Posts Tagged 'censorship'

BBC: China bans parts of gay festival

10 June 2009
BBC News

China bans parts of gay festival

By Chris Hogg
BBC News, Beijing

The organisers of China’s first Gay Pride Festival have been told to cancel two of their sessions.

The news came on the very day a state-run newspaper described the Shanghai festival as of “profound significance”.

Officials have warned the owners of two venues planning to hold a play and a film screening they would face “severe consequences” if they went ahead. Continue reading ‘BBC: China bans parts of gay festival’

ST: Coming up: Review of censorship rules

22 May 2009
Straits Times

Coming up: Review of censorship rules
Move to keep pace with fast-changing media environment

By Clarissa Oon, Senior Political Correspondent

THE Government will appoint an independent committee soon to update policies on censorship of the media and the arts.

The review will result in citizens getting more choices without compromising racial harmony, social cohesion and family values, said the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (Mica) yesterday.

It announced the reconvening of the Censorship Review Committee (CRC) in its addendum to the President’s Address in Parliament on Monday. Continue reading ‘ST: Coming up: Review of censorship rules’

CNA: New Censorship Review Committee to look into content issues across all media

22 May 2009
Channel NewsAsia

New Censorship Review Committee to look into content issues across all media

SINGAPORE: An independent Censorship Review Committee will be appointed to conduct a mid—term review of content issues across the spectrum of broadcast, films, videos, publications, audio materials, the arts and new media.

If filmmaker Tan Pin Pin could have her way, she would like the ban on the use of dialects to be lifted or reviewed.

And the re—classification of film and video content by age, instead of genre like political, nudity, violence and homosexual themes. Continue reading ‘CNA: New Censorship Review Committee to look into content issues across all media’

ST Forum: Why ban on Brides, Boy

11 April 2009
Straits Times Print Forum

Why ban on Brides, Boy

We refer to the article Six Films Out Of Film Fest (Life!, April 10).

The Board of Film Censors has classified about 191 films for this year’s Singapore International Films Festival. It has had to disallow two films Brides Of Allah (Shahida) and Boy as they exceed the film classification guidelines.

Brides Of Allah is a documentary which features interviews with Palestinian female terrorists who are in prison for suicide bombing attempts.

Owing to the sensitive nature of the film, the board consulted the Films Consultative Panel. The panel felt that the film is sensitive as the female terrorists did not seem to be remorseful and were determined to
perpetrate acts of violence should they have another opportunity.

The panel was concerned about the influence of such a film on those who are like-minded. They were also concerned that the documentary’s distorted view of Islam could lead to a misunderstanding of the religion and create fear about its teachings.

The film provides a platform for terrorists to champion their cause. The terrorists strongly express their hatred for non-Muslims and use religion to justify their acts of violence, asserting that they will be rewarded after death.

Films that portray terrorists or terrorist organisations in a positive light are disallowed under the film classification guidelines as they are against national interest.

The second film, Boy, revolves around a teenager who is attracted to a young dancer in a gay bar and ends up having a homosexual relationship with him. The film includes a prolonged and explicit homosexual love-making sequence between the teenager and the dancer.

The panel was also consulted about the film. Members felt that the film normalised homosexuality and that the homosexual scene was prolonged and explicit and filmed in a romanticised manner. The panel chairman, Mr Vijay Chandran, observed that ‘the homosexual love-making scene has exceeded the guidelines and the board, by allowing it, will shift the markers set by the community’.

The board agrees and hence Boy has not been passed for classification.

When the board assesses films, it looks at content and presentation as well as the context of scenes and their impact. Films such as Wendy And Lucy, The Wackness and Men’s Group have brief religiously sensitive utterances and they have been given the highest rating of R21.

While the board gives leeway to film festivals, it sees the need to signal that a discerning and mature mind is required to comprehend the context and use of such utterances. The other films which require edits have prolonged and explicit sequences that have far exceeded the film classification guidelines.

Amy Chua
Board of Film Censors

Chinese gay bars open, activism slowed during Olympics

Source: Washington Blade
Date: 15 August 2008

Chinese gay bars open, activism slowed during Olympics
Activists find inspiration, new enemies from the West

Friday, August 15, 2008

The first paragraph of the Aug. 9 entry on John Amaechi’s blog could have been written by any Olympic tourist guilty of staying up too late to take in the local culture.

