Channel 4 bought a painting before Adolf Hitler It would allow studio audiences to decide whether Jimmy Carr should burn him with a flamethrower.
The TV channel, as part of its latest programming season, has purchased artworks from a group of “problematic” artists, including Pablo Picassoas well as convicted pedophile Rolf Harris and sexual predator Eric Gill.
Called televised talk is coming art An issue, which will air later this month, will wonder if you can really separate a work of art from its creator — before deciding which pieces to destroy with a variety of tools.
Ian Katz, Channel 4’s director of programming, confirmed that if studio audiences chose to save Hitler’s painting, it would not be hung in Channel 4 Board of Directors but will be disposed of “appropriately”.
He noted that if Channel 4 is privatized by the government, it is unlikely that the profit-seeking owner will take such risks: “This type of program is difficult and expensive. And perhaps not a rational business approach.”
Katz explained the concept of presentation. “There are advocates for every piece of art,” he said. “So you have a defender of Hitler. There will be someone arguing not in favor of Hitler, but on the fact that his moral character should not decide whether or not a piece of art exists.”
Channel 4 hired an art expert to purchase works “from reputable auction houses,” although there has been a long history of skepticism about the attribution of Hitler’s art. Given the broadcaster’s budget, Picasso’s work is a “vase of some description” and not one of his paintings.
Carr himself has been criticized for his jokes, with one about the Holocaust on a special on Netflix recently He was condemned by a group of anti-hate groups earlier this year.
Katz revealed details of the program in an interview that reflects his five years as program director for Channel 4. The broadcaster, who celebrates his 40th birthday next month, is facing pressure from a continued decline in traditional live TV viewing and has been overtaken by Netflix in terms of overall UK TV viewership – all while continuing to battle government attempts to privatize the channel.
“It’s indisputable that it’s very difficult to reach such a large audience these days,” Katz said. “The broadcasting environment is very different than it was 40 years ago when there were two other government broadcasters and Channel 4 came on the scene.”
He cautioned that this creates incentives for television commissioners to stick to tried and trusted formulas rather than risk more experimental production, such as the comedy State Lets Flats or We Are Lady Parts. “I can put real crime almost everywhere,” he said, “and probably get double the ratings.”
Cutts quoted Jeremy Isaacs, the station’s founder, as saying that Channel 4 should be watched by everyone sometimes — but not everyone all the time. “I think you might add that Channel 4 should bother everyone for some of the time, but ideally it doesn’t bother everyone all the time,” he added.
Channel 4 has a record of sponsoring new talent, like comedian Mo Gilligan and End of the Fucking World writer Charlie Covel, only to see them move on to bigger financial deals elsewhere.
Katz said he is trying to keep in touch with the stars and give them a chance to return to Channel 4 for more demo material. “No one wants to see all their kids locked up at home. But you do want them to come back to see you every now and then for Sunday lunch.
Another problem is when the broadcaster’s staff objects to the output. With certain areas, he said, “You’re treading in a highly contested area and very emotional and you have to tread with real care and sensitivity.”
He added, “When I first arrived, we had a movie about transgender children that caused a great deal of controversy and a lot of pain, both outside the canal and in the canal… It makes the process of addressing some of these issues a little bit more complicated and requires a lot of care and sensitivity about how dealing with it “.
Katz also spoke about the recent Channel 4 controversy, when the presenters of Bake Off Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding have been accused of cultural insensitivity towards the Mexican people. He said, “I am very passionate about every aspect of Mexico and its culture and would hate to offend anyone in Mexico.”
Cutts, the former deputy editor-in-chief of The Guardian, was a surprise choice for the job when he was promoted from BBC Newsnight editor to Channel 4 program director in January 2018.
“In my first year it was a very steep learning curve,” he said. “I think I knew six people from TV and the first thing I had to do was figure out who everyone was. But you don’t realize until you do that Channel 4 is the freest place in the world to make TV.”
Production plans for a series on modern Britain presented by Paul Ducker have been put on hold after the former Daily Mail editor gets too busy with other projects, although the presenter will go ahead with a documentary about men with abnormally large penises.