Friday, 19 January 2007

The Morality Police - Movies

Oh yes, the bane of every self-respecting, remotely intelligent individual.

Apparently, someone thinks you are TOO STUPID to make decisions for yourself, so someone has taken it upon themselves to make it on your behalf.

The Malaysian censorship board is a prime example.

They consistently outdo themselves with Idiotic Reasons To Ban A Film.

Top on the list is Austin Powers, The Spy Who Shagged Me for too much sexual innuendo. It was a goddamn spoof, for crying out loud.

Anyone with a desire to emulate Austin Powers or worse, shag him would be in dire and desperate need of some serious counselling already - I doubt there'd be room for further damage potentially caused by watching the movie.

So why did the National Film Censorship Board ban it?

"In order for us to instil good morals and values in our people, we have to stop importing films that are not appropriate for our country," Board chairman Shaari Mohamad Noor commented.

Information Minister Tan Sri Khalil Yaakob adds his two cents worth. "One must consider the "social damage" caused by certain movies especially when "a certain trend of thought is embodied in the film".


We really need all that protection, you know.

Good ole Kylie Minogue got the cold shoulder as well.

TV programs aren't spared. Two episodes of Friends, The Video Tape, and But I'm A Cheerleader, as well as an Ally McBeal release, The Queen fell victim to the Senseless-ship Board.

Of course, The Hours was predictably banned for showing women kissing other women.

The head of the Film Censorship Board said it was protecting "the interests of the country and people from bad influences and negative elements shown in films".

You know, I'm really so OVERWHELMED by all this concern for me and my morals that I've lost the key to unlock my chastity belt.

And then there are the Truly Moronic Reasons For Banning Movies.

Take Zoolander, for example. It was banned in Malaysia because it included a plot to assassinate the country's prime minister. It would be ridiculously generous to think that the Censorship Board is even vaguely familiar with the notion of humour.

Let's not neglect the religious issues.

Bruce Almighty was shown the door because it revolved around a man challenged by God to take over the running of the world – found offensive to Muslims. A minister declares, "We cannot equate ourselves with God Almighty even as a joke."

Daredevil was banned for being too violent and in some quarters, having a name which sounds, well, satanic.

Violent? Heck, we Malaysians could TEACH the world a thing or two about violence.

Related: TV and Film Censorship in Malaysia

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