Censorship
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Southeast Asia is a region where censorship commonly occurs in various media such as internet, publishing, music, and film. Television censorship in Southeast Asia is common in many channels, and some channels can be more strict than what other territories would allow.

Censorship on most channels[]

Strong language is muted, but some channels are selective about it. Swear words that are censored include "fuck", "shit", "cunt", "cock", "bitch", "bastard", "neegger", and "tits". However, swear words that are rarely censored include "damn", "hell", "ass", "piss", "crap", "balls", "twat", and "whore".

Graphic violence and blood is never usually censored, except for gore such as removal of guts (except in surgeries) and dismembered limbs. That is usually the main reason for the "16" or "18" rating for series and movies.

Sex and nudity is a definite no-no, and such scenes are censored in series and movies that have them. As many Muslims frown upon sexiness, even revealing clothing and exposed skin near private parts are often censored in some channels.

Homosexuality is illegal in Southeast Asia and therefore unacceptable. Same-sex romance and kissing is strictly censored. In fact, mouth-to-mouth kissing is considered as indecent as sex, so there are limits to how that kind of kissing is accepted or prohibited.

Because Muslims consider pigs and pork forbidden "haram", such images used to be censored in early 2000s, but they are apparently allowed now in most channels. Some drugs such as morphine were also censored resulting in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers being banned in 1995.

Some shows such as South Park and Family Guy were banned due to excessive vulgar and sexual content and higher-level violence, but those bans were lifted while those series remained heavily censored. Shows like Glee, Ally McBeal, and Friends each had an episode blacklisted.

While censorship occurs in pretty much every channel in Southeast Asia, below is a list of channels where censorship is different and more strict, or where there is no censorship.

HBO[]

This channel started off as one of those channels that mainly censor just strong swearing and nudity. However, recently a few of the more recent films and series end up airing uncensored and leaving the swearing intact, including the word "fuck", causing controversy among many viewers. This also occurs on HBO Go on Astro Go, especially on HBO Go-exclusive programs. However on Astro, English subtitles are available on HBO for some reason, and the word is removed or replaced with a different word in the subtitles but not the movie itself. In older movies, swearing is cut out before a character says the swear word. Also, some killing scenes were censored, such as in Daddy's Home 2, when Megan shoots two turkeys; and in Raiders of the Lost Ark, when the Ark graphically kills Belloq, Toht, and the assembled Nazis.

FOX Family Movies[]

While not a children's channel, this channel has been made to be more family-friendly. Swearing is strictly censored, either muted, cut out, or replaced with a cleaner word. Violence is toned down to be less graphic and less prominent. Scenes with nudity are still removed. Some scenes with lingerie are censored. Once again, kissing same or different sex is strictly censored, for example when Wendy kisses Peter in the 2003 Peter Pan film. Fox Family Movies shutted down in 1st October 2021 since it's launch.

MTV[]

Since 2015, MTV is one of the most strictly censored channels in Southeast Asia.

Violence[]

Once again, violence is not usually censored in some videos that show it, but music videos that show excessive violence are banned.

Swearing[]

Once again, some swear words are censored and some are not, with the same list as the one mentioned above. Sometimes, the singer's mouth is blurred when he or she says the swear word to avoid lip-reading. However, several other words are censored that are related to strictly censored topics.

Nudity[]

Nudity is strictly censored (mostly blurred but sometimes covered by a black bar). It is not just the main private parts, but also breasts whether or not showing the nipple (cleavages) and buttocks whether or not showing the butt-hole or butt-crack. This includes side-boobs and under-boobs. Nude mannequins are also censored. Clothing censored because of this includes pasties (such as the seashell pasties worn by Lady Gaga in her "Applause" music video), wet or transparent tops that show the nipples, and thongs. Even short-shorts that reveal a bit of the buttocks are censored. The vulva area is also censored in some thongs or outfits that are close to exposing the vulva itself. The music video for "Fade" by Kanye West is one of the most infamously censored videos on MTV Southeast Asia; Teyana Taylor's buttock-exposing thong is covered by a black bar that makes it look as if she is bottomless, and any scene that shows her fully nude were blacked out, making the video difficult to watch. Even the word "naked" is censored in the music video for "Small Talk" by Katy Perry to remove the pornographic reference despite the word "naked" being used in any other channel with no problems.

