Millions of Christians are joining an “e-tv mass switch off” campaign in protest over the channel’s screening of the show, Naked News, and other pornographic content, says Family Policy Institute director Errol Naidoo.
Naidoo initiated the switch-off campaign on Thursday last week after e.tv dismissed calls by Christians for the cancellation of the late night programme on the grounds that it degraded women and was harmful to children. In a media statement released today, he says that a number of church denominations and independent churches representing millions of Christians have agreed to request their members to support the switch-off campaign.
In rejecting calls for the cancellation of the programme, e.tv says in a statement released last week that it complies with the code of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA) by presenting the show late at night, with an 18-age restriction and warnings of sex and nudity. Sapa reported today that a BCCSA spokesman, Shouneez Martin, said that Naked News adhered to the broadcasting code, and that it could be blocked by viewers who viewed it on DSTV. She said parents had a responsibility to supervise their children’s television viewing.
In today’s media statement, Naidoo says church heads who have agreed to support the swtich-off believe that the broadcasting of nudity and sexually explicit content on national free-to-air television degrades and objectifies women and exposes children to harmful content. The broadcasting of pornography also fuels the sexual exploitation and abuse of women and children in society and devalues the family.
He says Christians joining the switch-off are being asked to block out the e-tv channel on DStv and Top Tv – using the parental control facility, or by tuning out the e.tv channel on their television sets until they have a snowy picture.
“The next phase of the boycott of e-tv will involve a targeted national boycott of all businesses whose adverts are aired before, during and after the broadcasting of pornographic content,” says the media statement.
“Millions of Christians are sick and tired of the moral decay in society. The sexual exploitation of women and children fuelled by pornography contributes significantly to the rape and sexual abuse of women and children in South Africa. This campaign aims to send a clear message not only to e-tv but the SABC, DStv and Top Tv that Christian viewers will not tolerate smut on national television”.
Participating denominations and church affiliations listed in the statement are:
- The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa (TEASA): comprising 29 Christian denominations and 4 million members,
- The Methodist Church of SA: Comprising 600 Churches and 2 million members,
- The Apostolic Faith Mission of SA: (AFM/AGS) comprising approximateely 1, 4 million members,
- The Assemblies of God of Southern Africa: (AOG) comprising 1 650 Churches and 600 000 members,
- The Full Gospel Church of SA: comprising 1 000 Churches and 500 000 members,
- The Baptists Union: comprising approximately 500 Churches and 70 000 members, and
- Thousands of independent non-denominational Christian Churches across the country.
Meanwhile, Africa Christian Action has launched a petition campaign to stop e.tv porn.