Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Hypocrisy over Playboy in Indonesia

During my 14 years career as journalist with freguent overseas trips, my friends and colleagues prefers to get Playboy and the likes or even magazine with hardcore sex contents than books as gift cause they have limited understanding in reading English texts. But that's not the case anymore in the last few years since Internet has made things easier for them.
That's why I believe the recent debate and immense opposition on Playboy's Indonesia edition has nothing to do with the what so called Indonesian morality in danger. Internet has been the main source as it is much cheaper than buy the magazines. On top of that, people could get sex videotapes easily. Anyway...It is interesting to follow up the debate and most importantly comments appeared in the media...
Chairman of Fatwa (ruling) Committee at Indonesia Ulemma (Moslem Cleric) Council (MUI) Mr Mar'uf Amin is quoted by Tempo saying, "if it's true that the content of the magazine (Playboy) would be good, it's better to change the name to Good Boy."
Mar'uf was responding the denials from Indonesian publisher of Playboy that the local edition won't be similar with the US edition, no nude pictures, and no pornographic contents. MUI and other organizations, including Indonesian Gospel Association, rejected the publisher's plan. Indonesia-born Playboy model Tiara Lestari wrote in her blog about her opposition as well.
Meanwhile noted ulemma and former president Abdurrahman Wahid (popular as Gus Dur) said, "don't ask me about that. I never bought Playboy, so I never read that."
Petitiononline.com has registered 6,201 people who rejects the publication and 1,631 people support Playboy.
Meanwhile, Press Council stated that it has no authority to ban the publication. The publisher said they're going to start the audition of playmate for the first edition that would hit the newsstands by March.
How about the cabinet members?
Minister for Youngster Affairs Adhyaksa Dault (from Partai Keadilan Sejahtera) claimed 52 organizations had sent letters to oppose the publication, while information minister Sofyan Djalil admitted he was in a dilemma. By law, he could be jailed two years for banning the distribution of any media publication. Wow! Anyway, who gave the license in the first place?
My advice for Playboy publisher: Tell people that "We're going to publish a magazine with contents similar to FHM Indonesia edition or local brands like Popular or Matra. If you reject Playboy, you should reject FHM, Popular and Matra as well. These magazines publish vulgar sex contents just like Playboy."
"How about vulgar sex contents in the Internet that have been accessed easily by million of Indonesian surfers daily?"
Hopefully we're not hypocrits.
As for me, I do believe Playboy would pose a big threat to newspapers, including my newspaper Bisnis Indonesia, and magazines in getting advertisements. Imagine that respected publications like Tempo or Republika are in big financial problem as steamy publications gets more and more advertisers. Rule of the game in the traditional media business is: Without advertising, you're dead! I might have to move to Playboy someday for a better salary.



Blogger IndCoup said...

Yosef, I agree with you 100%?

Why discriminate against Playboy?

The magazine should be judged by the content alone, and not other factors.

Playboy is actually NOT a porn magazine.

The real porn is the hardcore sex films which are easily available across Indonesia on VCD and DVD, as well as stuff on the internet that you mention.

February 02, 2006 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so what's behind the hullabaloo about Playboy - is it just another stunt to attract publicity for the magazine ?

February 02, 2006 7:30 PM  

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