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April 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

In an unprecedented ruling on Wednesday, OFCOM, Britain’s television regulator, reprimanded the Daily Mail, which had spearheaded a drive to censure ITV’s The X Factor for a dance routine presented during last December’s season finale. The newspaper had published photos taken during the performance, which featured Rihanna and Christina Aguilera, stating editorially, “Critics called on media regulator OFCOM to launch an inquiry into why ‘disgusting’ routines were shown before the watershed [the hours before 9:00 p.m.] … The show faces a big fine.” In its statement, OFCOM, which does not regulate newspapers, said the Mail article had generated about 2,000 of the 2,868 complaints it received about the show. It accused the newspaper of publishing photos that were “significantly more graphic and close-up than the material that had been broadcast.” The Mail rejected the criticism, maintaining that it had received all of the photos that it published directly from X Factor, except for one which was an actual screen grab. “What we raised was the legitimate question as to whether these scenes were suitable for pre-watershed TV,” it said.