Female lawmakers serving on the legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday asked the National Communications Commission (NCC) to review television commercials for online games that are alleged to treat women as objects and serve as a negative influence on young people.
On Wednesday the NCC said it would refer four advertisements for online games to its independent content review committee on suspicion that they violated regulations in the Satellite Radio and Television Act (衛星廣播電視法).
One of the advertisements features a woman named Shushu (舒舒) operating a jackhammer, with close-up shots on her jiggling breasts as she drills. The other ads are for an online mahjong game, in which characters utter sexually suggestive lines.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) asked the NCC yesterday why it continued to allow degrading advertisements to be aired. She also criticized the Chinese Professional Baseball League for asking Yaoyao (瑤瑤), a female actress in another online game commercial, to pitch the first ball at a game last Saturday. The actress is known for having large breasts and shouting the grammatically incorrect catchphrase “Shahenda” (殺很大), meaning “massive killing,” while riding a horse in a commercial.
KMT Legislator Yang Li-hung (楊麗環) and Democratic Progressive Party Legislator (DPP) Yeh Yi-ching (葉宜津) also expressed concern over the advertisements. Yang said that the advertisers may have exploited the bodies of teenagers and infringed the Children and Juveniles Welfare Act (兒童及少年福利法).
Yeh said the NCC has to take matters seriously and should penalize both the television channels and advertisers.
In response, Jason Ho (何吉森), the NCC’s communication content department director, said the Satellite Radio and Television Act can only punish television channels, not advertisers.
DPP Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) questioned the standards the NCC used to distinguish between a creative ad and pornography.
“Just like a Supreme Court justice in the US once said: ‘I know it when I see it,’” Peng answered.
“You know it when you see it?” Huang asked. “So it’s okay when [Yaoyao] rides a horse, but it’s not okay if [Shushu] operates a jackhammer?”
Shushu was quoted in a television interview yesterday saying that she thought the commercial was fun and interesting and did not think it treated women as objects.
The NCC’s plan to investigate the content of the commercials drew mixed reactions from the public.
Some said the NCC should also punish advertisers of underwear if it was wrong to bare women’s breasts, whereas others supported NCC’s decision.
KMT Legislator Daniel Hwang (黃義交) said the commercials featured “outgoing youngsters” and the the NCC should allow advertisers more freedom.
The company behind the ad featuring Shushu announced last night that it would be pulled today and shown again after revision.
Additional reporting by Flora Wang and staff writer