Hollywood's battle with global censor boards continues as release of Moonlight looks uncertain in China

Ankita Mehta

While the gay scene from the controversial Beauty and the Beast movie received a green signal in China, Oscar-winning film Moonlight might not meet the same fate. It is still not clear whether Moonlight will see the light of the day in the country due to its gay theme.

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"They think Moonlight is unsuitable for the China market and not politically correct," The Hollywood Reporter quoted a source close to the state-backed distributor China Film Group.

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The film might not get released on China's Netflix-like streaming video giant iQiyi, which acquired the exclusive online rights of Moonlight. According to THR, the online right of Moonlight was purchased without censorship clearance and thus it remains unclear whether the film will be aired or not. The film was also scheduled to release at the upcoming Beijing International Film Festival.

But don't be surprised if Moonlight is not released in the country. It will just join the list of several other International movies that lost a fight with the censor board. International movies' battle with censor board is an issue that has been going around since ages and several masterpieces have been banned around the world because of censor board's moral policing. 

Beauty and the beast

Beauty and The Beast, Facebook

The most recent example is Emma Watson's Beauty and the Beast that was banned in Malaysia and in Russia, children below 16 were not allowed to watch the movie. And the reason for banning the film is because it had gay content. However, the film was released in the Muslim-majority nation with a PG13 rating.

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Dirty Grandpa, starring Robert De Niro and Zac Afron, was banned in India because the censor board found the film obscene. "We've placed a ban on Dirty Grandpa because this grandpa is dirtier than any 70-year-old man," a censor board member told DNA.

Borat, the comedy drama starring Sacha Baron Cohen, was banned in Arab countries (except Lebanon). E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, science fiction fantasy drama, was banned in Norway, Finland and Sweden for children below 12. And the reason why it was banned is because the portrayals of adults in the film would have affected the children.

Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, and Michelle Williams starrer Brokeback Mountain was one among the movies that fought a big battle with the censor. The film's distribution became a political issue in the Middle East, as homosexuality is a serious crime in most Islamic nations.

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