I remember Boy George's appearance on Top of the Pops. Like many others I sat and watched in disbelief. Was this a boy or was this a girl? It was a pivotal moment for transvestites and cross-dressers as the BBC had opened the floodgates and just about everyone has entered the TV screens ever since. Boy George was certainly a very good singer but his subsequent life has opened many questions in my mind and none greater than who decides on the censorship of what we see or don't see on the TV.

As a teacher, I have had to undergo rigorous checks in order to be allowed to get in front of classes of children and older students. Someone has seen the need to see that teachers are checked for decency and suitability. I have no problem with this and if you've had children then you will probably feel the same about this. However, the television has a very long lasting effect on all of our minds. How many of us can still recall pivotal moments on the televsion? Let's look at one or two moments on UK TV that have certainly become pivotal.

Do you remember the first gay kiss on mainstream TV? I remember it was shown on Eastenders and at the time there was a huge groundswell of feeling that this was wrong and the BBC had made a dreadful mistake. Just lately it would appear to me that the TV producers are having another look at this particular issue where many of the soaps are including innoccuous gay kissing scenes. The idea might have been to subversively encourage the mainstream viewer to accept the gay kiss. The producers of the soaps have said on many occasions that they see their role as addressing such issues in society.I do not have a real problem with this although it would seem the producers and actors never have to go through the rigorous police checks that teachers have to adhere to and we all should understand how the mass media affects the brain. Otherwise, why do the marketing professionals spend so much money producing their advertising campaigns?

In essence there should be nothing wrong with this as many would prefer acts of love and affection rather than aggression. However, I suspect there might be a hidden agenda in which acceptability is the key issue. In the original kiss I think it was a doctor that was involved which really made it a double whammy. It could also have undermined the position of doctor as many in the profession do seem to let the side down in the media.

Later, it was more fashionable to promote racial equality and rightly so. The media played a huge role in this as well. First, we had a progamme that included a very racist Alf Garnet. Then we had a programme that had a black lodger in Rising Damp where Rigsby's racial comments could be ridiculed. Next there was a programme called Mixed Blessings where we had a mixed marriage if my memory serves me well. Next, there was a black family called the Fosters and then ultimately there was Asian TV. So it is easy to see a progression where social policy might be clearly linked to our Television viewing. The evidence is there for us all to judge.

In essence, my real point is that television is the powerful tool we all know can be used for good and for bad. It is wise to monitor what it is showing us and keep on eye on which boundaries it seems to be pushing.I would also like to know a little more about the backgrounds to the people who are making these decisions.

Author's Bio: 

Vincent M Treacy is a teacher, podcaster and broadcaster with a long career in all three areas. He first studied Recreation and the Community at degree level as a mature student and always tries to combine his Academic side with both his family and life experiences.After completing his BA in this discipline Vince studied Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy before addressing educational issues in his Philosophy in Education degree. He has worked for national broadcasters in both Britain and Spain.