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West Side Story...

Middle East censors gang up against Spielberg's latest movie


Link Here9th December 2021
West Side Story is a 2021 US crime romance by Steven Spielberg
Starring Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler and Ariana DeBose BBFC link 2020 IMDb

An adaptation of the 1957 musical, West Side Story explores forbidden love and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.

Steven Spielberg's latest movie West Side Story to be released later in the month has been banned in several Middle Eastern countries. The musical has been banned in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait.

The film was banned because of Disney's refusal to comply with cuts requested by censors.

The film is rumoured to contain same-sex scenes. Also Disney the portrayal of a transgender character played by a non-binary actor Iris Menas seem to have offended the censors.

Perhaps the most likely scenes for cuts is described by the BBFC:

There are scenes of racist behaviour, including use of the terms spic and coloured. In another scene teenagers mock and misgender a person who is implied to be a trans man, and one of the bullies brags about pantsing him and seeing his genitals. Further discriminatory language includes polack and pansy.

 

 

Bloody Mary Banned...

A bizarre set of TV censorship rules introduced in Iran


Link Here7th October 2021
New Iranian censorship rules have banned TV makers from showing women eating pizza on screen. Also, drama makers have been warned that men should not be shown serving women tea in scenes involving a workplace, while women must not wear leather gloves. Also women cannot be seen to be drinking red coloured liquids or eating sandwiches.

According to IranWire, government officials have issued the new guidelines to broadcasters and film makers following a recent audit.

To ensure that the strict new rules are followed, any scenes or photographs showing men and women in a domestic setting will have to be cleared by the IRIB before broadcast.

No doubt that there is some domestic logic linking the seemingly bizarre set of prohibitions but news sources haven't offered any explanation to date.

 

 

Iran taken down...

US authorities seize websites used by Iranian news services including the international propaganda channel Press TV


Link Here25th June 2021
Full story: Press TV...Political censoship merges with TV censorship
The US has taken down dozens of Iranian and Iran-linked news sites which it accuses of spreading disinformation.

The sites were replaced on Tuesday with notices saying they had been seized as part of a law enforcement action. They included Iran's state-run English-language propaganda channel, Press TV.

The US Department of Justice said in a statement that it had seized 33 websites used by the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union (IRTVU) and another three run by the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia in Iraq in violation of US sanctions. The sites had been used by components of the Iranian government disguised as news organizations or media outlets to target the US with disinformation campaigns and malign influence operations, it alleged.

Several were back online within hours with new domain addresses.

Iran criticised the seizures and warned that they were not constructive for talks aimed at reviving a nuclear deal.

 

 

Streaming repression...

Turkey warns Spotify about hosting podcasts that Turkey does not like


Link Here9th May 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Turkey...Website blocking insults the Turkish people
Turkey's internet censor has warned online audio streaming giant Spotify to censor its content in line with Turkish legislation or risk critical items being removed or cut.

The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK) said that it will consider removing or cutting all content found inappropriate.

Spotify has gained a wide audience recently as one of the last remaining outlets for free speech in Turkey, especially with its podcasts providing critical reporting and commentary on Turkish domestic politics.

Cathryn Grothe, research associate at Freedom House, commented that the move is part of a long decline in internet freedom, characterized by restrictive regulations such as the social media law, blocked websites, and heavy-handed crackdowns on independent media and journalists. She said:

Streaming services such as Spotify create a unique space where people can express themselves, relate to loved ones and friends over shared music or podcasts, and engage on a range of important issues, including human rights and politics.


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