Thu, Jun 14, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Da Ai denies negligence in canceling soap opera

SOCIAL DISCORD:The network canceled the show out of concern that certain imagery could trigger altercations between ethnic groups, its representatives have said

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

In an apparent reversal of its previous position, Da Ai TV (大愛電視) has denied negligence in canceling its soap opera Jiachang’s Heart (智子之心), the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday.

Da Ai vice president Ho Chien-ming (何建明) and media development department manager Ou Hong-yu (歐宏瑜) told a weekly NCC meeting on May 30 that the network decided to cancel the TV series for fear that certain imagery could trigger altercations between different ethnic groups, which goes against the network’s founding purpose to promote social harmony, commission spokesman Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said.

“The network’s representatives also said that it took three years to plan, produce and decide on the release date before including the TV series in its program lineup. During this period, the network reviewed the series to ensure that its content adhered to Da Ai’s ethical guidelines. It also held a news conference to help promote the series. However, it only took the network one week to decide that it needed to cancel the show,” Wong said.

Network executives had previously admitted in their meeting with commissioners that there was indeed negligence on the network’s part for abruptly canceling the series after airing only two episodes, Wong said, adding that they also conceded that their decisionmaking process was rash and hectic.

Network executives’ explanations on this matter have been recorded, Wong said.

The commission asked the network to provide the minutes of the May 30 meeting, during which a final decision was made on consumer complaints about the series and the network’s marketing materials, Wong said.

The commission also asked whether the network has communicated its decision to the series’ director, main actors, production team and the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation volunteer Lin Chih-hui (林智惠), from whose story the series was adapted.

“However, the network has yet to provide the information,” Wong said, adding that Da Ai TV should provide the information as soon as possible.

The commission would continue an administrative investigation and has asked the company’s senior management to present its case to the commission next week.

The person presenting the case must be fully authorized to represent the network, Wong added.

The series was reportedly canceled due to criticism from Chinese netizens, who said that it romanticized the 1937-1945 Second Sino-Japanese War.

Lin served as a military nurse for Japan in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China, during the war.

In related news, the commission has amended the regulations governing product placement in and sponsorship of TV programs.

Under the amended regulations, TV programs broadcast between 7pm and 11pm that are not produced locally cannot accept title sponsorships, in which a brand name is also part of the program’s title.

Children’s programs are still banned from accepting title sponsorships, according to the amendment.

However, the amendment diversified funding sources for children’s programs by allowing private companies to regularly sponsor such programs, in addition to public foundations and non-profit organizations.

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