Jolin Tsai video gets banned

Jolin Tsai’s music video for the song We’re All Different, Yet The Same supports same-sex marriage.

Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai's music video for the song We're All Different, Yet The Same, featuring same-sex marriage, is banned on television and radio here.

This applies to cable TV and free-to-air TV channels.

The Media Development Authority (MDA) made the clarification on Tuesday that the song is not allowed to be broadcast on TV and radio, after issuing a statement on Monday to The Straits Times that said: "In response to recent queries on the suitability of the song for broadcast, MDA advised the local broadcasters that they should not air the song and music video on channels that are freely accessed by younger viewers due to its mature content.

"This decision was reached after consultation with MDA's Publications Consultative Panel, which comprises Singaporeans from a wide cross-section of society."

Under the Broadcasting Act, MDA has the power to impose sanctions, including fines, on broadcasters who contravene the codes that govern free-to-air TV programmes, free-to-air radio programmes and subscription TV. In the music video, Tsai and Taiwanese actress Ruby Lin lock lips in a wedding setting.

A Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Radio spokesman said it received an e-mail message from MDA saying that the song "performed by Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai contains lyrics on homosexuality which we consider to be in breach of the Radio Programme Code and therefore unsuitable for broadcast".

SPH Radio's stations have not played the song.

Under MDA's Free-to-Air Television Programme Code, it states that "music associated with drugs, alternative lifestyles (e.g. homosexuality) or the worship of the occult or the devil should not be broadcast".

An MDA spokesman says the song is allowed in Singapore for "audio retail", with the requisite consumer advice.

Warner Singapore says the CD containing the song is available for sale in stores here. The music video is also available on popular global viewing platforms such as YouTube.

Tsai released a statement about the restriction saying it was a pity as she was expressing support for equal rights to marriage through her music. However, she added that she respects differences in opinions.

One of her fans, Mr Joel Yap, 28, applauds his idol for using her influence to raise awareness of issues such as marriage equality and Internet bullying.

"I was touched by the video, which was based on a true story," says the lawyer.

The ban on TV and radio does not seem to bother Mandopop listeners as the music video is available on the Internet.

Project manager Frank Lee, 31, says: "I think the restriction is pointless because I can watch the music video on YouTube."

This article was first published on May 27, 2015.
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