In what appears to be an attempt to save face, the Indonesian Broadcast Commission (KPI) has once again distanced itself from involvement in the blurring of bikinis worn by female cartoon characters, this time going as far as discouraging TV channels to stop the ridiculous practice.
In an interview with magician-turned-TV personality Deddy Corbuzier – who made a public comeback a couple weeks ago after going on a brief hiatus – KPI Chairman Agung Suprio said that his commission never mandated television stations to censor cartoon characters, including Doraemon's Shizuka and Spongebob Squarepants' Sandy Cheeks.
"I was surprised to see that Shizuka in a bikini, was censored and blurred, I was really shocked," Agung told Deddy in the latter's popular podcast, Close The Door, uploaded just yesterday.
Agung said KPI only conducts post-air monitoring, which means the commission isn't aware of details from the programs before they go on air, adding they have no authority to issue the letter of censorship approval (STLS).
"With sinetron (Indonesian soap operas) for example, [or] films, they have to obtain the STLS [prior to it being aired], now who issues the STLS? Not KPI bro, but the LSF (Film Censorship Institute)," Agung explained, even going further to say that he's uncertain about cartoons needing to go through the censorship process.
"I am now asking at this forum, in Deddy's program, for all the television broadcasters not to blur cartoons, censor cartoons; just show them as they are."
It goes without saying Agung was referring to family-friendly cartoons, and not hentai.
Deddy also touched on the controversial issue involving convicted child molester/dangdut singer Saipul Jamil, who faced widespread backlash for appearing on TV shows shortly after his release late last week. In line with KPI's recent circular to Indonesian broadcasters, Agung said that Saipul can only appear on TV for "educational purposes," that being to inform the public about the dangers posed by sexual predators.
KPI has also been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately, including for alleged workplace bullying and sexual harassment towards a male employee. Though Agung agreed to appear on Deddy's podcast, he reportedly bailed out of talking about the scandal in the talkshow Mata Najwa.
The show's host Najwa Shihab said on Instagram that Agung left the studio just as he was about to go on stage, right when the victims' attorney was being interviewed.