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Updated: No Joyland...

Pakistan government bans and then unbans film about trans romance, then Punjab re-bans the film

Link Here30th November 2022
Full story: Banned Films in Pakistan...Sensitive issues of image and religion
Joyland is a 2022 Pakistan drama by Saim Sadiq
Starring Rasti Farooq, Sarwat Gilani and Ali Junejo IMDb

As the happily patriarchal Rana family craves for the birth of a baby boy, the youngest of the Rana men secretly joins an erotic dance theatre and finds himself falling for a fiercely ambitious trans starlet. Their impossible love story slowly illuminates the entire Rana family's...

Alina Khan, who stars in Joyland, the first major Pakistani film to feature a trans actor in a lead role, said:

I've been very sad. There's nothing against Islam and I don't understand how Islam can get endangered by mere films.

Joyland, which is Pakistan's contender at the Oscars, was set to go on national release, but was banned following pressure from hardline Islamic groups who called the film repugnant.

Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, a senator in the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) party, called Joyland cultural terrorism and criticised the government for the shameless act of allowing its release:

 I condemn it and will use every legal step to stop Joyland's release. Glamourising transgenders in Pakistan, as well as their love affairs, is a direct attack on our beliefs.

Cancelling the film's licence, which puts its Oscars' contention in doubt, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, said:

Written complaints were received that the film contains highly objectionable material which do not conform with the social values and moral standards of our society and is clearly repugnant to the norms of 'decency and morality' as laid down in Section 9 of the Motion Picture Ordinance, 1979.

Joyland has been hailed on the festival circuit. It was the first Pakistani film to be selected as an official entry at Cannes in May, winning two festival awards and receiving a standing ovation in a packed Salle Debussy theatre.

Update: Unbanned after cuts

21st November 2022. See article from

Pakistani film Joyland has been unbanned by the censor board of Pakistan after making several scenes were cut.

The full censor board has allowed the local screening of Joyland. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif formed a cabinet committee to look into the matter after some schools of thought had objected to the movie.

Update: Re-banned in Punjab

30th November 2022. See article from

Less than 24 hours after the national government's decision to unban Joyland, the Punjab government blocked the film's release in the province.

The Punjab Information and Culture Department explained that the Punjab government decided to re-call Joyland in the wake of persistent complaints received from different quarters.



Updated: Gray areas...

1,400 complaints to Ofcom about naked trans act on Friday Night Live

Link Here8th November 2022
Channel 4 has been having fun with a naked performance from the transgender Jordan Gray on Friday Night Live.

The comedian appeared on the Channel 4 celebration special. Gray finished the  performance by stripping off entirely and playing the piano with a flaccid penis.

Some loved the performance as right on but others fired off 1,400 complaints to Ofcom .

Meanwhile Spiked asks why a transgender penis is considered right think but that of a straight male comedian Jerry Sadowitz is considered totally reprehensible.

Offsite Comment: Sexist comedy is back

26th October 2022. See article from by Brendan O'Neill

Update:Ofcom decides not to address viewer complaints

8th November 2022. See article from

Ofcom Rejects Complaints Over Comic Jordan Gray's Naked Performance On Friday Night Live

A total of 1,538 people complained to Ofcom about the live broadcast, which saw the performer stripping completely nude.

Ofcom said it in latest Complaints Bulletin that it will not be taking the matter any further.



Railing against the decadent West...

Russia is legislating to ban all gay information

Link Here27th October 2022
Full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights
Current legislation in Russia bans providing or promoting gay information to children. Now this law is being extended to all adults.

Those convicted face large fines for promoting what Russia calls non-traditional sexual relations.

The law extension was framed as part of a broader battle over civilisational values with the decadent West and linking it to the decision to invade Ukraine.

Under the proposal, information about non-traditional lifestyles or the rejection of family values would be considered legally the same as pornography, the promotion of violence, or stoking racial, ethnic and religious tensions. Another element of the extensions prohibits information which might cause minors to desire to change their sex, a reference to transgender people.

