Published: Friday April 6, 2012 MYT 1:02:00 PM
Updated: Friday April 6, 2012 MYT 2:18:37 PM
Shows with gay characters banned from state-owned TV, radio
By REGINA LEE
PETALING JAYA: The Information Department has banned shows featuring gay characters, Deputy Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Maglin Dennis D'Cruz confirmed.
He said the ban was effective immediately but would only start with state-owned TV and radio stations.
"If it means cancelling some of the shows, so be it," he told The Star Friday, adding that the decision was to curb the "influence" of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.
He also said the decision will be expanded to cover privately-owned stations as well as satellite TV providers.
As for foreign productions, he said the Censorship Board will remove episodes from running TV shows and bar movies with gay characters from being screened locally.
He was referring to a "directive" issued by the Information Department on its Facebook page on Thursday.
"Effective immediately, radio and TV stations are asked to stop screening shows which feature gay, effeminate men as well as characters that go against the norm of a religious society because this encourages and promotes LGBT now," said the directive.
However, at noon Friday, the department posted another message on its Facebook page, saying the message was merely a "discussion topic" on Bernama Radio 24 and that the message was lifted from the radio station's page.
Despite the confusion, Maglin said the directive was still on and that a guideline will be produced on avoiding putting LGBT characters on screen or the air waves.
When asked about programmes and TV shows hosted by men who appear effeminate, he said it can still go on, "because they are born this way".