Jolin Tsai's same-sex marriage music video and song banned on TV and radio, MDA clarifies

Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai’s music video for the song We're All Different, Yet The Same features Tsai and Taiwanese actress Ruby Lin locking lips in a wedding setting. -- PHOTO: WARNER MUSIC
Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai’s music video for the song We're All Different, Yet The Same features Tsai and Taiwanese actress Ruby Lin locking lips in a wedding setting. -- PHOTO: WARNER MUSIC

SINGAPORE - Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai's song We're All Different, Yet The Same and the music video featuring same-sex relationships are banned on TV and radio here. This applies to cable TV and free-to-air TV channels.

The Media Development Authority (MDA) made the clarification on Tuesday that the song is not allowed for broadcast on TV and radio, after issuing a statement on Monday to The Straits Times that said: "In response to recent queries on the suitability of the song for broadcast, MDA advised the local broadcasters that they should not air the song and music video on channels that are freely accessed by younger viewers due to its mature content. This decision was reached after consultation with MDA's Publications Consultative Panel, which comprises Singaporeans from a wide cross-section of society."

Under the Broadcasting Act, MDA has the power to impose sanctions, including fines, on broadcasters who contravene the codes that govern free-to-air TV Programmes, Free-to-air Radio Programmes and Subscription TV.

In the music video, Tsai and Taiwanese actress Ruby Lin lock lips in a wedding setting.

An SPH Radio spokesman said that it received an e-mail from MDA informing that the song "performed by Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai contains lyrics on homosexuality which we consider to be in breach of the Radio Programme Code and therefore unsuitable for broadcast". SPH Radio's stations have not played the song.

Under MDA's Free-to Air Television Programme Code, it states: "Music associated with drugs, alternative lifestyles (e.g. homosexuality) or the worship of the occult or the devil should not be broadcast."

An MDA spokesman says that the song is allowed in Singapore for audio retail with the requisite consumer advice.

Warner Singapore says the CD containing the song is available for sale at stores in Singapore. The music video is also available on popular global viewing platforms such as YouTube.

Tsai released a statement about the restriction, saying that it was a pity as she was expressing support for equal rights to marriage through her music. However, she added that she respected differences in opinions.

nggwen@sph.com.sg