Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Warner Bros. Discovery's TLC channel does gay pride content in June 2022 but just for South Africa.

by Thinus Ferreira

Warner Bros. Discovery will be celebrating Pride month with a line-up of gay-related content from today until 26 June for its TLC channel (DStv 135) in Africa carried on MultiChoice's DStv but just shown in South Africa.

Following complaints from governments in other African countries in previous years, Warner Bros. Discovery is self-censoring, with the LGBTQIA+ related programming on TLC only shown in South Africa, and kept away from DStv subscribers in homophobic African nations like Kenya, Nigeria and others with replacement programming.

Warner Bros. Discovery says it's "celebrating the channel's diverse talent with a rainbow of TLC favourites, new shows and specials, highlighting lesbian, gay and transgender voices". While the content will be accessible to DStv subscribers in South Africa, it won't be seen by viewers watching TLC in other African countries.

When asked if Warner Bros. Discovery has concerns that there might be complaints about the gay-related content being shown on TLC in countries like Kenya and Nigeria, Warner Bros. Discovery told TVwithThinus in response to a media query that it is "aware of the sensitivities in these regions and therefore TLC Pride isn't scheduled to air in these countries".

In October 2015 Discovery Networks International was forced to pull the reality series I Am Jazz about a transgendered teen's struggle and life journey from TLC across Africa just before it was to begin broadcast following government censorship in Nigeria that impacted its screening across the entire continent.

In May 2016 NBCUniversal International Networks was forced to pull the second season of I Am Cait, a reality show about the transgender Caitlyn Jenner – formerly known as Bruce Jenner - from E! in Africa after complaints and a DStv TV-ban in Nigeria.

In July 2016, Viacom International Media Networks Africa, now Paramount, said it would be censoring an episode of The Loud House on Nickelodeon and won't be broadcasting it on its linear channel on DStv in Africa since it featured animated gay dads.

In June 2017 Kenya's Film Classification Board (KFCB) banned 7 kids cartoon for bogus reasons like saying one character "has a dick for a head", and that in another two characters of the same gender went on an (unseen) "implied romantic vacation", ordering MultiChoice Africa to remove Loud House, The Legend of Korra, Hey Arnold, Clarence, Steven Universe, Adventure Time and Star vs the Forces of Evil from DStv because of "homosexual themes".

In November 2017 Kenya banned the Disney Channel show Andi Mack because it featured a gay teenager, keeping it off television for the entire Africa, including South Africa.

M-Net (DStv 101) which has different regionalised channel feeds for South, East and West Africa has also kept certain internationally acquired content away over the last decade from DStv subscribers and more conservative audiences in East and West Africa, like American Gods and the transsexual model agency reality series Strut shown to viewers in South Africa without complaints.

About its Pride June programming stunt, Warner Bros. Discovery says "from 13 till 26 June, viewers can enjoy brand new shows like Kenny and Armando: Love is Love, showing the love story of 90 Day FiancĂ© couple Kenny and Armando so far; and My Pregnant Husband, which shows how couples experience the joy – and challenges - of a transgender pregnancy".

"Viewers can also tune in for a selection from one of TLC's most well-loved shows, Say Yes To The Dress; a show that celebrates love in all forms, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation".

This is TLC's Pride programming line-up:

Say Yes To The Dress, 13 - 24 June weekdays, 12:00
Kleinfeld Bridal, a Manhattan-based salon that is arguably the world’s finest, is celebrating love in all forms, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. Over 250 consultants do their best to cater to the brides’ wishes in preparation for one of the most memorable days of their lives.

I Am Jazz, 13 - 24 June, weekdays, 22:55
Although assigned male at birth, Jazz is a transgender female and has been living as a girl since kindergarten. Jazz's parents, Jeanette and Greg, and siblings Ari, Griffen and Sander have stood side-by-side with Jazz as she's battled discrimination, hate speech, online bullying and other misconceptions associated with what it means to be transgender.

Nate & Jeremiah: By Design, Wednesday 15 & 22 19 June, 9:25
Balancing their roles as design experts and dads, Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent show how to turn a money pit into a masterpiece. The designer husbands help clients learn from their mistakes by rescuing them from renovation nightmares.

Dragnificent! | 17 - 24 June, weekdays, 19:00
Alexis Michelle, Bebe Zahara Benet, Jujubee and Thorgy Thor, four of America's favourite drag queens, come to the rescue of those in need of a major change for an upcoming life milestone. The queens help people reimagine themselves inside and out and reveal their transformations in time for a special day.

90 Day Journey: Stephanie & Erika, Sunday 19 June, 18:00
After four months of dating online, YouTuber Stephanie travels to Australia to finally meet photographer Erika. They hope to deepen their connection in person, but things are complicated by the fact that neither woman has come out to her family.

My Pregnant Husband, Sunday 19 June, 19:00
Ari and Caitlin and Myles and Precious experience the joy of a transgender pregnancy when Ari and Myles, the men in their relationships, become pregnant. The couples must conquer unique obstacles when the person carrying and birthing their child is a man.

Kenny and Armando: Love is Love, Sunday 26 June, 18:00
Kenny and Armando, well-known from the hit-series 90 Day Fiancé, met on an online support group for fathers. Kenny has decided to leave his family behind and move south of the border to be with him. Being a gay couple in Mexico, however, could pose a much bigger challenge than Kenny could imagine. Kenny and Armando: Love is Love shows their love story so far.