The saga of my chum Mr Methane being falsely accused of humiliating the Romanian people by farting their national anthem on Britain’s Got Talent (which I mentioned in blogs here and then here) has, in theory, come to a sudden end with the Romanian TV station involved, Antena3, being fined £10,000 lei (roughly £2,000) by CNA, the country’s National Audiovisual Council.
This followed complaints to the regulatory body by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the President’s Office and by Mr Methane himself.
It seems to me to be quite an insignificant fine for a TV station (which had basically stolen the Britain’s Got Talent footage without paying for it, let alone the fact they re-dubbed the sound to make political capital out of it).
Mr Methane is certainly not satisfied. He tells me:
“I don’t think the fine reflects the personal injustice I suffered at being misrepresented by seeming to make a political statement which I of course never made, which then infuriated Romanian citizens and caused them to have anger towards me.
“That issue still needs to be addressed by a full-blown apology from the television programme or even an invitation to perform the Blue Danube (the original tune farted in Britain’s Got Talent) live on their show so people can see and hear the truth. You have to be in the studio to smell it!
“I have sent my own complaint in to CNA and I’ll give them time to address it and get back to me but, if nothing satisfactory is received within the next few weeks, then I’ll be asking Equity to take the matter further as I think the current fine has been fast-tracked by the ruling political party and takes only their own narrow political issues into account with no regard to the very real wider human injustices that I have suffered.”
One of the most extraordinary things I find in the whole surreal saga is the speed with which the Romanian regulatory body acted. The programme was transmitted last Thursday evening; the decision and fine by the regulatory authority happened this Thursday. In Britain, our regulatory body Ofcom would have taken months.