01/08/2019. A flood of violence and uncensored sexuality has poured into the world of television in recent decades and has not spared Madagascar, which is not used to such open-mindedness. In this context, a bill has been proposed to censor Malagasy music videos. But should this measure only apply to music videos? 902 Tananarivians, who were in agreement that things should change, then gave their opinion on the limits to be imposed on Malagasy television channels.
Malagasy people and local television channels
Since 92% of Tananarivians watch local channels, we were able to collect solid answers from them to tell you that they do not approve of the content these channels serve. 86% of them think there is far too much violence on Malagasy TV channels. And the same goes for scenes with sexual connotations, too present on our screens according to the majority of our respondents (87%).
The types of programs where we see the most are films and series (90%). And that’s absolutely true.
At any time of the day we are entitled to “action” with war scenes, rains of bullets, dozens of corpses littering the streets, decapitated heads, amputations with big haemorrhages to make your stomach turn.
We are no longer even spared horror films that are so realistic that they traumatize you to the point of always fearing a presence behind you.
So many scenes that give us cold sweats, shivers, headaches and sometimes discourage us from watching the show to the end. Just think that you adults can’t stand it, so imagine your little toddlers falling on it, the effect it will have on them.
Another type of violence which, this time, no longer belongs to the realm of fiction: the savage acts perpetrated all over the world that the newspapers kindly retransmit to us.
According to 5% of our respondents, the TV news is also guilty of delivering such scenes on our stations. Even music videos (3%) are used to create controversy and buzz.
This area is more than worthy of censorship. It’s not a question of being prude or not. It is about respect for the morals, culture and principles of others. Of course, everyone knows how the human body is made up and the method by which “babies are made”, but that is no reason to expose actors’ nudity and make them play more than ambiguous scenes. Not everyone is necessarily fond of it.
But nowadays, there is such an “open-mindedness” that most television programs no longer bother to limit their content in case they are broadcast in front of an unsuitable audience, and here I’m talking about minors in particular.
If we take only the case of the local airwaves, the Tananarivians denounce films and series as well as music videos as the programmes where we see the most disturbing scenes such as nudity, eroticism, etc. with respectively 60% and 39% of the votes.
Are there people who make sure that the age limit of the audience for each program is respected? Are there prohibitions for people under 12, 16 or 18 years of age? Do producers just make sure that they specify which audience they are targeting? I am afraid that most of the answers to these questions are still “no”.
Moreover, when I saw that 14% of Malagasy people say that there isn’t that much violence on TV, and 13% who also think the same about sexuality, I wondered if everyone really had their own threshold of tolerance and their own definitions of violence and sexuality, or if only it wasn’t hot and cold for some people.
What censorship should be applied to television in Madagascar?
As 91% of our respondents believe that local television has a strong influence on the inhabitants (against 9% who say the opposite), it is normal if they are demanding with regard to what it serves them. This impact is especially harmful for younger people, who are much more tempted to reproduce what they have seen on TV. On this point, I think it is up to parents to balance the place of television in the education of children.
To be sure, we asked them if this influence was indeed bad. 79% of them agreed, but 21% claimed that this influence is heading in a positive direction.
It goes without saying then that according to 61% of Malagasy people, television should be more censored. Especially films and series (49%), music videos (49%), reality TV (1%) and newspapers (1%).
Should such censorship be applied to television channels in Madagascar according to the origin of their content? 3% say yes to censor local content, 5% yes to that of foreign origin and 92% say that no distinction should be made and that both local and foreign broadcasts should comply with it.
Conclusion of this survey on television censorship in Madagascar
We have seen that films and series are most likely to present us with violence (90%) and sexuality (60%), so we should be particularly wary of these programs, which can sometimes surprise us with, let’s say, bad taste.
As we have seen above, for 49% of Tananarivians, clips are among the content to be censored. We then asked our respondents what they thought of the proposed law to censor Malagasy clips. 70% were in favour but 29% were still against it.
The latter are surely the ones who are fond of the scenes where we see the extras dancing in undress, am I wrong?