Azerbaijani TV series to be checked for compliance of regulations
Nushiravan Magerramli, chairman of the National TV and Radio Council of Azerbaijan (NTRC), told the Trend news agency that they intend to monitor all locally-produced content of TV series.
In his words, TV series should have an awareness-raising function. However, unlike foreign TV series, the Azerbaijani ones often promote violating the law, as well as ethical and moral norms.
“In foreign TV series, when a character gets into a car, he immediately fastens his seat belt, he never smokes in a vehicle or talks on a cell phone while driving. However, in our TV series it’s the other way around. Everyone does that, and moreover, they even cross red lights. It shouldn’t be that way. TV series should promote good habits rather than harmful ones, but what we get is just a propaganda of crime,” said Magerramli.
Magerramli added that he wasn’t a proponent of censorship. “We don’t want to interfere with the creative process. However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have any power. There is the ‘Law on TV and Radio Broadcasting’, and when the provisions of this law are violated, we have to interfere.”
The TV series industry got additional incentives in 2012, when the NTRC passed a ban on the broadcasting of foreign TV series on Azerbaijani TV channels. Magerramli stated then as follows: “Our young generation shouldn’t be raised on foreign TV series.”
Social media users were rather skeptical about Magerramli’s statement.
“The talks about the ‘awareness-raising’ function shouldn’t concern private TV channels. Millions of Manats are annually allocated from the budget to finance the state-run and public broadcasters. So, let them engage in the awareness-raising activity. As for the private TV channels, they should earn money through their productions within the legal framework,” said Murad Huseynov, a TV producer.
“I wonder what classic TV series, like The Game of Thrones or House MD would have been like if they had had to censor the shows like Magerramli,” one of the FB users wondered.