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Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Bruno Mars songs banned in Indonesia’s most populous province

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Entertainment

Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Bruno Mars songs banned in Indonesia’s most populous province

A broadcasting commission has banned Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You, Ariana Grande’s Love Me Harder, Bruno Mars’s That’s What I Like and Versace on the Floor as well as over a dozen western pop songs deemed pornographic.

The West Java broadcasting commission in Indonesia in a memorandum issued on Tuesday singled out 85 songs, including 17 western pop songs, it said contained adult and offensive content.

It said the airing of the songs will not be allowed during daylight hours, but can only be broadcast between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m in Indonesia’s conservative West Java province.

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The West Java province is the country’s most populous province with 48 million residents.

Although the British musician has not commented on the inclusion of his song on the explicit content list, information on his website revealed that Sheeran is scheduled to hold a concert in Jakarta, Indonesia capital city, on May 3.

The deputy head of the commission Rahmat Arifin said:

“In this case, what is banned is not the songs, but the lyrics of the songs that contain pornography, pornographic association, and obscenity.”

She said some of the lyrics could be perceived as “objectifying women as sexual objects”.

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The commission added that the list was more of a guideline than a regulation, although it warned it could sanction radio and television stations for contravening it.

The ban is coming after a controversial draft bill last month, which sought to outlaw “negative foreign influences” as well as blasphemous or pornographic content, punishable by imprisonment or a fine.

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

In October last year, for example, several regencies in West Java called for discriminative policies to combat a perceived “LGBT threat”. Among other measures, local decrees reviewed by Human Rights Watch proposed measures to hand over lists of allegedly gay and bisexual men to authorities and change curriculums to teach hatred of LGBT people.

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