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'Home and Away' rapped by regulator

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'Home and Away' rapped by regulator
Long-running soap Home and Away has been rapped by ACMA, the Australian broadcasting regulator, over sexual content in three of its episodes.

The watchdog criticised the Seven Network for airing raunchy scenes in G-rated episodes, after receiving complaints from viewers who were offended.

The incidents broke the Australian broadcasting code, which states that material in G-rated programmes must be very mild in impact and suitable for children.

Episode 4358, which aired on 21 February 2007, featured ten different scenes which dealt with Belle's (Jessica Tovey) decision to have sex with Lucas (Rhys Wakefield). One of these scenes saw the couple in bed after sleeping together, discussing what had happened between them.

In a statement, the regulator explained: "ACMA found that verbal references to sex and visual depictions of sexual behaviour contained in the episode were not brief or infrequent. It also considered that the programme’s treatment of the theme of teenage sexuality was not very mild in impact. ACMA therefore determined that Seven incorrectly classified the programme G, and that it breached the code in relation to this broadcast."

Meanwhile, episodes 4380 and 4381, which aired on 23 March and 26 March 2007 respectively, saw Martha (Jodi Gordon) being convinced to take up pole dancing by her boyfriend Cam (Ashley Lyons).

The watchdog said: "ACMA determined that pole-dancing scenes contained in the programmes contained visual depictions of sexual behaviour, that their impact was higher than very mild, and that the episodes were not suitable for children to watch without supervision."

Responding to the criticism, the Seven Network stated that, as a result of viewers' feedback, most Home and Away episodes are now rated PG. It added that greater care would be taken to ensure that material in future G-rated episodes is suitable for children. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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