Homosexuality[]

Once again, homosexuality is unacceptable. Same-sex romance and kissing is strictly censored. Even the word "gay" is censored.

Alcohol[]

Alcoholic beverages are sometimes censored, but it is mostly alcohol labels and alcohol company names that are also censored in lyrics.

Drugs/smoking[]

Drugs are censored in videos and the lyrics. Cigarettes are sometimes censored because smoking is frowned upon and illegal in public places.

Religion[]

Since most of Southeast Asia practices Islam (except Vietnam, Singapore, Myanmar and Thailand, which are mainly Buddhists, and Philippines, which is mostly Christian), references to other religions are sometimes censored. In the music video for "Starboy" by The Weeknd, the diamond-encrusted cross and the neon cross are both blurred out. The word "Hallelujah" is censored in "Mother's Daughter" by Miley Cyrus.

HGTV[]

In some earlier commercials, the word "God" in the phrase "Oh my God" is bleeped out or muted to avoid using God's name in vain.

Nickelodeon[]

Nickelodeon is a children's channel, but there's some censorship here.

End credits[]

This might or might not count as censorship, but since 2015/2016, many of the old series no longer show their end credits. Instead, the copyright company and year appears at the bottom of the screen at around the last 10 seconds of the episode. The newer series showed the credits but cut out the end logos in most episodes. Since the 2017 revamp, almost every series and film and Nickelodeon cut out the end credits, and the copyright company and year appears at the bottom of the screen at around the last 10 seconds of the show.

Swearing[]

Obviously there would never be actual swearing, but strangely, some suggestive words remain intact including God's name in vain, "sucky" (used in an iCarly episode), and "freaking" (used in the line, "She's freaking awesome!" in the Dora and the Lost City of Gold movie trailer shown in the 2019 Kids Choice Awards special).

Nudity[]

Obviously there would never be actual nudity, but the normally acceptable cartoon nudity would sometimes get censored in some shows, like in SpongeBob SquarePants episodes; Any scene with the David statue in "Artist Unknown" was cut out, and in "SpongeGuard on Duty", the scene where Patrick accidentally looks at his own butt was also cut out. Cleavages are blurred out in the 2018 and 2019 Kids Choice Awards specials.

Homosexuality[]

Any instances of homosexuality is unacceptable and therefore censored in series like The Loud House and Big Nate, removing all episodes with homosexual characters in those shows.

Cartoon Network[]

Cartoon Network is another children's channel in which its shows get censored.

Violence[]

Obviously there would never be actual graphic violence, but reckless violence in series like Adventure Time and Regular Show gets toned down. Punches, kicks, and getting hit in the head have a white flash played over them to reduce impact.

Swearing[]

Obviously there would never be actual swearing, but due to younger viewers, some rude insults and minced oaths are often censored. Series like Adventure Time and Regular Show have moderate swearing, with words like "sucks", "screw", "freaking", and "pervert", but those do not get censored so much. Still there are more offensive words in Regular Show such as "crap" and "piss" that are strictly censored. For the Harry Potter movies when airing on Cartoon Network though, mild swearing (along with violence and supernatural themes) is left intact, including "bloody", "hell", "damn", and "arse". However, "bastard" and "bitch" are still censored.

Nudity/sexuality[]

Obviously there would never be actual nudity, but scenes that give the impression that one of the characters is naked are often censored. Once again, kissing is almost always censored,. Even romantic references and intences of dating are sometimes removed in shows like Adventure Time.

Homosexuality[]

Any instances of homosexuality is unacceptable and therefore censored in series like Adventure Time, Steven Universe, and Clarence.

Smoking[]

Smoking is removed in series like The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack.

Vandalism[]

Some scenes that show destruction-like vandalism are removed, such as breaking windows and making graffiti on walls.

Jumping[]

Scenes showing a character jumping off a high platform are censored to prevent younger viewers from imitate those scenes and seriously injuring or killing themselves.

Vomiting[]

Vomiting is often censored, but most of the time, in shows like Adventure Time, Teen Titans Go!, and Total Dramarama, it is not the vomiting that is censored but the repulsive vomiting sound is muted.

Disney Channel and Disney XD[]

Until they were both shut down in 2021, Disney Channel and Disney XD were two very strictly censored channels in Southeast Asia, likely done to appease the incredibly strict Malaysian federal censors and for the safety of younger viewers.

