'Too violent' Knightley advert banned from TV

Anti-domestic violence charity brands decision by censor as 'pathetic'

Advertising censors have branded an anti-domestic violence advert starring Keira Knightley too shocking for TV, and are refusing to allow it to be broadcast unless key scenes are cut.

The gripping ad shows the actress returning home from a film set, where she is confronted by a violent boyfriend who accuses her of having an affair with a co-star, before launching into a vicious attack. The disturbing footage ends with Knightley left sprawled on the floor, being repeatedly kicked.

The Cut was made for the charity Women's Aid, and launched in cinemas at the beginning of this month.

Charities working to combat domestic violence branded the decision by Clearcast, the ad approval body, "pathetic", arguing that, in banning the advert, it is shielding the public from the reality of domestic violence.

"It seems pathetic. It is really important to raise awareness about domestic violence, and TV gets into people's homes" said Sandra Horely, chief executive of Refuge, a charity that provides accommodation for women and children escaping from domestic violence.

"Many women who are victims of domestic violence are isolated by their partner, and in these situations TV is very helpful. It is also a great way to reach the public and raise awareness of the issue," said Ms Horely.

The ad, created by Joe Wright, the director of the films Atonement and Pride and Prejudice, in both of which Knightley starred, has been viewed more than a million times on YouTube. It was hoped that the ad would air on TV this month, but it will now only be seen on British television if scenes showing Knightley being thrown to the floor and kicked are axed.

"The reason we are still in conversation with Clearcast about it is because they believe it is too violent," said Chris Hirst, managing director of Grey London Advertising Agency, which created The Cut. "Part of the point of the campaign is to raise awareness about domestic violence, and spark debate, which the advert has done, even if it doesn't make it on to TV."

Women's Aid said it has had a brilliant response to the advert, which women viewers believe accurately reflects the reality of domestic violence. "We were very careful to reflect what we had heard from anecdotal evidence. We have put this forward to Clearcast, with statistics from the Home Office, and other material," said Lucy Brown, a spokeswoman for Women's Aid.

Some believe that Clearcast is being overly cautious in failing to approve the full advert, and that advertisers are reluctant to even try to address the issue for fear of being censored.

"You can't tread softly-softly on these issues. It is important that we have these public awareness campaigns, and that the message gets to the people affected by it," said the Labour MP Kerry McCarthy.

Independent regulator the Advertising Standards Authority has received just two complaints from the public about the new campaign, both of which were from viewers who saw the unedited version on the Women's Aid website. Similarly, the ASA received no complaints about the Women's Aid 2007 poster campaign, which included stars such as Honor Blackman and Anna Friel made up to look as if they had been beaten.

Ms Knightley was not available for comment.

News
peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
Voices
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Senior Management Accountant

£40000 - £46000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: Global publishing and digital bu...

Semi Senior Accountant - Music

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful, Central London bas...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum