Indonesia may finally be seeing progress in pushing back overzealous TV censors after officials deemed athletes wearing bikinis and swimsuits while competing at the Olympics to be totally fine for general viewing.
The Indonesian Broadcast Commission (KPI), whose stringent censorship regulations led to the blurring out of depictions of the female body in swimsuits (including a National Games swimmer and Sandy the squirrel from Spongebob Squarepants), opted not to listen to a fresh complaint this time around.
The complaint, a screenshot of which has gone viral recently, came from a woman who urged KPI to sanction a local TV network for broadcasting women’s beach volleyball, which features athletes in bikinis, from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The woman seemed to be especially miffed that the game replaced the time slot of an Islamic celebrity preacher.
“It’s strange that [she said] she can’t watch Mamah Dedeh, but as long as [the beach volleyball] didn’t violate any rules, it’s fine. Mamah Dedeh can be aired at another time or [the complainant] can switch to another channel,” KPI Chairman Agung Suprio said yesterday.
How we’ve longed to hear such a sensible statement from KPI for so long.
It must be noted that Agung was appointed chairman of the broadcasting watchdog in 2019, after some of the most ridiculous instances of overzealous censorship on Indonesian TV. But KPI under Agung’s leadership hasn’t exactly been without criticism, most notably when it called for Netflix and other online streaming services to be blocked in Indonesia as they continue to stream content featuring LGBT elements, violence, and pornography, which they deem incompatible with Indonesian values.
Thankfully, that didn’t happen. Among us sensible folks, we can still indulge in the guilty pleasures by watching the likes of Sex/Life and 365 Days while keeping our children out with Netflix’s parental lock.
It’s that simple. We’re glad to see KPI finally coming around to that realization.