TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Self-censorship during the final night of Putri Indonesia pageant show in a private TV station last week is really out of the proportion.
During the show, the TV station decided to completely blur the torsos of contestants who donned the body-hugging Javanese kebaya dress.
This over-the-top censorship, which has sparked protests especially in the social media – clearly ruined the joy of the viewers watching the show.
In 2012, the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) issued the P3 (broadcasting code of conduct) and SPS (broadcasting program standards) regulations that regulate materials that are allowed and not allowed to be aired by broadcasting companies such as the ban to air scenes of violence and pornography.
Article 18 (h) of the SPS does forbid programs that exploit and/or display certain parts of the body such as thigh, buttock, and breast, in a close-up and/or medium shot.
However, we must bear in mind that this article is on the chapter concerning ban and restriction of sexuality. The same chapter also contains the ban to air scenes of kissing, nudity, and sexual violence.
Thus, it is clear that what is meant by these articles are the ban to air programs that leads to pornography, but the ban does not apply to all programs.
It looks like a number of TV stations and the Film Censorship Board (BSF) have interpreted the chapter too far.
Thus, for example, any scenes that contain a woman`s breast must be censored.
What is more ridiculous is that this censorship is also applied to animated movies.
Several scenes in movies SpongeBob SquarePants and Doraemon, for example, are also blurred.
This over-the-top censorship is also applied to movies that contain scenes of people smoking or holding guns.
The funny thing is that even though those scenes are considered forbidden, they are still aired but blurring certain parts: the gun or the cigarette only.
Whoever blurred those scenes in the movies must have low taste and does not understand film censorship.
Censorship is indeed common in movies.
However, if there are certain scenes that are considered inappropriate, it is those parts that will be cut, instead of being shown but with blurred scene.
Blurring certain parts of a scene will in fact destroy the aesthetic value of the movie.
The move to blur the scene of smoking is clearly a logical fallacy of those who censor the scene in understanding the prevailing regulation.
Article 26 of the SPS does forbid programs that justify the misuse of cigarettes, drugs and alcoholic drinks. The article puts emphasis on its ‘misuse’.
Even article 27 states that the depiction of scenes of people smoking or consuming alcoholic drinks are allowed to be aired as long as they are intended for adults.
Seemingly, blurring certain scenes in movies or other programs in TV stations is an easy way for TV stations to avoid reprimands and sanctions from KPI.
In fact, it is not a necessary move because if P3 and SPS are implemented correctly, programs that are considered appropriate only for adults can still be broadcast without blurring some parts of the scene on condition that it is aired after 10 pm, not during prime time, between 6 pm until 9 pm, that air many ads.
The owners of TV stations should not have only pursued profits with this over-the-top way.