Culture

Indonesia bans Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande songs for being ‘Pornographic’

Photo: USA Today

Have you turned on the radio and just felt disgusted by the current mainstream offerings? Then moving to West Java, Indonesia might just be for you.

The West Java broadcasting commission recently released a circular which bans radio and TV stations from playing over a dozen western songs for being ‘pornographic’. However, stations can still play the songs from 10pm and 3am to soundtrack your steamy nights.

Rahmat Arifin, deputy head of the commission clarified that:

“In this case, what is banned is not the songs, but the lyrics of the songs that contain pornography, pornographic association, and obscenity.”

The ban list includes 17 western pop songs including Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You. Ariana Grande’s Love Me Harder, The Killers’ Mr Brightside, Zayn Malik’s Dusk Till Dawn, and the Bruno Mars song That’s What I Like.

While Sheeran has not commented on the ban, he is set to perform in Jakarta in May. Would it be considered the biggest porn show in the country?

Bruno Mars pokes fun at the ban and Ed Sheeran by calling out Indonesia for lumping him together with that “sexual deviant”.

Photo: Bruno Mars

In addition to the Western songs, around 70 other songs, mostly local, would be included in the ban.

According to Reuters, the ban came in place after citizens of Indonesia’ most populous and conservative province, West Java, complained intensely to the media commission.

Indonesia’s anti-pornographic laws have been criticised for being overly broad to the extent that it tramples human rights. It has been used to crack down on LGBT people and police what women can and cannot wear.

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