Fri, May 25, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Da Ai not told to resume show

FREEDOMS:The NCC said that while it respects the network’s right to decide what it broadcasts, Da Ai would be asked to explain why it canceled ‘Jiachang’s Heart’

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

From left, Chang Yun-hua, Eriku Yoza and Kenji Kasai, actors from Da Ai TV’s television series Jiachang’s Heart, pose at a news conference in Taipei on May 14.

Photo: Chen Yi-chuan, Taipei Times

The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday denied asking Da Ai TV (大愛電視) to resume broadcasting its television series Jiachang’s Heart (智子之心), after the network allegedly gave in to pressure from China to cancel it.

The commission condemned the Chinese-language United Daily News for reporting that it intended to do so, it said in a statement.

Commission spokesperson Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said in an interview with the Taipei Times that it simply asked Da Ai TV to come to the commission next week to explain in detail why the network had canceled the series.

“We did not ask the network to list the series in its programming again,” Wong said.

Wong was questioned at the commission’s weekly news conference on Wednesday as to why the commission did not ask Da Ai to continue airing the series.

“We respect the network’s right to arrange its programming,” he said. “If the commission asked it to broadcast the series again, we would be accused of intervening in the network’s operations.”

The commission would ask what the network plans to do with the series, as the network’s decision would not only affect the independence of broadcast media, but also viewers’ access to quality content, as well as the interests of the actors and crew who helped produce the series, Wong said.

“Taiwan is a free and democratic nation. The commission will respect the network’s freedom of expression and its program arrangement. Broadcast media should establish their own internal mechanisms to review and edit their content, and the viewers’ interests should be their top priority,” the commission said in a statement.

Da Ai on May 9 held a news conference to announce the series, but suspended its broadcasts two days later after airing only two episodes, the commission said, adding that the network did not tell the viewers why it stopped airing the series until May 14, when it publicized an announcement on a news ticker.

The series was taken off the air because certain images could lead to misunderstanding and controversy, the network said, adding that it voluntarily stopped the broadcast for the sake of “maintaining a harmonious operation.”

“The network’s move not only disrupted the broadcast of the program, but also thwarted the production crew’s freedom of expression. It is clear that Da Ai’s internal control mechanism for programs has shortcomings that could harm the interests of its viewers,” the commission said.

“Broadcast media should operate independently, be open to cultural diversity and thoroughly enforce self-discipline,” it said, adding that the network should not take its responsibilities lightly and disobey the regulations.

Jiachang’s Heart is based on the story of 91-year-old Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation volunteer Lin Chih-hui (林智惠). When she was 18, Lin served as a Japanese military nurse in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China, against her family’s wishes.

The series was reportedly canceled because Chinese netizens criticized it for romanticizing the 1937-to-1945 Second Sino-Japanese War.

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