Queerty is better as a member

Log in | Register
  CENSORED "SAGA"

UPDATE: Comixology App, Not Apple, Responsible For “SAGA” Gay Sex Ban

apple-gay-saga-censoredApple has been accused of homophobia after banning the sale of a comic book that features “postage-sized images of gay sex” on iPhones and iPads.

The latest issue of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ acclaimed SAGA series features discrete images of gay sex — basically as discrete as images of gay sex can be. The New Statesman reports:

Issue twelve of the series opens with one of the characters, Prince Robot IV, injured on a battlefield. On his TV-screen head (look, it’s a thing in the series) images of gay porn are visible, as the damage takes its toll.

[You can see the gay, cartoon porn screen-face (if we had a dime for every time...) here and here (images NSFW and HILARIOUS)]

Vaughan announced Apple’s decision on fellow scribe Matt Fraction’s Tumblr:

As has hopefully been clear from the first page of our first issue, SAGA is a series for the proverbial “mature reader.” Unfortunately, because of two postage stamp-sized images of gay sex, Apple is banning tomorrow’s SAGA #12 from being sold through any iOS apps. This is a drag, especially because our book has featured what I would consider much more graphic imagery in the past, but there you go. Fiona and I could always edit the images in question, but everything we put into the book is there to advance our story, not (just) to shock or titillate, so we’re not changing shit.

Although the series has featured larger and far more explicit depictions of heterosexual sex, Apple has banned SAGA #12 from being sold through any iOS app, including the popular Comixology as well as the iPhone and iPad, leading the New Statesman to call a spade a spade and deem the company homophobic:

It’s hard not to conclude that the rejection is homophobic. Even if it doesn’t come from explicitly homophobic guidelines on Apple’s part – and the company is notoriously opaque about how its App Store approval process works, so we can’t know that for certain – the outcome must be judged on its own merits. Gay sex has been treated as worse than straight sex, and unless Apple admits that its reviewers made a mistake (in either of the situations), that is a homophobic standard to impose.

As for SAGA #12, you can hop in a time machine and find a comic book store, or download it directly through sites like here or here  or on a non-Apple smartphone or tablet.

UPDATE: comiXology CEO and co-founder David Steinberger clarified that comiXology not Apple was responsible for the ban, and that SAGA #12 will be available through the App Store:

In the last 24 hours there has been a lot of chatter about Apple banning Saga #12 from our Comics App on the Apple App Store due to depictions of gay sex. This is simply not true, and we’d like to clarify.

As a partner of Apple, we have an obligation to respect its policies for apps and the books offered in apps.  Based on our understanding of those policies, we believed that Saga #12 could not be made available in our app, and so we did not release it today.

We did not interpret the content in question as involving any particular sexual orientation, and frankly that would have been a completely irrelevant consideration under any circumstance.

Given this, it should be clear that Apple did not reject Saga #12.

After hearing from Apple this morning, we can say that our interpretation of its policies was mistaken. You’ll be glad to know that Saga #12 will be available on our App Store app soon.

We apologize to Saga creator Brian K. Vaughan and Image Comics for any confusion this may have caused.

Yay, gay sex for everyone!

By:           Les Fabian Brathwaite
On:           Apr 10, 2013
Tagged: , , , , , ,

  • 34 Comments
    • Charli Girl
      Charli Girl

      Tread lightly apple! If I EVEN THINK there is a slight debate here,I will throw my apple products in the garbage!!!!!

      Apr 10, 2013 at 9:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • niles
      niles

      It’s “discreet” not “discrete”, and you are guilty of gross hypocrisy by
      accusing Apple of censorship and homophobia when you will not even show the images yourselves.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 9:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      @niles: You mean those legally protected and copyrighted images that you must seek individual permission from the authors and company to post?

      What a stupid thing to say Niles, you Apple fans will say anything to get the heat off the dead mans company.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 9:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mediocrates
      Mediocrates

      Apple has long had a clear-cut (if unnecessarily draconian) policy on sexually-explicit images, regardless of the precise content. Moreover, Apple has historically been a pretty staunch ally on a number of issues. Where’s the homophobia? Prudish, I’ll give you. But homophobic? Naw.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 9:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas
      viveutvivas

      Indeed, Queerty, why are YOU censoring the images?

      Apr 10, 2013 at 10:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarkZephyr
      DarkZephyr

      @Mediocrates: I would agree with you, except that as the article has pointed out, they have allowed larger, more explicit images of heterosexual sex through.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 10:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      @viveutvivas: Are you also stupid [don't bother answering] I’ll type it in caps seen as you are not capable of reading the comment directly below.

      THE IMAGES ARE PROTECTED AND QUEERTY WOULD HAVE TO SEEK PERMISSION TO SHOW THEM AND POSSIBLY EVEN HAVE TO PAY.

      There does seem too be a serious case of dimwit floating around this place lately.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 10:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hunter
      Hunter

      @2eo: Actually, using those images to illustrate a news story would fall under “fair use” rules. It’s common practice among news organizations, particularly in the case of reviews using cover art, movies trailers, or even MP3 clips, and is not taken as an infringement of copyright.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 10:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hunter
      Hunter

      @Hunter: Also, I suspect Queerty lifted the image from the New Statesman story, where it is also “pixilated.” The rest of the image is complete.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 10:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • swampopus
      swampopus

      To those wondering why the images of explicit sex scenes are pixelated on queerty– I can hazard a guess:

      It’s probably because the editors of this site want to keep their content safe for work. A lot of us browse this site from our office computers, and we’d prefer there aren’t wangs and semen on the screen should our boss walk by.

      So, I appreciate that it was pixelated, but linked to the NSFW pictures for those not at work!

      Also– fuck Apple. We, as adults, are able to decide for ourselves what comics we want to buy and read, for Christ’s sakes.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 11:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan
      tdx3fan

      Cry me a river! A company that has done more for gay rights than this comic ever will and has a gay man in its top management tier is suddenly homophobic. Maybe they just failed to see how showing pornographic images helped to advance the story, and those images were rated X not R (like the “worse” ones).

      Apr 10, 2013 at 11:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan
      tdx3fan

      @2eo: You really miss the IRONY that QT is showing a CENSORED image from the comic on this exact story don’t you!?!

      Apr 10, 2013 at 11:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan
      tdx3fan

      @swampopus:

      To those wondering why the images of explicit sex scenes are pixelated on Apple– I can hazard a guess:

      It’s probably because the editors of Apple want to keep their content safe for work. A lot of us browse this site from our office computers, and we’d prefer there aren’t wangs and semen on the screen should our boss walk by.

      Also, if you did work at work instead of browsing the internet you would be a much better employee. If you were a much better employee you might actually get promotions. You do not need to care so much what the boss sees when you are the boss. However, you will probably be one of the ones playing the victim card when you fail to get that promotion “BECAUSE YOU ARE GAY!”

      Apr 10, 2013 at 11:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Futurehouse
      Futurehouse

      DISCREET!!!!!! Not discrete. They mean two completely different things. Do you not have a copy editor or proofer?

      Apr 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas
      viveutvivas

      @2eo, before calling people dimwits, please explain why Queerty is showing the rest of the image then?

      Apr 10, 2013 at 12:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GreatGatsby2011
      GreatGatsby2011

      @tdx3fan: Wow, do you work in one of the overseas sweatshops Apple uses to create their products? In my company we are allowed (actually, required by law to take) these things called “breaks”, during which we are allowed to use our computers to browse the internet as long as the content we view don’t violate the company’s computer policy (i.e. explicit material such as the image censored by Queerty).

      I’d hate to work where you work. It sounds miserable.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 12:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      @viveutvivas: If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over my 28 year existence, is to take being made to look a tit on the chin.

      I hold my hand up, I was incorrect and have being made to look foolish.

      It will not happen again. You’re all on notice.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 2:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mlbumiller
      mlbumiller

      WOW… did any of you go to the link? its a pic of a white haired guy giving a BJ…… That is the reason it is pixelated.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mlbumiller
      mlbumiller

      The other image is of two members giving a facial…..

      Apr 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Whatever
      Whatever

      This article and its accusations of homophobia are just not true, apparently. The publisher of the comic issues a statement ad you can read it here: http://blog.comixology.com/2013/04/10/ceo-on-saga-12-controversy/

      Thank you Queerty for fanning the flames of hysteria. You know Tim Cook is gay, right?

      Apr 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JRPActor
      JRPActor

      I would hardly call APPLE or iPhone “HOMOPHOBIC” – there are so many gay apps for hooking up that young people have never even heard of bath houses. I don’t want to see any heterosexual sex acts on my iPhone anymore than any straight person would want to see any gay sex acts ANIMATED.
      Just like FACEBOOK – they have drawn a line in the sand as to what they approve and not approve. Even as Facebook has turned into a FREE GAY SEX HOOK UP SITE. God forbid I friend request a young gay man who doesn’t want any old queens listed among their friends. My heart breaks when I meet young gay actors / directors / producers and have my photo taken with them and they UNTAG themselves, simply because I am 51 a not a young stud. There must be another way to get these adult comics beyond a mobile phone app? Perhaps by buying a print subscription or an email subscription.

      Do you really want a family member picking up your iPhone and finding GRINDER or GAY SEX HOOK UP apps. Or gay sex comic books on your phone?

      Who knows who could be looking at your phone while it is plugged into a wall charging?

      Apr 10, 2013 at 2:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas
      viveutvivas

      @JRPActor, well, Grindr and other gay sex hookup apps are already on the iPhone, with even more ridiculous censorship policies (your pants have to be pretty much up to your navel or they will crop your image on Grindr).

