New Zealand's Chief Censor David Shanks warned parents and caregivers of vulnerable children and
teenagers to be prepared for the release of Netflix's Season 2 release of 13 Reasons Why scheduled to screen this week on Friday, May 18, at 7pm.
The Office of Film and Literature Classification consulted with the Mental Health Foundation in classifying 13 Reasons Why: Season 2 as RP18 with a warning that it contains rape, suicide themes, drug use, and bullying. Shanks said:
"There is a strong focus on rape and suicide in Season 2 , as there was in Season 1 . We have told Netflix it is really important to warn NZ audiences about that."
"Rape is an ugly word for an ugly act. But young New Zealanders have told us that if a series contains rape -- they want to know beforehand."
An RP18 classification means that someone under 18 must be supervised by a parent or guardian when viewing the series. A guardian is considered to be a responsible adult (18 years and over), for example a family member or teacher who can provide
guidance. Shanks said:
"This classification allows young people to access it in a similar fashion to the first season, while requiring the support from an adult they need to stay safe and to process the challenging topics in the series."
Netflix is required to clearly display the classification and warning.
"If a child you care for is planning to watch the show, you should sit down and watch it with them -- if not together then at least around the same time. That way you can at least try to have informed and constructive discussions with them
about the content."
"The current picture about what our kids can be exposed to online is grim. We need to get that message across to parents that they need to help young people with this sort of content."
For parents and caregivers who don't have time to watch the entire series, the Classification Office and Mental Health Foundation have produced an episode-by-episode guide with synopses of problematic content, and conversation starters to have
with teens. This will be available on both organisations' websites from 7pm on Friday night.
Da Ai TV has canceled its new soap opera Jiachang's Heart, reportedly due to criticism from Chinese
officials two days after the show's pilot aired, sparking concerns about the reach of Chinese censorship.
The show was inspired by the story of Tzu Chi volunteer Lin Chih-hui, now 91, who was born in the Japanese colonial era and served as a Japanese military nurse in China during World War II.
The show's trailer was panned by Chinese media, and local media reported that China's Taiwan Affairs Office sent officials to the foundation's office in Taiwan to investigate the show soon after the pilot aired on Thursday last week.
China's Global Times newspaper published an opinion piece by a Chinese official saying:
It is clear from the 15-minute trailer that the first half of the series is kissing up to Japan.
The show was duly pulled and Da Ai media development manager Ou Hung-yu explained:
The channel decided that the show's depiction of war is contrary to its guideline of purifying human hearts and encouraging social harmony.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has barred one of China's most popular TV channels from
airing the Eurovision song contest after it censored LGBT elements of the competition.
Mango TV was criticised for blurring rainbow flags and censoring tattoos during Tuesday's first semi-final. It also decided not to air performances by the Irish and Albanian entries.
The EBU said the censorship was not in line with its values of diversity:
It is with regret that we will therefore immediately be terminating our partnership with the broadcaster and they will not be permitted to broadcast the second Semi-Final or the Grand Final.
The Irish entry, Ryan O'Shaughnessy, told the BBC that he welcomed the EBU's decision. He will perform at the final in Lisbon on Saturday with a song about the end of a relationship. He was accompanied by two male dancers during the performance
that was apparently censored by Mango TV.
Lost in the Fumes is a 2017 Hong Kong documentary by Nora Lam.
Starring Cres Chuang, Bamboo Chu-Sheng Chen and Leon Dai.
Edward Leung was an average student before he unexpectedly finds himself at the focal point of two Legislative Council elections. While winning over 60,000 votes in the By-election would have guaranteed Edward a seat in the next round, his ticket
to LegCo is forfeited when the regime imposes extra measures in the nomination process. Having once claimed that 'be it crawling or creeping in, I will become a councillor', he can now only take the sidelines and put the backup Baggio Leung into
the race. On the other hand, Edward finds his free days numbered as he faces three counts of rioting charges for taking part in the Mong Kok Protest. Once an eloquent rising star in politics, now he may as well be a doomed prisoner. As the
oath-taking controversy and the disqualification saga unfold, Edward retreats from the spotlight and decides to leave for further study in the United States while chaos continues to reign over Hong Kong politics.
Thanks to its politically provocative subject matter, Lost in Fumes , a documentary made by a 22-year-old on a minuscule budget, has become Hong Kong's hottest ticket in the past six months. But because of that same subject matter, no commercial
film exhibitor in the city has been willing to touch it.
The film's fate has renewed fears in Hong Kong's entertainment sector about the continued erosion of freedom of speech. Since November, it has been playing to packed houses at Hong Kong's Art Centre, at colleges and universities and in impromptu
underground community screenings. But the film's subject, Edward Leung's political stance -- which falls somewhat outside the local mainstream and is viewed by the ruling Communist Party in Beijing as a serious threat to its sovereignty over Hong
Kong -- has meant that most local business leaders would rather run a mile to avoid being associated with the film for fear of social or political reprisal.
The film's director, Nora Lam commented:
Self-censorship is a more serious issue than it appears in Hong Kong. There is nothing written and no law as yet restricting what people can say, so theoretically we still have freedom of speech, she notes. But people are afraid of the
consequences, and this fear is more far-reaching than official oppression.
The wildly popular children's character Peppa Pig was recently scrubbed from Douyin, a video sharing platform in China , which deleted more than 30,000 clips. The hashtag #PeppaPig was also banned, according to the Global Times, a state-run
Chinese authorities have claimed that Peppa pig has become associated with low lifes and slackers. The Global Times whinged:
People who upload videos of Peppa Pig tattoos and merchandise and make Peppa-related jokes run counter to the mainstream value and are usually poorly educated with no stable job. They are unruly slackers roaming around and the antithesis of the
young generation the [Communist] party tries to cultivate.
In a verdict with grave implications for press freedom, a Malaysian court has handed down the nation's first conviction under its recently enacted 'fake news' law.
Salah Salem Saleh Sulaiman, a Danish citizen, was sentenced to one week in prison and fined 10,000 ringgit (US$2,500) for posting to the internet a two-minute video criticizing police's response to the April 21 assassination of a member of the
militant group Hamas in Kuala Lumpur.
Shawn Crispin, CPJ's senior Southeast Asia representative said:
Malaysia's first conviction under its 'fake news' law shows authorities plan to abuse the new provision to criminalize critical reporting. The dangerous precedent should be overturned and this ill-conceived law repealed for the sake of press