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Full KFCB Statement: These programmes are bad for children

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[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) has over the last couple of weeks received public complaints that a section of pay Television channels are distributing content glorifying homosexual behavior in Kenya. Most of these programmes target vulnerable children with subtle messages that are deliberately designed to corrupt their moral judgment regarding the institution of family.

The Board has conducted thorough investigations on these complaints and established that they are indeed legitimate as such programs exist and are currently airing on DSTV, which is owned by Multichoice Limited, a South African pay TV network.

The programmes include Loud House, the Legend of Korra and Hey Arnold, which are animation children’s programmes available on Nickelodeon (DSTV). Others are Clarence, Steven Universe, and Adventure Time, available on Cartoon Network.

The programmes have been rated as suitable for children, yet they contain elements that are intended to introduce children to deviant behavior, against our moral values and understanding of the institution of family. 

While these are pay TV Channels, accessible through subscription, most parents in Kenya are not aware that the children’s programmes are laced with retrogressive and bizarre messages intended to promote the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) agenda in the country. Further, the programmes bear misleading age suitability ratings that are inconsistent with KFCB content Classification Guidelines and indeed against the laws of Kenya.

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Following our investigations and subsequent to public concerns regarding the programmes, KFCB has written to MultiChoice and asked the network to immediately discontinue the broadcasting, distribution or exhibition of the programmes. In the letter, the Board has drawn Multichoice’s attention to the fact that homosexuality is illegal in Kenya and that access of such content by children is prohibited.

Article 45 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 defines marriage as a union between persons of the opposite gender. Meanwhile, Article 11 of the Constitution recognizes culture as the foundation of the nation and as the cumulative civilization of the Kenyan people. Our culture and laws recognize family as the basic unit of society. The Board cannot, therefore, allow homosexual content to be accessed by children in Kenya.

Potential to corrupt morals 

Further, the Penal Code, in Section 162 to 165, criminalizes homosexual behavior and attempted homosexual behavior, referring to it as “carnal knowledge against the order of nature”. Section 181 of the Penal Code prohibits the distribution and exhibition of indecent content, with the potential to corrupt morals, and attracts a penalty of two years’ imprisonment.

While Article 33 of the Kenya Constitution 2010 guarantees Freedom of Expression, and while the attendant limitations do not stretch to homosexuality or content promoting such, the Government has a duty to protect children from such content. Young and impressionable minds must be guided on our cultural and family values. Adults can choose to become homosexuals and exercise their rights on sexual orientation and relationships, but not so with children.

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As the Board pursues measures to ensure children are protected from harmful content, we urge parents to be more vigilant in monitoring the content their children are watching on Television. In this regard, KFCB is working closely with parents, learning institutions and religious organizations to create awareness on how to protect children from accessing harmful content on all platforms.

We have shared our concerns with other Government agencies and religious institutions and solicited their support to ensure that children do not access such inappropriate content. We have also intensified our public sensitization efforts to create awareness on responsible consumption of media content. The Board is alive to the dangers of unregulated content and will continue working with all stakeholders to protect children from accessing harmful content.

Ezekiel Mutua, MBS, 




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