Response from the Television Broadcast Division of the 2nd Authority for Television and Radio, written by Judith Levitt, VP pro tempore:
- The complaints are regarding the fact that on the episode of “The Voice” that was broadcast on 19.12.12 at 21:00, one of the contestants expressed himself in a way that was perceived as sexual harassment. According to the complainants, such a contestant should not be given public exposure and that he should be removed from the program.
- The Television Broadcast Division’s examination reveals that the contestant on that show was Mike Alhadif, who told the show’s host that while participating in the American show “American Idol” he hugged the judge Jennifer Lopez, and touched her buttocks without her permission. In response to this statement, those present laughed, and Aloni even commented that he would warn mentor Sarit Hadad about him.
- The Authority finds these occurrences to be inappropriate [wrongful], and related this finding and the complaints to the franchisee. The franchisee’s response was that there was no harassment in the contestant’s conduct, because neither Lopez nor Hadad felt harassed by his behavior. Likewise, the franchisee made clear that all contestants must sign a statement that they have no criminal past as a condition of their participation.
- We understand the discomfort caused to the viewers, and are sorry for it. The 2nd Authority as a regulator and representative of the public prefers that there not be inappropriate behavior on broadcasts. Nevertheless, as a body that operates in a framework of rules and regulations, we act in accordance with rulings and laws regarding freedom of expression, and are as cautious as possible in cases in which we decide there is a need for the Authority to intervene.