ISLAMABAD: The electronic media regulator has advised television channels to observe decency in their non-news content.
In an advice issued to all TV channels, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Tuesday asked them not to air dramas containing controversial themes, indecent clothing and gestures, controversial plots (involving infidelity and extramarital affairs, etc) and unnecessary details of events.
“Such content is not only distressing for viewers but is also against the commonly accepted standards of decency,” the Pemra advice said.
The regulator said the trend of airing quite bold themes in dramas had resulted in massive public complaints on the Pakistan Citizen Portal (PCP), Pemra Complaints Call Centre and Feedback System as well as on social media.
The Pemra statement said that viewers had severely criticised the content being telecast, and their opinion was that dramas were not depicting the true picture of Pakistani society.
“Indecent scenes, dialogues, extramarital relations, violence, inappropriate dressing, rape scenes, bed scenes, use of drugs and alcohol, and intimate moments between couples are being glamorised in utter disregard of Pakistani culture and values,” Pemra said.
Regulator says the trend of introducing bold themes in dramas has resulted in massive public complaints
It said that established religious beliefs about divorce and halala were being distorted through weak plots/storylines, creating confusion among viewers about religious principles.
The media regulator also advised the channels to come out of stereotypical ideas as a majority of the scripts revolved around women, having the same story pick, plot or purpose and dramas depict hackneyed image of women.
“The script writers are confined to saas-bahu vendetta, extramarital affairs, divorce and infidelity etc,” the regulator said, adding that “all TV channels are, therefore, required to stop airing such content in dramas and produce content in consonance with socio-cultural norms as per aspirations of Pakistani society”.
Published in Dawn, January 9th, 2019