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5 Oct 2012

Taiwan broadcaster fined US$10,000 for lesbian kissing scene

A Taiwanese broadcaster LS Time has been fined NT$300,000 (US$10,255) for broadcasting a film that featured a scene that showed two women kissing, the China Times and Liberty Times reported.

The 1992, locally produced film The Silent Thrush (失聲畫眉) was broadcasted on 25 Feb 2012 at 7pm during a time-slot designated for films that have received a “General Rating”. It is not clear what the film’s rating is or which version of the film was broadcasted. 

The National Communications Commission (NCC) said the film contained inappropriate dialogue and erotic scenes, and had breached the rating regulations. The Silent Thrush is said to contain close-up images of same-sex kissing and undertones of homosexuality as it depicts lesbian relationships within a traditional opera troupe.

Ta-wei Chi, an assistant professor of Taiwan Literature at Taipei’s National Chengchi University, wrote in a letter to the Commission asking the committee to explain its rationale for determining that a depiction of a same-sex relationship should be considered inappropriate for general viewing since opposite-sex relationships and kissing scenes are allowed during the same timeslot.

In the letter that was published on his Facebook page today, he asked if the committee which is tasked to uphold the values of society had in fact acted prejudicially against a segment of society. 

He added that the film which is based on the 1990 novel of the same title by Ling Yan (凌煙) is considered a classic and is studied by gender studies scholars in Taiwan. The novel won a NT$1 million prize in a competition organised by the Independent Newspaper Group (自立報系舉辦百萬小說徵選) in 1990. The film adaptation was screened at Cannes Film Festival, and was in competition in various film festivals including the London Film Festival, San Franscisco International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), Republic of China Film Festival, and it won the Outstanding Film Award by the Republic of China 83th Year of Film. 


Reader's Comments

1. 2012-10-06 03:59  
2. 2012-10-06 04:00  
Comment #3 was deleted by its author on 2012-10-06 17:40
4. 2012-10-06 09:23  
Censor the homosexuals!

So typical.
5. 2012-10-06 09:24  
bias and unfair indeed!!!!
6. 2012-10-06 11:45  
It seems the issue may have been the time-slot and not the kiss per se. Even in a relatively open and liberal country like New Zealand such things can still be deemed inappropriate for peak (family) viewing times. Things are changing slowly though. Push the boundaries slowly, firmly, and persistently, and things will change.
7. 2012-10-06 14:52  
It is actually at peak time that such a films should be broadcasted, allowing families to explain to their children the many ways love and sex find expressions among humanity
8. 2012-10-06 22:47  
Peak time? I think a kiss is not so adult that children should not see it. On the other hand, if there is not hetero kissing, then MAYBE it was somewhat justified, but this is supposed to be a classic and it is akin to book burning to edit classics
9. 2012-10-07 16:48  
In some countries, kissing replaces handshakes.

In any case, how Victorian!
10. 2012-10-08 10:14  
Good opportunity for parents to expalin to kids that not everyone is the same, but I guess that was lost to more Puritanical views. Oh yes, I forgot, parents don't educate their kids anymore. That's the TEACHER's job!
11. 2012-10-11 03:01  
What fines would they get for showing two politicians kissing and sharing bribes? None?
12. 2012-10-11 03:01  
What fines would they get for showing two politicians kissing and sharing bribes? None?
13. 2012-10-18 06:31  
Homosexuality has been hidden from the eyes of the public for so long and the time has come for it to come out of the open. Before we're like people stricken with leprosy of something. Change is coming soon. :-)))

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