Todayonline: Channel 5 fined $15k by MDA

Friday, April 25, 2008

Channel 5 fined $15k by MDA

Friday • April 25, 2008

THE Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore has fined MediaCorp TV Channel 5 $15,000, the authority said in a statement on its website yesterday.

On Jan 13 at 7.30am, the station had aired an episode of an acquired home and decor series, "Find and Design". The episode featured a gay couple wanting to transform their game room into a new nursery for their adopted baby.

The authority said the episode had contained scenes of the couple with their baby.

It also featured "the presenter's congratulations and acknowledgement of them as a family unit in a way which normalises their gay lifestyle and unconventional family setup".

This was in breach of the Free-to-Air TV Programme Code, which disallows programmes that promote, justify or glamourise gay lifestyles.

The MDA said it consulted the Programme Advisory Committee for English Programmes, which felt that the programme was "inappropriate" for its Sunday morning timeslot as this was "within family viewing hours".

Taking such considerations into account — and the fact that this was a second breach by MediaCorp TV — the MDA decided on the fine.

Mr Kenneth Liang, executive vice president of TV programming and production, said: "We accept the reasons for the fine. Our relationship with MDA is a dynamic one, just as regulations are not static as well. They change with the changing values of society.

"If we have overstepped the boundary this time, at least we now know where the OB marker is."

Last year, the broadcaster was fined $5,000 for airing a kissing scene between two lesbians in an episode of drama series "Without a Trace".

Earlier this month, the MDA fined StarHub Cable Vision $10,000 for airing a commercial that showed two lesbians kissing.