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Broadcasting regulator moves to censor political satire show

Raajje TV was asked to censor the use of slang on Maakana Show.



The broadcasting regulator has asked Raajje TV to censor a long-running animated political satire show over the use of “socially unacceptable” slang or obscene language.

Four episodes of the Maakanaa Show aired in April violated Maldivian societal norms or behavioural standards, the Maldives Broadcasting Commission concluded after an inquiry. The private station was instructed earlier this week to abide by the broadcasting code of practice as such content could “adversely affect the country’s social fabric.”

Based in the fictional dhooni raajje (bird country), the late night show features comedy sketches and humorous interviews with caricatures of local politicians. The weekly programme is produced by a third party and Raajje TV bleeps out some words that could be deemed offensive.

The style of language or the use of slang on the show has not drastically changed over the years, a Raajje TV official told the Maldives Independent. But the broadcaster will continue to closely monitor language in future episodes, the official said.

The broadcasting regulator’s move prompted concerns about censorship.

“As Maakana Show is not shown at a time when children watch TV, in my view the phrases in the show are used in the normal standard of the show as well as the normal standard followed in such satire. You must consider a lot in censoring the media,” former president Mohamed Nasheed tweeted on Monday night.

Maakana Show returned to Raajje TV for its 13th season last November.