CBC Digital Archives

Take 30: What is smut?

It was afternoon TV for homemakers, but Take 30 assumed women's interests went beyond recipes and child rearing. The program aired from 1962 to 1984, but may be best remembered for its late '60s/early '70s era with hosts Adrienne Clarkson and Paul Soles. The CBC Digital Archives has over 60 clips from Take 30, plus 12 complete shows from 1964 to 1971 with celebrity interviews and topics including teen sex, censorship, pornography and the back-to-the-land movement.

media clip
Mort Goss doesn't sell pornography. What lines the shelves of his Yonge Street bookstore in Toronto is, he says, "sex-oriented literature." But to the morality squad, the shop's stock frequently contravenes the federal criminal code, so police raids are common. Attempting to get a handle on what constitutes pornography - and whether it's a threat to Canadians - Take 30 also talks to a police chief, an anti-porn campaigner and a professor of mass media and censorship. 
• The word "pornography" comes from the Greek word pornographos, which means "writing about prostitutes."

• The Canadian Criminal Code makes reference to pornography only in the context of child pornography. Otherwise, the code concerns itself with "obscenity."

• The 2007 parliamentary report The Evolution of Pornography Law in Canada noted that a statistical link between pornography and violence did not exist. The report also quoted from the 1985 report of the Special Committee on Pornography and Prostitution that concluded pornography consists of "lies about aspects of women's humanity and denies the validity of their aspirations to be treated as full and equal citizens."

Medium: Television
Program: Take 30
Broadcast Date: Jan. 15, 1971
Guest(s): Raymond Gauer, Mort Goss, Thelma McCormick
Host: Ed Reid, Paul Soles
Duration: 26:22

Last updated: February 1, 2012

Page consulted on July 25, 2014

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