A DECISION by e.tv to broadcast a titillating Canadian news programme in which the presenters strip naked has drawn mixed reaction in Nelson Mandela Bay.
While Christians have labelled the programme degrading and in poor taste, gender activists say the naked news readers are not harmful.
E.tv had tongues wagging when it decided to broadcast the adult news programme, Naked News, in which female anchors either read the news fully nude or strip as they present their news segments.
The first programme aired last week. It is due to be broadcast every Friday night after the 10pm movie for the next 11 weeks.
Naked News describes itself as “the programme with nothing to hide” and is better known as a subscription website service rather than a traditional TV broadcast offering.
A researcher and policy analyst at the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre to End Violence Against Women, Lisa Vetten, said: “It might not be everyone’s choice to see naked news readers, but we are dealing with nudity and not pornography. “It is not being aired during prime-time television where one is being forced to see it, so it is not in your face.”
Lindsay Ziehl, of the Yokhuselo Haven for battered and abused children, agreed.
“There is nothing wrong with the human form. I am sure the news readers are young, pretty and firm. It is a matter of personal preference. If you like that type of thing, watch it, and if you don’t, well then don’t.”
The Rev Paul Vice of St Marks Congregational Church said the programme was unhealthy and went against the value of privacy.
“We live in a world where the moral degradation of society is leading to the destruction of families, which is the strongest unit in society. We should strongly oppose this because it does not enhance the values of society.”
Pastor John Preller, of the Damascus Ministries, said he was not in favour of people displaying their bodies in such a way.
“It sounds like a gimmick to get people tuned into the station. It also cheapens the profession,” he said.
E.tv spokesperson Vasili Vass said the show was advertiser-funded and was in no way associated with eNews.
He said it was too early to gauge the response to the show.