Child death prompts call for Indonesian TV to drop wrestling
INDONESIA: Indonesia's broadcasting watchdog Tuesday asked a
television station to drop or move a popular US wrestling program after
a child was killed trying to imitate the moves of his muscle-bound
The "World Wrestling Entertainment" show has been blamed for the
death of a nine-year-old boy in Bandung, West Java, last month, after
three teenage friends staged a mock wrestling match with him.
At least four other primary schoolboys have also suffered various
injuries after taking part in wrestling matches apparently inspired by
the show which features continuous "smackdown" professional wrestling
The Broadcast Commission of Indonesia (KPI) regulator has asked
LAtivi station to either drop the program or screen it very late, a
committee member and a company spokesman said Tuesday.
"What was directly requested, was that we push its screening time or
drop the program," LAtivi spokesman Radly Doi said after a closed-door
meeting with the KPI.
"This program is the one that has reaped the largest number of
protests in the history of the committee," KPI member Ade Armando said.
He said the committee would make an official recommendation "in the next
one or two days."
"And we hope that LAtivi will take the necessary steps," said
Doi said that since November 25, the program had been accompanied by
written and verbal warnings that it was not suitable for children and
cautioning against imitating the wrestlers. It is already screened after
10:00 pm in accordance with broadcast regulations.
Many people, including educators and legislators, as well as parents
of the dead child, have called for the station to drop the program which
they said was prone to be imitated by children.
"It has always been our stance that programs that are misleading,
full of violence, pornography or mysticism and other uneducational or
uninformative programs should be avoided, including this program," Theo
Sambuaga, who heads the parliamentary commission covering the
information sector, told AFP.
Sambuaga said the commission had already asked the KPI to more
closely monitor television and radio broadcasts.
Several schools have since banned students from wrestling,
threatening violators with sanctions ranging from calling their parents
Wrestling programs have been blamed for other child deaths.
JAKARTA, Thursday, AFP