German public broadcaster WDR 2 issued an apology for showing a video of a children's choir singing a humorous, traditional tune rewritten with satirical lyrics.
The song, titled My grandma is an old environmental pig, triggered heated
reactions on Twitter. One user described the lyrics as disrespectful, whilst a WDR news editor said the remake of the traditional tune was scandalously good.
The lyrics, including verses about grandma riding a motorcycle that burns a thousand liters
of gasoline every month and eating a cutlet every day because meat from the discount supermarket is so cheap, include the refrain, My grandma is an old environmental pig. The video ends with a quote from teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg: We will
not let you get away with this.
In response to complaints the broadcaster deleted the video saying:
We are concerned by the allegation that the children involved may have been 'instrumentalized'. This is absolutely
not the case, but we decided to delete the video.
But of course that was not the end of the matter. The decision to take down the video was widely criticised. In an open letter about 40 TV authors have expressed their solidarity with
the makers of the video, demanded it be immediately reposted and accused the WDR director of falling into the trap set by right-wing trolls and abandoning his staff.
In fact the WDR editor's office also supported the producers of the video and
sharply criticized the censorship saying:
We are stunned that the program director of WDR 2 has a video with a satirical children's song deleted, and above all about the fact that director Tom Buhrow gives in so easily to
a shitstorm apparently orchestrated by right-wing extremists, hastily distances himself editorially and not only apologizes in person, but also publicly (and repeatedly) in the process, instead of backing them up in the face of staged outrage against WDR
and the other public broadcasters. According to the editors' representatives, the internal freedom of broadcasting had thus been violated.
Most national retailers in Thailand have just stopped handing out free plastic carrier bags to shoppers on January 1st
In the run up to the big day Thai TV added plastic bags to their list of social vices that must be optically censored, previously
guns, alcoholic drinks, and cigarettes.
Perhaps the TV companies would have more of an effect blurring out cars, motorbikes, airplanes, air conditioners and meat.
Anyway the censorship has caused much derision on social media and the Thai
environment minister stepped in to support the censorship.
National Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa said it was easy for the online community to criticise this act of self-censorship by TV stations. He defended the
broadcasters' "well intentioned" efforts by comparing it to the censorship of alcohol and cigarettes.
Alanis Morissette was invited to appear ABC's Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest. She was joined by the cast of her new Broadway musical J agged Little Pill .
But the producers had clearly done no research into
what they may expect from the performance. When she took to the stage in Times Square on Tuesday night, those fans were no doubt thrilled to see a performance of Morissette's 1995 single You Oughta Know.
Or at least they were until they
realized that some of the song's edgier lyrics had been removed entirely, while seemingly random lyrics were bleeped, including the word perverted in the lyric Is she perverted like me?
A viewer pointed out that the excised lyrics actually
appear intact when the song receives radio play throughout North America. Another tweeted:
Our president says horrible things every day that @ABC reports, but on @ABC you can't ask if she would go down on you in a
ABC also censored the line: An older version of me for reasons not quite clear.