Kenya Film Classification Board asks YouTube to take down Same Love Video

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The Kenya Film and Classification Board seems to court controversy in its standings and decisions. In 2014, the board was thrown into the limelight following a decision to ban the showcasing of the movie Wolf of Wallstreet. In 2015, the Board banned the premier and showcasing of the movie 50 Shades of Grey.  In recent times, the board has taken stances on content broadcasting in Kenya. Video streaming service Netflix announced the launch of the service in Kenya in January 2016. Netflix allows users to stream unlimited televisions shows and movies for a one-off fee between $8-11.

In its stand on the Netflix matter, the Board cited the Films and Stage Acts Cap 22 that gives the authority power to regulate creation, broadcast, distribution, possession and exhibition of audiovisual content in the country. The board also stated its mandate of ensuring content distributed in Kenya meets a threshold that respects Kenya’s cultural and national values. The board recently announced that broadcasters of free to air content in Kenya have until 1st March to ensure their content is submitted to the board for verification. The vetting and classification exercise is meant to ensure programmes are allocated times to air. The content is also to be reviewed to ensure it meets the set guidelines by the board.

Now the board has thrown another spanner in the work owing to a recently released video referred to as Same Love.  The video is a remix of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Same Love, which advocates for recognition of gay rights.  The video is available on YouTube and KFCB feels the video promotes irresponsible sexual behavior while undermining laws of Kenya.  The board further states portrayals in the video contravene laws regulating distribution of content.  The board has  in the meantime written to Google asking for the video to be taken down from YouTube and access to the same video blocked.

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