Friday, March 23, 2007

MTV Lithuania Fined Over Popetown

As was reported here previously, the Lithuanian bishops filed a complaint in the Lithuanian court over a BBC created television show called Popetown. Yesterday, they won their case.

From Yahoo News:
The head of Lithuania's music television channel MTV has been fined by the country's media watchdog for broadcasting the "Popetown" series, an official said Thursday.
"The Radio and Television Commission voted unanimously to impose the maximum fine of 3,000 litas (868.8 euros) on Marius Veselis," a spokesman for the commission, Audrius Matonis, told AFP.
"We warned MTV that the series may be seen as controversial in our society before they started broadcasting it, but MTV Lietuva decided to show it anyway," Matonis added.
"Popetown" is described on the Internet as a series that "takes you into the side-splittingly surreal world of the Vatican as the long suffering and good-hearted Father Nicholas struggles to walk the narrow path of righteousness, surrounded by money-grabbing cardinals and a pogo-stick-riding infantile pope."
Matonis said the Radio and Television Commission had taken its decision based on the conclusions of Lithuania's journalists' ethics inspector, who has decided that "Popetown" incites hatred against the Church and could have a negative influence on younger viewers.
The commission did not discuss whether the series should be banned from the air, he added.
MTV spokeswoman Ema Segal said in a statement that the channel will appeal the commission's decision, just as it has appealed the decision of the ethics inspector.

Neither Segal nor Veselis understand why Catholics or anyone else could possibly be offended by the program and said:

"This is just an artistic satire and nothing more. We neither attempted to mock religion nor God himself," Segal said.
Veselis said in a statement last month that the reaction to "Popetown" had unmasked Lithuania as a "sort of half-medieval, half-communist, sick culture".

Of course, MTV Lithuania plans to appeal the decision.

No comments: