Indonesia bans daytime broadcast of western songs due to 'pornographic' lyrics

Indonesia has banned the playing of more than a dozen western songs during the day as it has deemed them pornographic and obscene.

The broadcasting commission in West Java, a province known for its conservatism, said songs like Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You, Ariana Grande’s Love Me Harder and Bruno Mars’s That’s What I Like contained adult and offensive content.

The commission added that these songs should be played or broadcast only between 10pm and 3am.

The head of commission, Dedeh Fardiah explained the commission’s decision, noting that some of the lyrics could be perceived as “objectifying women as sexual objects”. Rahmat Arifin, deputy head of the commission, added: “In this case, what is banned is not the songs, but the lyrics of the songs that contain pornography, pornographic association, and obscenity.”

However, the commission highlighted that the list was more a guideline than regulation, although it will sanction radio and television stations for contravening it.

Sheeran is due to hold a concert in Jakarta, the nation’s capital, on May 3. It is unclear if the commission rules will be applied there as well.