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Sunny Leone, Rakhi Sawant generate most complaints to India’s broadcast watchdog

India's nascent Broadcast Content Complaints Council (BCCC) has received 3,441 complaints since it was established seven months ago, with many relating to the participation of Canadian porn star Sunny Leone in the fifth series of Bigg Boss.

The bulk of the 'complaints' were reclassified as they did not pertain to the content of the channels or took the form of suggestions. However, the Council heard 479 complaints with appropriate action taken by the self-regulatory body, said the Press Trust of India.

Of these, 36 were regarding the appearance of Sunny Leone on the latest series of the reality TV format Bigg Boss (known as Big Brother elsewhere in the world), which recently concluded on Viacom 18's Colors channel.

Many claimed that Leone's appearance on the show exposed children to the porn industry, given their curiosity to find out whom she was and what had made her a celebrity.

BCCC issued an objection to Leone promoting her appearance on Bigg Boss 5 on her own websites, and advised Colors to choose future participants with care.

However, the most-complained of show in India since June 2011 was 'Gazab Desh ki azab Kahania', hosted by Rakhi Sawant. A total of 58 complaints were received following the programme's transmission on Imagine TV, and the BCCC has ruled that the channel should exercise discretion in selecting future content.

Sexual content, news programmes, advertising, and misleading call charging information on quiz shows led to the lion's share of other complaints received by the BCCC. Those related to news shows were passed to the News Broadcasters Association.

An advisory has now been issued for channels to run an on screen scroll during each quiz show with a phone in element to ensure viewers know the call rates or SMS charges before calling or texting in.

There were also 56 complaints about films and 41 concerning channels that do not adhere to the BCCC. These were forwarded to the Central Board of Film Certification and the Information and Broadcasting Ministry respectively.

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