Televised awards nights have long had their problems with binge drinking.
Sports codes in particular have gone to great lengths in recent years to tackle the issue, embarking on new strategies to keep binge drinking at televised awards nights to a minimum.
Way back in 2010, the AFL famously took major steps to ensure the Brownlow Medal count focused more on sporting achievement and less on grog.
The Age reported at the time that the AFL had taken on measures including limiting pre-dinner drinks, banning spirits and serving more low-alcohol beer. They started serving more food throughout the evening, stocked more non-alcoholic beverages and encouraged the host broadcaster to take the emphasis off players’ drinking.
I doubt at this years’ Brownlow you will see Bruce McAvaney drilling players on how many beers they’ve had. I also doubt you’ll see Channel 7 interviewing intoxicated footy stars as they leave the bar.
But this is exactly what we got when tuning into last week’s Logies. It seems sports stars are taking on their responsibility as role models when participating in public events, yet our TV stars are getting sloshed and being applauded for it.
Logies 2014 saw stars being quizzed throughout the night on how sober they were, the gold Logie winner admitting to being on his fifth beer before accepting his award and asking “can I have a beer now?” before leaving the stage.
You only have to look at Channel Nine’s follow-up Logies segment to see how binge drinking is celebrated.
Yes our TV industry does a great job and should have their night to celebrate. But shouldn’t the focus be more on the industry’s achievements than on how many drinks everyone has had? Our TV stars need to step it up and set a better example.
The Commercial Radio Code of Practice specifically states that radio broadcasters must not present the misuse of alcohol as desirable. Isn’t it about time the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice also put a stop to televised booze-fests?