they suffer the same fate. I know the incidence is not zero, but have no basis for believing it approaches that of battered women. If anyone has this info, let’s hear it.

    And BP is right too.

  15. Yes, males are victims too, however, between 2000 and 2004 there were 45 women murdered in NEW ZEALAND alone by their male partners or ex partners, compared with 3 men who were murdered by their female partners or ex partners.

    91% of the applicants under the Domestic Violence Act in 2004 were female. Men represented 89% of the respondents. Police estimate they see only 18% of domestic violence cases.

    Violence in unacceptable against any person, regardless of their gender but taking umbrage that the victim portrayed here is female is a bit silly in light of the statistics, dont you reckon?

  16. “Violence in unacceptable against any person, regardless of their gender but taking umbrage that the victim portrayed here is female is a bit silly in light of the statistics, dont you reckon?”

    True D; But the figures are not near accurate enough – statistics can be the most fluid information available. I don’t want to go into the tedium of why – that would mean an hour long essay for me – but Police can turn a blind eye at their fancy, and boys don’t cry.
    45 murders to to 3 though – Really? – get out there Girls, you just ain’t tryin.

  17. But aren’t these ads just preaching to the converted?

    I think high-impact adds tend to convert people too.

  18. “But the figures are not near accurate enough”

    Probably not, but you go with what you have. Fatalities and serious harm in domestic situations are overwhelmingly caused by men, despite the men’s lobby trying to pretend otherwise by citing studies that ignore the level of violence (if you ask the right question, you can make domestic violence look gender neutral – just include shouting and self defence as ‘violence’).

    45 to 3 is a pretty strong figure, and I don’t think murders by women are going unreported. or the police are turning a blind eye to them.

  19. I cut the ad into a movie last night, one that my two grown sons (27 & 33) were watching with me. They GASPED when it happened; reason enough to show it here on TV in my opinion.

    Not everything is part of a sexual, ethnic, wealth, poverty, political conspiracy, some things are what they are and should be seen as exactly that. This is an ad that shows that male on female domestic violence, even driven by as powerful an emotion as jealousy, is not acceptable. It makes a true point. The programme over the weekend that showed that female violence gangs are not acceptable was, to my perspective, equally disturbing and equally right. Enough PCism regarding these initiatives – they are good for society as a whole and should be supported!

  20. Thanks for posting this frog but I would take you up on your comment –
    ” …unless they cut the end. You know, the part with the domestic violence in it.”

    Domestic Violence is not just the kicking – that’s the part people find the easiest to understand – but according to many women who have experienced domestic violence the physical violence is often the least of it.

    Part of what keeps violence going is the ability to underplay the other tactics like controlling what someone wears or does. It’s easy for an abuser to write these off as expressions of love (rather than control) and for friends and family to either be alienated if they raise concerns or be sucked in to the myth of what a wonderful guy he is. Personally I think adverts addressing these aspects of Domestic Violence would be alot more powerful and effective.

  21. “Part of what keeps violence going is the ability to underplay the other tactics like controlling what someone wears or does. It’s easy for an abuser to write these off as expressions of love (rather than control) and for friends and family to either be alienated if they raise concerns or be sucked in to the myth of what a wonderful guy he is. Personally I think adverts addressing these aspects of Domestic Violence would be alot more powerful and effective.”

    Thee are Sam – wait long enough and someone will say it for ya.
    Psychological Violence – where are statistics when you need ‘em?

    Incidentally my remarks were meant to start a fight (it was raining) – I support the anti smacking bill and loathe and abhor violence, and further, do realize that physical violence is a men against women phenomenon.

    Now lets discuss the ramifications of long-lasting psychological abuse…which I believe, might well be inversed (if you want to believe statistics).

    As a social worker I got a good look at both sides of this coin – I would not be too hasty about dividing it into Gender specific roles – we could in fact say that People are Violent (including psychological violence).

    While supporting a Women Against Violence movement in Sydney (my sister was part of) some 20 years ago, I chose to alert my friends to the fact that Violence against women is largely held to be ghastly by society – the same society that is geared up precisely to do violence against Men almost exclusively – we are not all that evolved a species, we pass on that which we are taught – look how the next generation of Jews perform given a “whipping boy”!
    Hurt People hurt People, and by the time I see men who have lashed out, there has been a very long and unfair system of events, oppressing them totally. They are usually suicidal by the time their descent is complete – and those are some figures I want released in New Zealand – Our Suicide Rate.
    In Australia Laws only changed because of two radical phenomena – the bombing of a Family Court Judge, and attacks on others, and Fathers getting their children for the weekend, and killing themselves and all the children – I can remember the days when this was a virtually weekly event.
    We need to stop the Oppression of men and women – People!

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