Violence[]

Obviously there would never be actual graphic violence, but higher-level violence in series and movies was toned down. Killing is often censored in shows like The Owl House, as is stabbing in shows like Amphibia and Star vs. the Forces of Evil. Slapstick violence is never usually censored, except when it has dangerous results in real life, such as kicks in the testicles or pokes in the eyes. Scenes with blood are often cut or blurred out, even in minor wounds such as in "Phineas and Ferb Save Summer" when Stacy gets bitten by a spider. Weapons are also removed, such as knives and guns. In "Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars" during the "Tatooine" montage, The Tusken Raider's weapon was blurred out because it resembles a hunting gun.

Swearing[]

Obviously there would never be actual swearing, but due to younger viewers, some rude insults and minced oaths were often censored. In fact, before the launch of Disney XD in Southeast Asia in 2012, most of the censorship on Disney Channel was just removing suggestive words. The rude insults and minced oaths include "stupid", "dork", "jerk", "sucker", "idiot", "moron", "heck", "dumb", "freak", "rats", "dang" and "darn" Another one of those censored words is "curse", and the most common usage of that word is the catchphrase from Dr. Doofenshmirtz (from Phineas and Ferb), "Curse you, Perry the Platypus!", resulting in half of the amount of that episodes with that phrase being censored (partially or fully cut out or muted). The Cross Fight B-Daman eS episode title "What a Jerk! Basara!" was censored, leaving out "Basara!". Swearing is still censored in movies that containing swearing. In some acquired shows such as Ninja Warrior, words like "damn" and "hell" are censored when spoken and/or subtitled. However, "Hell" does not usually get censored when describing the literal place (the opposite of Heaven). Once again, some moderate swearing such as God's name in vain (Oh my God) or "sucks" do not get censored often.

Nudity/sexuality[]

Obviously there would never be actual nudity, but cleavages and butt-cracks are often blurred out. Revealing clothing is often censored such as Princess Leia's slave outfit; Most scenes in Return of the Jedi that show the outfit are cut or cropped out, and in Phineas and Ferb Star Wars the Twiliek wearing the outfit in the "Hutt's annual swimwear sale" was blurred out. Some scenes that show bras are cut, and while scenes that show a male character on his underwear are never usually censored, it would get blurred out if there is a visible bulge. (covered) Breasts hanging over suspenders are sometimes blurred. The flower pasties on Lillymon (from Digimon Fusion) were blurred out due to resembling boobs. Kissing often gets censored, being cut out before the kiss.

Homosexuality[]

Once again, homosexuality is unacceptable. The Disney Channel series Andi Mack is banned in Southeast Asia because of a gay main character, Cyrus Goodman, and because of the word "gay" said by Cyrus when coming out to Jonah. All instances of the homosexual relationship between Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland (from Gravity Falls) were removed.

Alcohol[]

For the sake of both Muslims and younger viewers, alcoholic beverages are blurred out.

Smoking[]

For the sake of younger viewers and country laws, cigarettes and vapes are blurred out.

Gambling[]

Gambling is frowned upon and illegal in Southeast Asia, so most instances of gambling such as casinos, and lotteries were removed.

Pork[]

Because pork is considered forbidden (haram) by Muslims, references to pork and lard were removed, with pork and lard being blurred out. This results in the Milo Murphy's Law episode "Murphy's Lard" being strictly censored. The suckling pig in one of the Right Now Kapow "Magic Chair" segments was blurred out in most of the scenes that show it, but it could also be because of its disturbing nature.

Race[]

Some racial references were removed, like in the Phineas and Ferb episode "Act Your Age", the "Nosh Ole Mexican Jewish Cafe" sign was blurred out, leaving out "Nosh Ole".

Religion[]

Since Islam is practiced in Malaysia, Indonesia and, in a certain extent, Singapore, references to other religions are sometimes censored. Crosses on graves and cross necklaces are blurred out.

Vandalism[]

Some scenes that show destruction-like vandalism is removed, such as breaking windows.

Jumping[]

Scenes that show a character leaving higher platforms (by jumping or being pushed or thrown off), such as buildings, bridges, cliffs, ships, down wells, or a staircase to slide down the railing are censored to prevent younger viewers from imitating those scenes and seriously injuring or killing themselves. However, most of the time, it is only the moment where the character leaves the platform that gets cut out and not the falling or crash-landing.

List of notable censored shows[]

See also[]

External links[]

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