The ridiculous reasons are now surfacing as to why Ezekiel Mutua, the censorship tsar of Kenya's censorship board, last week abruptly banned 7 cartoons on Nickelodeon (DStv 305), Disney XD (DStv 304) and Cartoon Network (DStv 301) for being "pro-gay".
The bizarre reasons provided by Kenya's Film Classification Board (KFCB) it seemingly took straight from the internet without having actually watched and screened the various kids cartoons, are mind-bogglingly insane and shockingly unbelievable.
Ezekiel Mutua, KFCB CEO, told MultiChoice Africa the seven cartoons singled-out by the KFCB, must be off the air on the DStv and GOtv satellite pay-TV platforms over seemingly-insane reasons, ranging from one character "who has a dick for a head", to two characters who go on an (unseen) "implied romantic vacation".
While on a superficial level Kenya's censorship and banning of kids cartoons might seem silly, it has systemic and operational real-world consequences for South African and African TV viewers far beyond the borders of the East African country.
Channel24 asked the KFCB when the censor board saw the actual shows to properly evaluate their content since the majority of the now-banned shows are not even being broadcast on the various channels across DStv at the moment anyway.
The KFCB failed to answer when the 7 cartoons were actually broadcast and watched by the board and responded to the question in a nonsensical fashion by saying, in part, that broadcasters must "ensure that Kenyan identity is developed and maintained in programmes" and that they "observe standards of good taste and decency".
The 7 cartoons are now abruptly banned, with the KFCB's censorship that is creating problems for not just MultiChoice and DStv, but also the channel and content providers Walt Disney Africa, Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa) and Turner Broadcasting EMEA that respectively run and programme the Disney XD, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network channels.
Yet it seems as if the KFCB did a basic desktop Google-search to find possible justification for a ban on the shows, and then decided to ban them based on what the internet sites it visited, said.
Responding to a media enquiry from Channel24, the KFCB says the seven cartoons - Loud House, The Legend of Korra, Hey Arnold, Clarence, Steven Universe, Adventure Time and Star vs the Forces of Evil - are TV children programmes "with homosexual themes". Read more via Channel 24