Uproar around child marriage scenes in Indonesian soap opera
“Suara Hati Istri”, which means “a woman’s innermost thoughts”, elicits negative reactions after choosing a 14-year-old girl as his bride in a polygamous marriage.
An Indonesian soap opera sparked an uproar after choosing a 14-year-old to marry a man in a polygamous marriage.
The drama, Suara Hati Istri [a wife’s innermost thoughts], starred teenager Lea Ciarachel Fourneaux and her co-star Panji Saputra in several intimate scenes.
The actor portrayed a teenage girl forced to become the third wife of a wealthy businessman after paying her sick father’s medical bills.
Polygamy is not uncommon in the predominantly Muslim nation.
But the show sparked a widespread backlash this week as critics accused the producers of normalizing child marriage, which is illegal.
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// pedophilia, child grooming
currently there is a tv series in indonesia called “suara hati istri – zahra” which strongly romanticizes pedophilia and child grooming, aired by @Indosiar and the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission did not take anything away pic.twitter.com/Hea26oh9OB
– ella ia (@sikeloki) June 2, 2021
The broadcaster interrupts his program
“Now is the time to stop normalizing and glorifying child marriage,” advocacy group Jakarta Feminist said on its Instagram account.
“Sexual intercourse between an adult and a minor is pedophilia.”
Fourneaux said online that she was not uncomfortable playing the role of a teenage wife.
But the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission said it had ordered the program to cease until producers changed the cast and script.
The legal age for marriage in Indonesia is 19.
However, child marriage remains prevalent in some areas, due to poverty and the lack of education and employment opportunities for many women.
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