The law will allow any information on the internet discussing LGBT topics to be blocked and films deemed to contain positive depictions of being gay to be banned. The wide-ranging ban also extends to advertising and books - both non-fiction and literature - raising censorship concerns from publishers, who have warned of the risk that it could even affect classics of Russian literature.

The head of Russia's Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, has also backed the new legislation.

The bill has broad support but will first be approved by the upper house of the Russian parliament.



An inevitable ending...

Hollywood gay romcom Bros unsurprisingly will not be screened in Middle East countries

Link Here27th September 2022
Bros is a 2022 US comedy romance by Nicholas Stoller
Starring Luke Macfarlane, Billy Eichner and Kristin Chenoweth IMDb

Two men with commitment problems attempt a relationship.

Bros will be making history upon its release as the first R-rated gay rom-com ever made by a major studio, but that historical record certainly won't include the Middle East. It is pre-emptively skipping any kind of release in Middle East markets due to their cultural antipathy to anything gay.

It's still unclear exactly what markets in the region will be affected, but it's likely to include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Kuwait -- all of which are notorious for censoring movies over even the slightest hint of LGBTQ themes or content.

The film is anything but subtle in depicting gay romance and sexuality, which has previously been censored or toned down by Hollywood.



A Netflixation with gay characters...

Gulf states threaten legal action about gay characters in Netflix shows

Link Here11th September 2022
Six Gulf states have warned Netflix over content violating Islamic values. The states have threatened Netflix with legal action if it continues broadcasting content that contradicts Islam, while Saudi state media indicated that the offending material centred on shows depicting sexual minorities.

A statement issued jointly by the Saudi media regulator and the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), headquartered in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, did not specifically identify material, referring only to content that contradicts Islamic and societal values. The statement said.

Regional authorities will follow up on the platform's compliance with the directives, and in the event that the infringing content continues to be broadcast, the necessary legal measures will be taken.

The Gulf Cooperation Council includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia , and the United Arab Emirates.



Jurassic attitudes...

The Hungarian media censor is investigating a children's cartoon on Netflix with gay characters

Link Here18th August 2022
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes
The Hungarian media censor has said it was investigating Netflix for potentially violating an anti-LGBT law, citing several complaints over a cartoon showing girls kissing.

The National Media and Communications Authority said it was checking whether an episode of a Netflix kids series named Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous had violated a law which prohibits the portrayal of homosexuality or transgender people in content shown to minors.

The Netflix series, rated for 7-year-olds and above, shows one of the main characters confessing her love to another girl and kissing her.

The censor said that if it found Netflix to have violated its law, it would have to inform the Dutch media authority, which oversees Netflix because the firm's European headquarters are in the Netherlands. The Dutch censor would in turn have the final say.



Thor: Love and Thunder...

Banned by the Malaysian film censor over gay references

Link Here12th August 2022
Full story: Censored Films in Malaysia...Film censors and censorship

Thor: Love and Thunder is a 2022 Australia/US film by Taika Waititi
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Christian Bale BBFC link 2020 IMDb

Thor enlists the help of Valkyrie, Korg and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster to fight Gorr the God Butcher, who intends to make the gods extinct.

Malaysia: Banned by the film censor in August 2022

Disney likes to add a little preachy moralising about gay positivity and this film is not an exception with a couple of minor script references. Korg (Taika Waititi) mentioned his two dads and briefly ending up with another male Krogan. The other reference was the female character, Valkyrie, taking an interest in a concubine of Zeus.

Malaysia's Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin spotted the gay references and said that he would continue to look out for LGBT content that would continue to censored in future.

The film censor did propose that cuts could be made to secure a release but Disney declined and the film was formally banned.



Lightyears behind...

Disney+ decides to not stream the children's cartoon Lightyear in the Middle East due to gay characters being controversial there

Link Here7th August 2022
Lightyear is a 2022 US children's cartoon drama by Angus MacLane
Starring Chris Evans, (voice), Keke Palmer, (voice), Dale Soules and (voice) BBFC link 2020 IMDb

The story of Buzz Lightyear and his adventures to infinity and beyond.

