The latest target in a long line of controversial censorship choices by Indonesian television stations is Indonesia’s own homegrown international popstar Agnez Mo.
The “Coke Bottle” singer’s figure was completely blurred out during a recent showing of TransTV’s 15th anniversary celebration program in which Agnez performed wearing a kind of corset and shorts underneath a long flowing yellow jacket.
Agnez apparently went unblurred during the program’s original airing, but that it was blurred during a replay which took place over the weekend.
There was an uproar on social media in February when Puteri Indonesia contestants wearing traditional kebayas had parts of their bodies blurred during a replay of the beauty pageant.
Other targets of TV censorship that have been ridiculed by Indonesian netizens in recent times include Shizuka from the cartoon “Doraemon” and Sandy the squirrel from “Spongebob Squarepants”, a humanoid robot, and a female swimmer competing in the Indonesia’s National Games.
The National Broadcasting Commission (KPI) is often blamed for TV station’s overzealous censorship, but KPI always replies that it is the TV stations themselves that decide what to censor on a show-by-show basis. However, KPI sets out strict guidelines for TV stations regarding what they can show in regards to the human body.
“In broadcast standards and regulations article 18, it’s mentioned that TV stations are forbidden from ‘exploiting and/or showing specific body parts, such as thighs, behind, breasts, in a close-up or medium shot,” said KPI head Yuliandre Darwis, as quoted by Liputan 6.
Whether Agnez’s outfit required censorship under those guidelines, or whether such guidelines perpetuate patriarchal ideas about women’s bodies and female modesty, we’ll let you decide for yourselves.