Thursday, March 01, 2007

Bigots in broadcasting

The other night, I was quite ticked off at RPN 9 for showing the rerun of the Oscars earlier than the announced time of 7PM. I wound up missing the earlier-- and later I found out, best-- parts of the show. They also cut some portions they deemed insignificant, like the beautiful montage of foreign films presented by Catherine Deneuve and Ken Watanabe (who, by the way, got Best Dressed Male runner-up in my book). I wasn't too upset though, because I knew I could always download the bits I missed on YouTube, or catch the delayed telecast on Star Movies a few days later.

So last night, after American Idol, I switched to Star Movies to watch the Oscars again. After Beyonce and J.Hud's bloodcurdling shrieking showdown came what I dubbed the Biggest Surprise Win of the night, when Melissa Etheridge snatched Best Original Song right out of the gaping jaws of the 3 Dreamgirls divas. I had already seen the segment in RPN 9's rerun, so I wasn't paying much attention as Etheridge accepted her Oscar. Then when she started her speech with "I'd like to thank my Tammy and our four children", I gave a start. I distinctly remembered hearing her say "my WIFE Tammy" in the RPN telecast. Star Movies CUT the word from her speech! I immediately texted my best friend Raqs, knowing she'd share my outrage. She texted back asking if they had shown Etheridge kissing her wife before getting up on stage, and I realized that they had cut out that part too!

I can't believe such bigotry, not to mention prejudiced censorship, is being committed by a big broadcasting company like Star. If they find nothing wrong with showing movies with graphic content and gratuitous violence, or featuring programs where people cuss, smoke, imbibe alcohol, use drugs, spew racial slurs, drop double entendres, and generally conduct themselves like sluts and jackasses, then what was so offensive about two women kissing? Two women in a committed relationship, who seem very much in love. It wasn't even a torrid, icky-PDA type of kiss (I've seen FAR worse on prime time shows); besides, at the Oscars when someone wins a lot of kissing goes on anyway. And what the hell was wrong with the word "wife"?? Would they have edited it out if Etheridge had used the more politically correct term "partner"? Would they have tolerated that? I was surprised the homophobes at Star aired the Oscars at all, seeing as how Ellen DeGeneres, Hollywood's most high-profile lesbian, hosted it.

It's dismaying how one of Asia's premier television networks could be so narrow-minded and bigoted. Media is supposed to uphold and defend freedom of speech and expression, not violate it. RPN 9 may have been guilty of indiscriminate cutting, but I'll take it over Star's blatant discrimination.


At Saturday, March 03, 2007, Blogger noodlefix said...

Bigots are everywhere. Ironically, most of them are homos themselves. Because they can't deal with it, they have a problem with the ones who are cool with it. Haha.

At Saturday, March 03, 2007, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

It's frustrating that such intolerance still abounds in these supposedly modern, enlightened times. And it's frightening when such intolerance (not to mention hypocrisy) is demonstrated by media.


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