There are no censorship issues with this release in the west but the film has been banned in many muslim countries.

In particular the film won't be in theaters in Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Malaysia. The issue is the presence of openly LGBTQ characters in the film.

The film was also removed from the Disney+ streaming service. Disney were reluctant to make cuts to remove the gay material and decided that it was best to remove the film entirely from countries or regions where the material is controversial.



Police get a stripping down...

Off duty police told not to strip off at gay club

Link Here3rd August 2022
Metropolitan Policemen have been threatened with disciplinary action if they continue to take part in a porn idol event where contestants strip for cash at a gay club in central London.

A senior officer has sent an email to the West End policing unit to warn officers against stripping at Heaven nightclub in Charing Cross, one of the bars they are responsible for policing, while off duty.

An inspector threatened:

If officers continued to take part in the event CCTV will be viewed and officers spoken to.



A bit of a drag...

India takes offence at a Canadian film poster featuring a cigarette smoking god and LGTB colours

Link Here6th July 2022
Leena Manimekalai, an Indian film-maker based in Canada , has received thousands of threats of violence after the poster for her short film Kaali, which was aired in the Canadian city of Toronto at the weekend, went viral on social media.

A hashtag reading arrest Leena Manimekalai began trending. Two police cases -- one in the Indian capital, Delhi, and another in the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh -- were filed against the director and others involved in the film with claims of a disrespectful depiction of a Hindu god and of supposedly hurting religious sentiments.

The Indian high commission in Canada said it had received complaints from members of the Hindu community over the poster and it urged Canadian authorities and the event organisers to withdraw all such provocative material.

Manimekalai wrote and directed the film as part of her graduate film studies at a Toronto university. In the piece, the goddess Kaali inhabits Manimekalai's body and wanders the city streets in a search for belonging. In a scene pictured on the film's poster she shares a cigarette with a homeless man while dressed as the goddess.

The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, which hosted the screening of the film, issued an apology, saying the film and poster had inadvertently caused offence to members of the Hindu and other faith communities.



Prime beef...

Distributor of Bruce LaBruce's gay drama complains that Amazon Prime will not screen the film

Link Here23rd June 2022
Saint-narcisse is a 2020 Canada film by Bruce La Bruce
Starring Félix-Antoine Duval, Tania Kontoyanni and Alexandra Petrachuk BBFC link 2020 IMDb

When a young man who thought his mother was dead discovers that she may still be alive, he goes on a quest to find her. His journey takes him to a remote cabin in the woods where his mother lives in exile with a mysterious young woman.

The BBFC rated the film 18 uncut for strong sex, sexual violence. The BBFC explained further its decision:

There are scenes of strong sexual activity, some of which include nudity. There are also strong sex references.

There is a scene of incest between adult males. There is sexual abuse and harassment from a priest in a position of power and trust.

There is strong violence in scenes in which men are stabbed, accompanied by injury detail and blood in the aftermath of violence. There is also drug misuse and infrequent strong language ('fuck')'

UK gay-focused (non-porn) distributor Peccadillo Pictures has claimed that Amazon Prime Video UK is refusing to make Canadian artist and filmmaker Bruce LaBruce's provocative dark comedy Saint-Narcisse available on its online store.

Company MD Tom Abell said its request to list the title on Amazon's UK online offering had been turned down without explanation. Abell said:

We are totally mystified as to why Amazon Prime Video is refusing to make the critically acclaimed Saint-Narcisse available to its customers, both here in the UK and internationally. The DVD continues to be sold by Amazon but they won't stream it.

Abell noted that the company had a similar experience with Chilean prison drama and Venice Queer Lion winner The Prince in 2020. In that instance, Peccadillo was informed the movie contained offensive content that clashed with the streamer's guidelines.

The film had previously been available on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S. and France but was removed in May, also without explanation.



Lightyears behind...