“I had to wake up at 6 a.m. this morning, which was not fun considering I had been up until 3 a.m., watching the opening ceremony and hanging out at ‘Destination’ again,” he wrote. “I have to say that it got busy very late — I am officially too old for bars that close at 5 a.m.” Continue reading ‘Chinese gay bars open, activism slowed during Olympics’

Hong Kong court rejects censure of gay program

Source: The Standard (Hong Kong)
9 May 2008

Judge rejects censure of gay program
by Nickkita Lau

A High Court judge yesterday described the Broadcasting Authority’s censure of an RTHK program on homosexuality as “an impermissible restriction on freedom of speech.”

In ordering the authority to quash its official reprimand, Michael Hartmann said it was “plainly wrong” to believe the TV program Gay Lover promoted gay marriage.

“It is now recognized in our law that the prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sex refers not only to gender but also to sexual orientation,” the judge said. Continue reading ‘Hong Kong court rejects censure of gay program’

Normalizing gay people in Singapore


2 May 2008
Philadelphia Gay News, a weekly newspaper, page 11.

The island nation of Singapore has a population of about 4.5 million people. The country’s media watchdog is resolved that not one of those people will see gays on TV.

The Media Development Authority just spanked a television station for showing the unthinkable: a gay family.

At 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 13, MediaCorp TV Channel 5 ran an episode of “Find and Design,” a home andNormalizing gay people in Singapore decor series. In the episode, a gay couple wanted to transform their game room into a nursery for their adopted baby.

Editor’s note: the rest of the article is not available in text form but as a gif file whose thumbnail is at right.

‘A jihad for love’ screened in Turkey

Editor’s note: The film ‘A jihad for love’ was banned by Singapore’s Media Development Authority when the 2008 Singapore International Film Festival wanted to include it in its program.


Documentary About Muslim Homosexuals Screened at Turkish Film Festival

By Dorian Jones, Voice of America
Istanbul, 16 April 2008

At this year’s Istanbul International Film Festival, one of the major attractions is A Jihad for Love, a documentary about a taboo subject: homosexuality in Islamic countries. Homosexuality is strictly banned in most interpretations of the Koran. This is the first time the film is being screened in a Muslim country. For VOA, Dorian Jones reports from the festival. Continue reading ‘‘A jihad for love’ screened in Turkey’

Do we really need more people?

Marina Bay


Comment by editor: The main thrust of Richard Hartung’s argument in his op-ed (Today newspaper, 3 May 2008 ) is that Singapore should examine the wisdom of wanting so many immigrants without fixing other essentials that make an innovative city. He refers to the three T’s that Richard Florida outlined a few years ago – talent, technology and tolerance. “Singapore may need to re-examine whether it has the right environment to attract talent, and how its environment is presented. A bourgeoning arts scene, allowing in same-sex partners and pouring money into research centres may help pave the road to success,” he writes. “Yet, it is anecdotes such as censors banning movies and limited media freedom that attract attention. The image of the environment for one T – tolerance – could need improvement.”

Continue reading ‘Do we really need more people?’

MDA: MediaCorp TV Channel 5 fined for breaching Programme Code

MediaCorp TV Channel 5 fined for breaching Programme Code

MediaCorp TV Channel 5 has been fined by the Media Development Authority (MDA) for an episode in an acquired series, “Find and Design”. The episode normalises and promotes a gay lifestyle and was aired on Sunday, 13 January 2008 at 7.30am.

The programme “Find and Design” is a home and decor series and in the episode concerned, the host helps a gay couple to transform their game room into a new nursery for their adopted baby. The episode contained several scenes of the gay couple with their baby as well as the presenter’s congratulations and acknowledgement of them as a family unit in a way which normalises their gay lifestyle and unconventional family setup. This is in breach of the Free-to-Air TV Programme Code which disallows programmes that promote, justify or glamourise gay lifestyles. Continue reading ‘MDA: MediaCorp TV Channel 5 fined for breaching Programme Code’