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Archie comic breached content guidelines: MDA

SINGAPORE — The Media Development Authority (MDA) has confirmed that it has barred from sale one volume of the Archie: The Married Life series because of its depiction of same-sex marriage between two characters in the comic.

Archie comic breached content guidelines: MDA

Selected copies of Archie: The Married Life on sale at Kinokuniya, Takashimaya. Volume three, which features a gay wedding has been left out from the shelves. Photo: Don Wong

SINGAPORE — The Media Development Authority (MDA) has confirmed that it has barred from sale one volume of the Archie: The Married Life series because of its depiction of same-sex marriage between two characters in the comic. 

In a statement, the MDA said it had received a complaint about the comic – Book Three in a series of five – in March. After an assessment, it found that the content breached MDA guidelines. “We thus informed the local distributor not to import or distribute the comic in retail outlets,” an MDA spokesperson said.

The MDA also consulted the Publications Consultative Panel in the process. “Its members advised that the theme of the comic was not in line with social normal and is in breach of content guidelines,” the spokesperson said.

The panel consists of members of the public from a range of backgrounds. It is currently chaired by Mr Edward D’Silva, architect and senior advisor at SAA Architects. The vice-chairpersons are Mr Charles Ho Nai Chuen, chief executive officer of On Cheong Co and Ms Triena Noeline Ong, president of Singapore Book Publishers and Managing Editor of ISEAS.

The authority explained that the importation and distribution of publications is “largely” self-regulated. “Book retailers refer to a set of content guidelines for imported publications put together by MDA, taking into account community norms,” the spokesperson said. “MDA reviews public feedback or complaints and takes action on a case-by-case basis if there are breaches of its guidelines.”

Separately, the National Library Board (NLB), which carries copies of the comic, said it acquired the comic before the MDA found its content to be in breach of guidelines.

“We will be reviewing the book in the light of MDA’s decision,” said the NLB, in response to TODAY’s queries.

“It should be noted that Archie. The Married Life was acquired for our adult collection. NLB takes a broader approach for the adult’s collection than it does for its children’s collection,” added the NLB.

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