Subsidizing sleaze apparently is not shocking to Australia. Siobhan Duck of Melbourne's Herald Sun reports, "A television comedy about a bong-smoking dog that has sex with a cat and a teddy bear has received $1.5 million of federal and state taxpayers' money."
Wouldn't you be so proud if you were a taxpayer Down Under? The federal agency Screen Australia contributed $400,000 to the first season and $580,000 to the second. The state agency Film Victoria contributed $210,000 for the first set of shows and $294,048 towards the second.
Not every politician is thrilled. Sen. Steve Fielding of the Family First Party said edgy comedy wasn't the best government expenditure: "I don't think taxpayers' money should be used to finance film projects that display acts of bestiality." Ya think?
The headline of this story was "Plenty of bong for your buck." The name of this TV show is "Wilfred," which we're told is "also peppered with profanity, full-frontal nudity and jokes about rape." The plot centers on a woman named Sarah, her boyfriend, Adam, and her dog, Wilfred -- who's actually a man with a three-day beard in a dog suit and a painted-on black nose.
The dog "chain-smokes and talks about his penchant for having sex with dead animals, a stuffed bear and the neighbor's cat." It's edgy enough that the dog makes jokes about the healing magic of licking his own rear end. The first episode of the second season, which airs at 10 p.m. on Monday nights, featured 35 swear words, including the especially line-crossing C-word for females.
So how do the feds in Australia defend funding this garbage? Pretty much the same way they do it in the States, it turns out.
Jane McMillan, a spokeswoman for the SBS network, which runs the naughty-doggie comedy, unfurled a series of lame rationalizations about how it was admittedly "not a show for everyone," but nevertheless was a justified recipient of government backing. Consider these empty arguments: