Banned: The Mary Whitehouse Story

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Sociopolitical Documentary hosted by Hannah Berryman, published by BBC in 2022 - English narration

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Image: Banned-The-Mary-Whitehouse-Story-Cover.jpg

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In 1963, armed with just a typewriter, a Midlands housewife began a 30-year battle against the permissive society. But how successful was the original 'cancel culture' warrior?

[edit] Chapter 1:

At a time when debates about free speech feel increasingly polarised, we look back to 1963 when a Midlands housewife and teacher named Mary Whitehouse became the original 'cancel culture' warrior. Armed with just a typewriter, she began a 30-year campaign to turn back the tide of the permissive culture she saw sweeping through society with the advent of the sexual revolution.

This series revisits Whitehouse's campaigns, from her attacks on the BBC and boycotts against films like Last Tango in Paris to conflicts with feminists and the gay liberation movement, and her contention that pornography, made mainly by men for men, was not going to lead to greater happiness for society. Whilst her views on some issues are a long way from the prevailing attitudes today, questions about the after-effects of the sexual revolution continue to resonate.

Using a vast campaigning archive housed at the University of Essex, and featuring contributions from Gyles Brandreth, Michael Grade, Beatrix Campbell, Ken Loach and Peter Bradshaw, the series hears first-hand testimony from the people who knew Mary Whitehouse, who studied her work - including author Ben Thompson - and who took her on: from activist Peter Tatchell to millionaire pornographer and current co-owner of West Ham United David Sullivan.

[edit] Chapter 2:

During the 1970s, Mary's battle with permissive society is hotting up, as ideas of progress and suggestions that nothing should be censored gain currency. Nude actress and men's magazine columnist Fiona Richmond publicly objects to Mary's 'bullying' desire to standing in the way of her personal freedoms, and the then pornographer, now co-owner of West Ham FC, David Sullivan, decides to take the fight to Mary with the audacious move of calling his flagship porn magazine Whitehouse.

In her final campaigning phase, Mary gets closer to the seat of power than anyone thought possible through her relationship with Margaret Thatcher. The birth of home video and her railing against so-called 'video nasties' raise her profile even further. But the growth of entertainment media, culminating in the internet, overtakes anything Whitehouse can do to censor content.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x265 CABAC Main@L4
  • Video Bitrate: CRF 21 (~1989Kbps)
  • Video Resolution: 1920x1080
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Frame Rate: 25 FPS
  • Audio Codec: AAC-LC
  • Audio Bitrate: q91 VBR 48KHz (~128Kbps)
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 2 x 59 mins
  • Number Of Parts: 1 (2 chapters)
  • Part Size: 1.77 GB
  • Source: HDTV
  • Encoded by: JungleBoy

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