      Apr 10, 2013 at 3:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas
      viveutvivas

      The update does not reflect well on Apple. Apple is basically intimidating app-vendors into self-censorship and has for years. This is one instance, many Grindr users will complain about their ridiculous and hypocritical self-censorship policies (again due to intimidation by Apple), Facebook’s self-censorship also has a lot to do with intimidation by Apple, and so on.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 3:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • swampopus
      swampopus

      @tdx3fan: Hrm– not sure what warranted the hostility, nor why you altered my quote replacing “this site” and “queerty” with “Apple”, but I stand by my original position that no, I don’t want pornographic images on my work computer.

      Nothing to do with playing a victim or whatever the hell it was you were trying to say. It’s the same reason I only use Google image search with safe mode turn on while at work. I don’t want a bunch of explicit images in my browser cache when I search for innocent words– be their penises or vaginas.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DuMaurier
      DuMaurier

      @Hunter: I’m pretty sure you’re right that it would be “fair use”–and aside from that, why would only a small section of a total image be protected and 90% of it not?

      Apr 10, 2013 at 3:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hunter
      Hunter

      @viveutvivas: Well, that’s certainly a unique interpretation of comiXology’s statement.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 4:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ogre Magi
      Ogre Magi

      That little mouse critter is adorable

      Apr 10, 2013 at 4:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MK Ultra
      MK Ultra

      I’m still not sure that Apple wasn’t involved in this, and when the shit hit the fan they told comiXology, “you take the blame”.
      Oh well, I guess the point is that the comic will be released in its entirety and hopefully both companies learned a lesson about excessive censorship.
      I mean, it’s a tiny weeney (no pun) bit of cartoon porn. We’re not babies. We don’t need Big Brother deciding what’s suitable for our eyes.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 6:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hunter
      Hunter

      @MK Ultra: There are lots of reasons to avoid Apple, but I don’t think this is one of them. They really have been a good supporter of gay civil rights, and I’m perfectly happy to take comiXology’s statement at face value — it’s just as likely that they were overly cautious.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 6:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas
      viveutvivas

      @Hunter, I think this is precisely a food reason to avoid Apple.

      Yes, the app-vendors were overly cautious, but it was because of the atmosphere of intimidation created by Apple. For every case that makes the news and eventually gets allowed because people cry homophobia, there are thousands of cases of self-censorship that stay censored because app-vendors are afraid of Apple.

      App vendors are basically forced to err on the side of caution with censorship because the price of Apple pulling the plug on them is too high, and this affects the freedom of expression of everyone. This runs the gamut from Grindr cropping perfectly innocuous user pictures (many of the pictures of clothed models posted here on Queerty, including ironically those of Grindr’s own birthday bash recently, would not be allowed on Grindr) to censorship of magazine apps articles on human sexuality. With its prudish policies, Apple has pretty much set us back 50 years as far as freedom of expression is concerned.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 7:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas
      viveutvivas

      Sub good for food. Damn iPad keyboard (and yes, I am aware of the irony. I got it as a gift.)

      Apr 10, 2013 at 7:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Whatever
      Whatever

      @viveutvivas: That is just stupid. Apple has always gone for a PG-rated atmosphere, and some of us enjoy it. I’m as gay as they come but, you know what, if I want to look at penis I know where to go. It doesn’t have to be everywhere. And I’m not a prude, I’m quite the slut. Facebook is now looking like Manhunt, and I don’t like it. I know how to get to Manhunt and don’t need porn shoved down my throat everywhere I go just because you consider it freedom of expression. Since when is it necessary to include pornography in everything? You are not the arbiter or world opinion, thank gawd. You hate Apple, we get it, and this is just the latest thing way they haven’t lived up to your lofty, if somewhat smutty, standards.

      Manhunt has a very nice mobile site that looks great on the iPhone with all the penis you could want. You have a right to your porn, and some of us have a right to be able to buy a device where we’re pretty much guaranteed that we won’t have porn shoved down our throat.

      Apr 10, 2013 at 8:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hunter
      Hunter

      @viveutvivas: Well, I don’t do Apple to begin with — between the Chinese sweatshops and the 70% profit on every iPad, it’s not something I’m interested in. As for dictating content, Apple’s no different than Microsoft or Sony or Rupert Murdoch.

      Now if I can just figure out how to take Google out of my life. . . .

      Apr 11, 2013 at 6:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas
      viveutvivas

      @Whatever, What are you, a child? PG is for 12 year olds. Grow up!

      There are legitimate freedom of speech issues here when one company is intimidating a huge number of vendors into self-censorship. And are you even computer-literate? People getting pornography shoved down their throat is a non-problem. You are not even being original – you are just echoing Steve Jobs’s scare-mongering on this issue. It doesn’t happen on my Windows desktop without these restrictions, so why should Apple be any different?

      Apr 11, 2013 at 9:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

    Add your Comment

    Queerty now requires you to log in to comment

    Please log in to add your comment.

    Need an account? Register It's free and easy.

  • POPULAR ON QUEERTY

    FOLLOW US
     



    GET QUEERTY'S DAILY NEWSLETTER


    FROM AROUND THE WEB

    Copyright 2014 Queerty, Inc.
    Follow Queerty at Queerty.com, twitter.com/queerty and facebook.com/queerty.