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Entertainment Censorship

It is very common of the government the censure the content or the substance of the entertainment. Censorship could be referred to as an act of controlling information relayed by the media to the public. This involves deleting or purging off some parts of theatrical performances or publications. The aim of doing this is to prevent harmful, malicious and provocative information from reaching the masses but this is something that is not taken kindly by some members of the public.

Its opponents maintain that citizen and more so the adults should be let to consume information they deem important to them and purge the rest. The position of this paper is that government should not under any circumstance censor the content of the entertainment. There are many negative consequences that result when government censor entertainment that is meant for the public. It is true that when topics involving sex are removed from public’s domain, it becomes hard for the teenagers and children to be taught on matters that affect their health such as HIV/ Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases.

It is prosperous of the government to assume that if information pertaining to sex is not contained in the entertainment then youth will not indulge themselves in sexual activities. Sexual activities are matters that are driven by instincts and thus if they are not enlightened on dos and don’ts pertaining sex we would be doing them a great disservice and thus the government should not censor entertainments as they still have some educative information. Censorship opponents argue that human beings are rational beings and thus cannot go for what is wrong.

They argue that human mind is designed in such a manner that it is able to discern between what is right and what is wrong and thus censorship is unnecessary. (Franklin, 2006) When movies, plays and books are censored by the government, the value of the entertainment is compromised. When this happens, the actors who work day and night to make sure that their dreams, ideas and creativities are translated into reality are deterred from swinging into their full potentials and productivity. Simply put, entertainment censorship kills creativity.

It is unfortunate that some of the materials that are purged from those entertainments are what actually entertains the public. The truth of the matter is that when parts are deleted entertainment lacks substance or it loses its taste and what results is that it lacks public appeal. When this happens, it is the actors who feel the pinch most why? It takes million of dollars to make a single movie or play and thus when they are rendered useless to the public, it becomes hard for entertainers to recoup the money they spent on them if not to make profit thereby undermining their motivation.

This results because the public fail to find them useful ending up not buying or hiring and what results is a marginal profit. Governments keep talking about freedom of expression but they fail to understand that this should be a two way streams that is the addressee and the addressor and when this channel of communication is not there then there can no longer be said to have freedom of expression. The government should not think that it is doing the public any good by dictating what it should consume and what it should not.

It is what Sanders (2005) termed as, “An insidious chill on free expression on our air waves. ” In a democratic society, citizens should be let to control issues that affect them. The government should not turn itself into a tool for controlling people instead it should be the people controlling the government and not the vice versa. While still on this point, it is the responsibility of the government in a democratic society to help its people realize their full potentials and this is not what happens when entertainments are censored instead, it serves to kill the ingenuity of the actors.

When the government censors entertainments, it means that a handful of individuals in the government dictate their will upon the public. This is so because the rest of the public have to go by their tastes and preferences. It should be understood that people have different tastes and as the saying goes, ‘One man’s meat might be another’s poison’. What is being censored might be what is educating or entertaining others. Proponents of entertainment censorship argue that when entertainments are not censored by the government, wrong information reach the public and mostly the children.

They argue that children tend to take what they see in movies and plays as the gospel truth and thus harmful information should be restricted but what they do not know is that it is the responsibility of the parents to make sure that children watch the right programs otherwise there is no need of rating movies. (Franklin, 2006) Again entertainment censorship might be misused by the government officials who want to pursue their selfish motives. This mostly happens when there is a conflict of interests.

Certain individuals in the government might be in the entertainment industry in the name of making profit. For them to achieve their ends they eliminate any other competitive business thus censoring entertainments that are not worthy of being censored thus ending up having a competitive edge over others. In short, if democracy is to be upheld then people should be allowed to choose what is right for them instead of being dictated to on what to take or not. The views, tastes and preferences of a few individuals should be generalized to represent those of the public.

It has also been noted that some government officials might misuse this opportunity to fight what they might refer to as their business ‘rivals’ and it is for this reason and others that the content of the entertainment should not be censored by the government References: Franklin, Daniel P. 2006. Politics and Film: The Political Culture of Film in the United States. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Sanders B. 2005. Censorship of the Media Creating Insidious Chill on Free Expression on our Airwaves. Common Dreams. org. Available at http://www. commondreams. org/views05/0217-32. htm

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