Kenya has prohibited all creators of films and television content from including LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) messaging in their works, noting that such material is against the law as per the Kenyan Constitution.
The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) announced the ban and soon afterwards reiterated that all movies containing same-sex relationships remains outlawed in the country warning that the board would still continue its crackdown on such content in the mainstream media.
KFCB Acting CEO Christopher Wambua, speaking during a radio interview on Friday, said:
“The country’s laws do not allow LGBTQ+ content or even relationships. Even as we rate and classify content, we also consider other applicable laws. If there is any content that normalises or glorifies same-sex relationships, our position in Kenya has always been that kind of content is restricted and should not be broadcasted, exhibited or distributed within the borders of the country.”
Wambua went on to cite examples of films which had been barred from broadcast such as ‘I am Samuel’ due to what he termed as its explicit portrayal of homosexuality-related scenes.
Regarding the rising distribution of same-sex content across the internet, Wambua noted that the government was working to ensure prevention measures are taken to bar the airing of such content in the country.
He referred to the Netflix streaming site saying that talks were underway with the US-based company to ensure that future access to homosexual content was restricted.
“Most of them are restricting; because of our discussions with Netflix, they are curating their classification system that is very aligned with our laws with the view of ensuring that in future once we sign the agreement, some of this content is not visible at all within the republic. Whether you are exhibiting on the theatre or VOD platform, there is no vacuum, the law is very clear,” said Wambua.
The head of KFCB advised parents to be at the forefront of sensitising their children through filtering content to limit access to unauthorised content. This he said would help to nurture them in culturally acceptable behaviour.