The Kenya Film and Classification Board (KFCB) has officially written to Multichoice Africa, operating through the DSTV and GoTV brands, to demand the immediate suspension of popular children’s animated shows such as ‘The Loud House’, ‘Hey Arnold’ and ‘The Legend of Korra’ over what CEO Ezekiel Mutua terms as ‘programmes promoting retrogressive and bizzare messages promoting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender agenda’.
When I first saw notice of the content in alleged in these shows, it was in a neighbourhood WhatsApp group, posted by a Generation X gentleman who has young kids and seemed genuinely concerned that such content is aired locally. I didn’t take much notice then, considering it like any other forward. But considering the sharp rhetoric witnessed on social media, it seems sections of the public took things a step further and reached out to Mr. Mutua.
‘Over the last couple of weeks, KFCB received public complaints that a section of pay TV services are distributing content glorifying homosexual behaviour in Kenya,’ says Mutua in the release shared on social channels as well.
Mutua went on to state that KFCB has carried out thorough investigationss, further establishing that the shows which air on the Nickelodeon network, together with ‘Clarence’, ‘Steven Universe’ and ‘Adventure Time’ were indeed culpable.
‘The Loud House’, which made headlines on its release mid last year for its cultural and ethnic diversity, was ranked the biggest children’s animated series on American TV in 2016. The show features a same sex couple, Howard and Harold McBride, who even made it to the cover of Variety magazine.
‘Legend of Korra‘, a sequel to the immensely popular animated series ‘Avatar‘, also grabbed headlines for its series finale in 2014 where the lead character, Korra, walked hand in hand with her long-time friend, Asami, into a time portal, claiming they were going on a vacation ‘just the two of them’. Co-creators Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko later confirmed that the two women were indeed a couple, though this particular thematic was not prevalent through the three seasons of the show until its conclusion. I, for one, was totally clueless.
In the letter to Multichoice, Mutua iterates that ‘homosexuality goes against Kenya’s moral values and culture’ and that the content is forthwith prohibited. While KFCB and its CEOs acknowledged Article 33 of the Constitution of Kenya which gurantees the Freedom of Expression, he stated that children deserved to be protected, seeing as they have ‘young and impressionable minds’, whereas adults have the freedom to choose their sexual orientation.
The media release concludes by saying that KFCB has ‘already shared its concerns with other Government agencies and religious institutions, soliciting support to ensure that children do not access inappropriate content’.