Pulse Opinion Nigerians and the fight against foreign conventions in TV

The world is changing and the news perceptions of marriage, dating and family life today is being translated on what we watch on TV nowadays. However, Nigerians are holding fast to their values.

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Loud House play

Loud House

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On Saturday, July 23, I received a broadcast message from a PR executive in Lagos stating: “Breaking: Controversial episodes of Nickelodeon’s “ Loud House” will not air in Africa”.

Great, how does this affect what’s already on telly?

If you are wondering what “Loud House” is, it’s an animated series about 11 year-old Lincoln Loud. The fictional show follows Loud’s life and his daily antics with his 10 sisters.

Now the so-called controversial episodes feature Lincoln’s interaction with a same sex married couple.

Loud House play

Loud House

 

Nickelodeon Africa’s reason for not airing this is because “As a global brand, Nickelodeon strives to ensure that content respects the varying traditions and the cultural sensitivity in each market”.

What about all those shows on Nickelodeon and even Disney that promote mischief and teenage dating?

Nigerians and traditions

Trust Nigerians to cry fowl, get upset about the “Loud House” series and refer quickly to traditions and culture. I remember being taught in primary school “Culture is the ideas, social behaviour and values of a people”.

Today with the advancement of technology, culture is ever changing - and we find ourselves adopting new cultures everyday - hence the reason many of us dress like Westerners, speak English with a foreign accent, can’t speak a word of our mother tongue.

As Nigeria becomes more modernized, one thing seems unable to change - the ideology of the people.

Nigeria is a multi-ethnic, religious, conservative country with majority of her citizens being either Muslim or Christian. The subject of homosexuality is one which the people address based on their cultural backgrounds and religious beliefs. Based on the doctrines of the people, same-sex orientation is seen as both a sin and a crime against the state.

Former President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan signed a bill outlawing gay marriages in January 2014. Under the Same Sex Prohibition Act, it is prohibited for persons of the same sex to go into a marriage contract or civil union. This offence is punishable by a maximum of 14 years imprisonment.

Remember when the House of Representatives threatened to ban Big Brother Africa III over "obscene, indecent and vulgar language expression or representation." I found it funny because - it was a reality show with Africans including Nigerians being themselves.

(Proof that the high morality bar of Africans was almost the same as the immoral foreigners corrupting us).

I'm Cait play Caitlyn Jenner in reality television show "I'm Cait"

 

Most recently, MultiChoice removed Caitlyn Jenner's reality television show "I'm Cait" from E! Entertainment schedule in Nigeria.

According to MultiChoice, the decision to pull down the show follows instruction from the regulatory body, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), after most Nigerians described the show as 'unfit for kids.'

First off, "I'm Cait" is not a show for kids. Nigerian parents need to stop dumping their kids in front of the TV. Interesting fact: MultiChoice provides a parental guidance feature on all it’s Dstc decoders; enabling parents to block channels and shows unfit for kids.

TV series these days

Cast of American TV series "Modern Family" play

Cast of American TV series "Modern Family"

(AV club)
 

To be frank, the world is changing and the perceptions of marriage, dating, family life and friendship today is being translated on what we watch on TV nowadays. However, Nigerians are holding fast to their values.

With affordable cable and high speed Internet, Nigerians have easy access to foreign content. Ask the average Nigerian what their favourite TV show is and they’ll probably say "Empire" or "Game of Thrones" the name of a foreign show.

Most of these shows are now inclusive of the changing sexuality, and lifestyle of the world, making sure everyone of their audiences is included or represented in some way. For instance in your average American TV series and reality TV show, there’s bound to be a Black person, an Asian person, a homosexual couple or a gay friend and a disabled person.

Should we be crying foul?

There’s really no right answer to this. While Nigerian parents complain about what their children are watching - are they paying attention to what their kids are listening to, do they know their children can come across this ‘ unfit content’ on their smartphones and tabs?

Truth is as an adult, if you don’t like what’s on TV, turn it off ‘cause with the way culture keeps changing the Television is about to get really interesting.

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