Mediaset aired ‘Spread’, starring Ashton Kutcher, on one of Spain’s main terrestrial TV channels: Cuatro.
Rated R for its strong sexual content, nudity and profanity; the movie tells the story of a serial womanizer (Kutcher) who uses his conquests to live a comfortable life in LA.
Spain’s competition watchdog (CNMC) has begun legal proceedings against the mass media company, owned by none other than Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi, arguing that airing such content between 4 and 6 p.m. “could be harmful for the physical, mental and moral development of minors”.
If the court finds Mediaset guilty of breaching Spain’s audiovisual laws, the company will have to cough up between €100,000 and €500,000 in fines.
However, Spain’s film certification body classified the film as unsuitable for viewers under 12 while most other countries around the world gave it a +16 or +18 warning.
Spain’s own cinema industry underwent its own sexual liberation following the censorship it withstood during the dictatorship years.
Many of its big film hits in the 90s features scenes of an explicit sexual nature or touched on taboo subjects such as homosexuality and transsexuality, namely those by Oscar-winning director Pedro Almodovar.
But Spain has recently been attempting to clamp down on troublesome aspects of TV viewing habits, especially on the matter of kid’s prime time content being aired as late as 1.30 in the morning.