BY ‘SEGUN ODEJIMI
Films are first and foremost for entertainment. Forget all other stuff like “information” and “social correction.” You don’t go to the movies because you want a bunch of entertainers who have since smiled – or frowned, as the case may be – to the bank to teach you how to talk to elders; or teach you how to address a mob of agitated protesters. If you want to be informed, you watch the news. Or read a paper, a book or type in www.google.com in your mobile device’s browser. If you want correction, look up the nearest correctional facility on Google Maps. Don’t put on your cable TV, pour yourself a glass of wine and hug the TV remote like its the only thing in the world that’s got your back. Well, maybe it is. But you get my drift.
It baffles me to the intestine that a group of overpaid hypocrites sat down on a slow-work-day and decided to censor the “F”, “N” and “G” words on cable TV. “Fuck”, “Nigga” and “God” are three words that you are almost certain to not hear when you’re watching M-Net movies on your DStv or GOtv. Some wise folks think that replacing them with an annoying beep or silence is going to make Syria a war-free zone or make the Oscars suddenly become #OscarsNotSoWhite. Or it will make the deadly folks in the North Eastern region of Nigeria come together and say, “Hey! They no longer say ‘fuck’ on TV, so let’s stop our madness.”
Just think about the hypocrisy for a minute: No “fucks” are allowed on TV, but there are a billion and one music videos featuring girls less covered up than the #DasukiGate. A lot of these films contain sexual connotations but hey, let’s ban the word “fuck.” You say it is a swear word? Cool. But tell me, has the word “oloshi” been banned from Yoruba movies? Or “olori buruku“?
One of the things that get you as a film audience is how the actors pass their emotion through the screens to you. You’re watching Django on M-Net. Jamie Foxx is about to go on a killing spree but first, he needs to share a piece of his mind. He opens his mouth and the next thing you hear is the beep. Or silence. A part of the message is lost. An important part.
You ban the word “nigga” too but racism is still as strong as the stench at the Ojota dumpsite. If nothing else teaches us how much this stuff doesn’t really work, at least the ongoing #OscarsSoWhite palava should. In fact, many of my contemporaries rarely see the word as offensive these days. Several of my close pals freely refer to themselves as “my nigga.” And truth is, they don’t just call anybody their nigga. You have to be part of the clique. The can-die-for pal. So, ki l’anfani?
If any parent thinks these words are too gross for their kids to listen to, that is why there is a Parental Control option on every decoder. Control what your child listens to or watches from your house. It makes me ask myself why there are SNVL warnings on each program. “S” warns you that there are scenes that contain sexual content. “N” prepares your mind for some nudity. “V” warns you that there is some violence awaiting you in the upcoming program. And “L”. “L” is a warning about language. So if I see any of these warnings and still go ahead to let my underage kid watch it, it is nobody’s fault other than mine. Why can’t DStv just stick to that? Why?
And then the word “God.” Oh my God! Who thought about that shit? No God on TV? Really? It just doesn’t make a lot of sense. I don’t want to go all “religiousy” here but how does that change anything in the world? One of the arguments made in favour of sensoring it is that there are many people out there who don’t believe in God. Many of us don’t believe in Santa. Has that word been sensored on TV?
I really need someone to step up and tell me how the world has become a better place because of the sensorship of these words. Maybe there just is something I’m not seeing.
Until then, DStv, give me back my FUCK!