What is the difference between a show which chronicles the life of Caitlyn Jenner after her gender transition and most of our music videos which scream sex and profanity?
The reality series was pulled off following complaints from some Nigerians, who described the show as 'unfit for kids - so, it's about kids and what is good for them.
Considering that "I'm Cait" was aired on E! and not Nickelodeon, It is hilarious that parents chose their kids as an excuse to see to the death of show in Africa.
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Was "I'm Cait" pulled off because it revolves around a transgender? - making it culturally and morally unacceptable in Nigeria. Describing it as culturally unfit for everyone would have been a better reason.
If we are talking about transgender being the issue, it may be time to point out that most of our favourite shows have gay sub plots - from "Empire" to "Game of Thrones," it's almost difficult to find a show without a homosexual theme lurking somewhere.
The hit popular Big Brother Africa show is one with a high level of obscenity. It wasn't pulled off. A special channel was created for it, making it accessible for viewers who specifically subscribe to it.
"I'm Cait" doesn't have a special channel, but the parental control feature makes everyone a censor board capable of determining what they or their household choose to watch.
Unlike terrestrial TV, Dstv and Gotv decoders are encrypted with the parental control feature that empowers parents with ultimate control over what young viewers can watch. Parents have the power to prevent their kids from watching a show which they deem 'unfit.'
If DStv were to yank off every show 'unfit' for kids, then most of all our music videos and foreign shows will be yanked off. What is the difference between a show which chronicles the life of Caitlyn Jenner after her gender transition, and most of our music videos which scream sex and profanity?
Today, I'm asking the question "should there be censorship in TV." Does censorship infringe on freedom as a human right?
It's a question with different answers and views which can't totally be faulted. I caught up with some Nigerians, and I'm sharing five responses.
Here we go;
1. The actions of our children shouldn't be the responsibility of a censor board or TV network. When we censor what our children see on TV, chances are that they would get to see something similar to the forbidden content somewhere else. It is up to parents and individuals to properly explain things to kids.
2. Parents can't control what their children watch all the time. DStv has made it possible for parents to censor what their kids watch, but we have still have terrestrial TV networks, and the only control parents have in this case is the power button. This is enough reason for TV to practice censorship.
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3. What exactly is the importance of censorship? Most of the contents censored are part of our daily occurrences: racism, sex, death, violence, war, transgender etc. Censoring won't make these issues any easier to deal with. Seeing racism on television won't make a child a racist. It's the duty of a parent to explain to the child, and help him or her draw lessons from such content.
4. Children do not need to watch nudity or extreme violence on TV, which is why some programs are not shown during the day, but late at night. It is the parent’s responsibility to make sure their kids don’t get to spend their nights watching obscene content.
5. Nigeria is a country particularly concerned with morality. While most people applaud the ban of "I'm Cait," they don't hesitate to visit porn sites or enjoy watching Ghost ravish Angela in "Power." If it can be watched in the secret of your room, why do we need any form of censorship?
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When it comes to kids, it's more of a parent's responsibility to censor what a child watches than it is of a regulatory body. If a child is watching television enough to allow it to influence them, perhaps it's time for the parent to tone down the amount of material they view, and not the content of the material.
I personally think adults need the censorship more than kids considering that censorship isn't all about kids. Kids are not the ones who would feel the need to go to war after watching a politically or tribally motivated propaganda or speech.
Censorship isn't always about "Game of Thrones" nudity and violence. Religious and tribal conflicts often times can be avoided by the censorship of certain material which could be perceived as insulting or offensive.
Censorship must not always mean yanking off a show. It could be achieved through creation of a control feature, ratings, time scheduling, bleep censor among others.
While censorship could be necessary, it could also mean absence of sexually explicit, vulgar and obscene music videos, movies and TV shows, which most Nigerians find entertaining.