Netflix has reportedly agreed to censor its LGBTQ+ content in Kenya, while Cameroon has threatened to punish TV channels that show LGBTQ+ content.
According to Washington Blade, Netflix and the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) signed an agreement in February to restrict LGBTQ+ content from being shown in the country.
“After signing the agreement, they (Netflix) are already developing a classification system that is aligned with the local classification standards so that every film on Netflix will have Kenyan ratings once it is in place,” said an official from the KFCB.
The KFCB has a history of banning the screening or broadcast of LGBTQ-affirming content in order to uphold so-called “family values.” They have labelled LGBTQ content as an “affront to our culture and identity” and “demeaning to Christianity.”
The official also mentioned that they are in talks with other streaming providers, including South Africa’s Showmax, to ensure compliance with Kenya’s censorship guidelines.
In Cameroon, the National Communication Council (NCC) issued a warning that platforms broadcasting LGBTQ+ content will face severe penalties.
In a 12 June media statement, the NCC expressed concern about the “proliferation of programs promoting homosexual practices” that “undermine good morals, customs, and Cameroonian legislation.”
The statement highlighted that these programs are often broadcast by foreign platforms and increasingly include cartoons intended for children and minors.
“The National Communication Council reminds promoters and media professionals that homosexuality is prohibited and condemned by Cameroonian criminal law, and that the dissemination in the media of scenes of a homosexual nature constitutes an attack on professional ethics and deontology in social communication,” asserted the council.
The NCC has ordered channels and platforms broadcasting in Cameroon to immediately withdraw these programs, under the penalty of suspension.
Homosexuality is illegal in both countries, with those found guilty of engaging in same-sex intimacy facing up to 14 years in prison in Kenya and 5 years in Cameroon.
South African-based satellite TV service DStv recently confirmed that it will also not broadcast any LGBTQ+ content in Uganda to abide by the country’s new Anti-Homosexuality Act.
It is disheartening to witness growing restrictions on LGBTQ+ content in these countries. It is important for societies to foster inclusivity and respect for diverse communities, rather than resorting to censorship and punitive measures. The censorship not only limits freedom of expression but also perpetuates discrimination and exclusion.