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Indonesia bans Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran's songs over 'pornographic lyrics'

Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 28, 2019, 04.23 PM (IST)

Indonesia has banned more than a dozen pop songs of international artists including Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’, Bruno Mars’s ‘Thats What I Like’ and Ariana Grande’s ‘Love Me Harder’. 

The songs have been banned from being played during daylight hours in Indonesia’s conservative West Java province. The West Java broadcasting commission singled out 85 songs, including 17 western pop songs, it said contained adult and offensive content.

The commission issued a memorandum on Tuesday that said that the offending material should be played or broadcast only between 10pm and 3am.

“In this case, what is banned is not the songs, but the lyrics of the songs that contain pornography, pornographic association, and obscenity,” said Rahmat Arifin, deputy head of the commission. 

In the official memorandum, commission head Dedeh Fardiah said some of the lyrics could be perceived as “objectifying women as sexual objects”.

Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation. It already has a national pornography law although local governments do occasionally issue sharia law-inspired bylaws.

Story highlights

The songs have been banned from being played during daylight hours in Indonesia’s conservative West Java province. The West Java broadcasting commission singled out 85 songs, including 17 western pop songs, it said contained adult and offensive content.