Quoted from Oct 31, 2008 South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
Images of naked Neanderthal ‘for adults’ eyes only’
National Geographic censors itself
Joyce Ng and Ng Kang-chung
Oct 31, 2008
The latest issue of the popular magazine National Geographic sold in Hong Kong comes with a warning that it is unsuitable for readers under 18 because it contains computer-generated images of a naked Neanderthal woman holding a spear.
In an apparent overreaction by its publisher in Taiwan to recent obscenity rulings in Hong Kong, the October issue of the monthly’s Chinese-language edition is being sold in a transparent plastic packet with a warning about the contents.
“This article contains material which may offend and may not be distributed, circulated, sold, hired, given, lent, shown, played or projected to a person under the age of 18 years," it states.
Legislator Wong Yuk-man said it highlighted the absurdity of the city’s anti-pornography law. Displaying the magazine during yesterday’s policy address debate, the League of Social Democrats chairman said the four pictures in question were just computer-created illustrations of the appearance of ancient man.
“The article is about discovery of some fossils of ancient man," he said. “Some pictures show the breasts. And one of them shows the private parts.
“Will you say it is obscene or will you feel uncomfortable after seeing the pictures?" he asked, jabbing his finger towards watching officials.
“It then has to be wrapped in a packet and carry a written warning. Is it not a joke? Do you find it funny?"
Mr Wong said it was “just like the case of the David statue", a reference to a decision by the Obscene Articles Tribunal in 1995 to ban an advert depicting Michelangelo’s famed sculpture because it showed the genitals. Around the same time, the tribunal also required New Man, a statue by renowned sculptor Elisabeth Frink, to wear a cardboard fig leaf.
Mr Wong said the issue could harm Hong Kong’s international image as a free society.
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Rita Lau Ng Wai-lan said it was the publisher’s decision to wrap the magazine in a transparent packet, and its decision to do so had nothing to do with the government.
“The law gives the publisher the freedom to do so," she said.
A government spokesman said last night that the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority had not received any complaint about the magazine, and the Obscene Articles Tribunal had not classified it.
A spokesman for the magazine’s Taiwan publisher, Hai Xia Publishing Company, could not be reached for comment last night.
Leung Tin-wai, professor in journalism and communication at Hong Kong Shue Yan University, said the controversies over the city’s anti-pornography law might have caused the publisher to exercise self-censorship.
“The controversies may have caused worries among publishers," he said, adding it was also possible that the warning may have been a “marketing gimmick".
National Geographic magazine is the official journal of the National Geographic Society.
It has been reported to have a worldwide circulation of nearly 9 million copies in 32 languages.
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By: 極偉大邊緣回望時優劣立判國際澳港台中極標準權威評論*2008 2009 2010 2011 2012祝福你祈求禍劫遠離 on 十月 31, 2008 at 12:36 上午
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By: 極偉大邊緣回望時優劣立判國際澳港台中極標準權威評論*2008 2009 2010 2011 2012祝福你祈求禍劫遠離 on 十月 31, 2008 at 10:58 上午