24 Oct 2016

Fiji Media regulator urged to act without favour

6:40 pm on 24 October 2016

Concerned citizens in Fiji are calling on the Media Industry Development Authority to act swiftly and without favour, and investigate complaints about an FBC TV programme.

The host of the Wasea Bhasha programme,(wasea meaning "share" in Fijian and bhasha meaning "language" in Hindi), came under fire for perceived negative racial stereotyping.

Nemani Bainivalu issued apologies in English, Fijian and Hindi on social media and in the latest installment of his programme.

Leaders of various youth and advocacy groups, acting in their capacity as citizens, have filed an official complaint with MIDA after its chair Ashwin Raj said he was waiting for official complaints before considering investigating the issue.

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation apologises for comments after social media complaints

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation apologises for comments after social media complaints Photo: FBC TV Facebook

One of the complainants Vani Vulaca of the Bua Urban Youth Network said this was concerning given the public uproar the programme caused on social media.

"People get angered when they see the rules being applied sparingly to a certain group of the society," she said.

"So it is really about equality, it is really about making sure that laws apply to everyone.

"So I think it is important that the authorities act swiftly and that they respond to us."

Vani Vulaca said an official complaint had also been lodged with Police and more people have come forward to complain about past episodes of Wasea Bhasha that they found offensive.

Since the incident all of the content on Wasea Bhasha's youtube channel, more than 70 videos including past episodes of the program, have been taken down.

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