Many muslim countries won't be screening the new children's cartoon Lightyear

Link Here15th June 2022
Lightyear is a 2022 US children's cartoon drama by Angus MacLane
Starring Chris Evans, (voice), Keke Palmer, (voice), Dale Soules and (voice) BBFC link 2020 IMDb

The story of Buzz Lightyear and his adventures to infinity and beyond.

There are no censorship issues with this release in the west but the film has been banned in many muslim countries.

In particular the film won't be in theaters in Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The issue is the presence of a gay kiss and openly LGBTQ characters in the film.

The film was originally passed by the United Arab Emirates film censors, but the film's licence was revoked after complaints on social media.

Lightyear has not been officially banned in Saudi Arabia but will not be screening due to the assumption that it would be banned were it to be submitted.



Bible of hate...

Finland prosecutors get wound up about hateful passages in the Bible

Link Here4th May 2022
Finland's top prosecutor has said she will appeal a decision by a court that ruled against her hate speech allegation against a politician for posting anti-gay Bible verses on Twitter.

The Prosecutor General argued that Paivi Räsänen, a member of parliament, broke Finland's hate speech laws by using Christian theology in a public debate on radio and in tweets. In a tweet to the leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, Räsänen posted a passage from Romans (1:24-27) saying:

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Räsänen was accused of criticizing Finland's state church hosting an LGBT event and writing a booklet titled Male and Female He Created Them.

After the prosecutor announced she would appeal the ruling, Räsänen said:

The prosecutor's decision to appeal the acquittal verdict may lead to the case going all the way to the Supreme Court, giving the possibility of securing precedent protecting freedom of speech and religion for all Finnish people. Also I am happy that this decision will lead to the discussion of the teaching of the Bible continuing in Finnish society. I am ready to defend freedom of speech and religion in all necessary courts, and as far as the European Court of Human rights.



Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of censor madness...

The cinema release has been banned in Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi

Link Here 24th April 2022

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a 2022 USA action Sci-Fi horror by Sam Raimi
Starring Elizabeth Olsen, Rachel McAdams and Benedict Cumberbatch IMDb

Banned in Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia in April 2022
Middle East film censors have banned the release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness over the inclusion of an openly gay character.  Although the censors have not provided any reasons for banning the film's release, it's the latest Marvel movie to fall victim to state-sponsored censorship to constrain certain civil liberties and human rights norms, including the expression of a LGBTQIA+ lifestyle. By including an openly LGBTQ+ character in its film , America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), the Marvel film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has been banned in Saudi Arabia, as well as Qatar and Kuwait .

Sam Raimi's Doctor Strange 2 introduce's a gay character, America Chavez. America was the first lesbian Latina in Marvel Comics, debuting in 2011's Vengeance #1.

It is reported that the America Chavez character plays a major role in the film and it seems unlikely that the Middle East release can be aved via cuts,

Summary Notes

After the events of Avengers: Endgame, Dr. Stephen Strange continues his research on the Time Stone. But an old friend turned enemy seeks to destroy every sorcerer on Earth, messing with Strange's plan and also causing him to unleash an unspeakable evil.



Married to repressive morality...

The Kenya film censor bans gay themed Indian film titled Badhaai Do

Link Here13th February 2022
Badhaai Do is a 2022 India comedy by Harshavardhan Kulkarni
Starring Rajkummar Rao, Bhumi Pednekar and Sheeba Chaddha BBFC link 2020  IMDb

Shardul Thakur and Suman Singh enter into a marriage of gay convenience but chaos ensues when her girlfriend comes to stay with them.

The Kenya Film Classification Board (KCFB) has banned a gay-themed Indian film titled Badhaaai Do .

Sammy Wambua, the Film Board's acting Chief Executive said that the film tries to directly influence the viewer into believing that homosexuality is a normal way of life. He added:

The multiple scenes of lesbian and gay affection depicted in the film are in complete disregard of our cultural values and beliefs. The film in question overtly disregards our laws, constitution, and sensibilities as a people.

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