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So Long As the They Turn Straight By the Credits, Gay Characters Are Approved For Malaysian Movies

We imagine a time, sometime soon, where there is an Exodus International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, and it plunks down in Kuala Lumpur. Because thanks to a revision in the Muslim-backed regulations regulating Malaysia’s film industry, gay characters on the big screen are just fine when it comes to censorship regulators. So long as movie producers make sure they triumph over their homosexuality.

The new censorship guidelines reverse a ban on scenes featuring homosexuality, Malaysian Film Producers’ Association president Ahmad Puad Onah said. But there’s a catch. “We are now allowed to show these scenes,” he told AFP. “As long as we portray good triumphing over evil and there is a lesson learnt in the film, such as from a gay (character) who turns into a (straight) man. “Previously we are not allowed to show these at all.”

The new rules, he insists, will allow greater freedom of expression for film-makers. But kissing, undressing and obscenity scenes will still be banned. “We can do almost anything now but we are urged to give due considerations on the film’s impact on certain areas like public order, religion, socio-culture elements and moral values.”

But lest you think only homosexuality is the moral ill that must be cured by the denouement

It is not just homosexuality – subjects such as illegal racing can also be depicted. A report at the weekend said local movie V3 Road Gangster was being shown in the cinemas since the illegal racers either died or were caught by police at the end.

Death and imprisonment? That’s probably a qualifying ending for gay characters, too.


[photo: Odeon Movie Theater, Penang, Malaysia via]

By:           editor editor
On:           Mar 22, 2010
Tagged: , ,
    • Mike

      Thought i’m sure it’s not the intention of the oppressive malaysian government, this presents an opportunity to teach people not to fear homosexuality. I anticipate many movies where teens and adults routinely experiment with homosexuality, and yet manage not to ruin their lives because of it.

      Obviously, the gov wants to see “wicked” homosexuals killed, jailed or shunned in these movies, but perhaps the word of the law is satisfied by our heroes losing interest in each other, and finding women by the end of the story. It can be demonstrated, without being said, that the heroes remain casually bisexual, and are hardly done playing the field.

      I find it very amusing when homophobic cultures claim that homosexuality is intrinsically unnatural, but they still feel that laws must be made to force portrayals of homosexuals in a negative light. Very amusing and transparent.

      Mar 22, 2010 at 2:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • terrwill

      Strange, I just finished a screenplay where Malaysian officials turn out not to be totally ignorant, hateful, vile, asshats in the end!!

      Mar 22, 2010 at 3:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"
      Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

      @No. 2 Terrwill

      Hey Terrwill, so you’ve written a farce then?

      Mar 22, 2010 at 4:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Enron

      Wow, those two guys in set are hot!

      Anyway, these stupid laws makes me wonder, what in heavens name is God doing??? You cannot continue to make people around the world just discriminate against us like this!

      Sometimes I think God is gonna make us Gays be a big bunch of winners at the end of time. We are just going through our trial and tribulations now. If that is the case, I can’t wait to tell the hetero bigots a BIG ‘I told you so!’

      Mar 22, 2010 at 4:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • terrwill

      Mike in Asheville, nee “in Brooklyn” : Now you done went and spoiled the ending!!! :)

      Mar 22, 2010 at 4:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • terrwill

      PS: Enron: Co-sign. Pic makes me wanna go out and get me some Maylasian Lovin!! :-O

      Mar 22, 2010 at 4:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RomanHans

      What a ridiculous, backward country. Here in the good ole USA, as long as they look hetero in the advertising, gay characters are totally cool.

      Mar 22, 2010 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eddy

      Come on, gay UK or US or Australian film-makers! Be BRAVE! Make a film that lampoons this new Malaysian requirement! There are plenty of suitable non-Caucasian actors in this country who could play Malaysians.

      Write a script, a comedy, about the hilarious farce that erupts when a Malaysian film company sets out to make a film about Malaysian gays who by the end of the film have to repent and turn straight!

      You can guarantee it will an absolute hit in the Far East. Banned in Malaysia itself, yes, but still “hot stuff” there!

      And countries all around Malaysia would delight in showing it.

      Come on, let’s make the Malaysian government look stupid!

      Mar 22, 2010 at 5:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel

      They should lampoon it by having a film where the gay characters have lots of sex out in the open in Malaysia, going through boxes and boxes of condoms and bottles and bottles of lube, in all sorts of places across the country, and then in the end have the two handsome characters look at each other in exhaustion and say “Wow, we shouldn’t have done that.” ;-) Then have the credits roll. It would be hilarious.

      If you want to counter fundamentalist Muslim culture just have the worldwide gay-allied community draw pictures of Mohammad doing all sorts of things (contrary to fundamentalist claims, pictures of Mohammad have been produced throughout history, the fundies just realized recently the more you draw him/depict him the more people realize how archaic and absurd the religion is, no different than Christianity or Buddhism or Hinduism, etc.). For some insane reason, people in the West mistakenly believe Islam is some monolithic single entity – it is not, there are progressives, moderates, and fundies like all the other religions. It is ridiculous that people think Islamists get a pass on violating human rights – just ask any Islamist whose human rights have been violated by other Islamists.

      Mar 22, 2010 at 8:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hotspot Flame
      Hotspot Flame

      This is just so messed up!

      Mar 22, 2010 at 8:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B

      No. 9 · Daniel wrote, “They should lampoon it by having a film where the gay characters have lots of sex out in the open in Malaysia, going through boxes and boxes of condoms and bottles and bottles of lube, in all sorts of places across the country, and then in the end have the two handsome characters look at each other in exhaustion and say ‘Wow, we shouldn’t have done that.'”

      My version was similar (although they won’t let you show the sex in any case) but included some gays and some lesbians. Then, at the very end, a deus ex machina comes down and pairs up the men with the women, and they stand there holding hands as the closing credits start, as they look wistfully at their former same-sex partners. After all, they said the characters had to become straight, not that it had to be believable.

      Mar 22, 2010 at 9:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam

      In college, there was this really hot Malaysian student who lived on my dorm floor freshman year. He was queer as a three dollar bill, and we made out a few times, but he wouldn’t go any farther than that with a guy because he really thought he could make himself straight. I always assumed it was his family/religion fucking him up. I didn’t realize that even his government thinks you can cure teh geigh. So sad.

      Mar 23, 2010 at 10:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mercure

      “As long as we portray good triumphing over evil and there is a lesson learnt in the film, such as from a gay (character) who turns into a (straight) man. ”

      This quote with the added commentary in parentheses annoys me. Not that it’s Queerty’s doing , but remove the bracketed words and it’s “about a a gay who turns into a man.” That seems the original screwed up meaning, and i would rather read that than have some editorial PC softening the words, adding “straight” to it.

      It distorts the awful meaning of the original quote. No, the guy did not say the gay turns into a STRAIGHT man, he says the gay turns into a MAN.

      Do you see the difference?

      Mar 23, 2010 at 9:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • whoopi

      The entire region of South and SE Asia functions this way if not worse. Singapore though, is slightly better.

      Mar 24, 2010 at 5:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel

      @Mercute. To explain the “gay into man” sentiment, in that part of the world (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, et al.) only transgender and effeminate gay men are portrayed in mass media. Clerics and lay people never see average or masculine gay men portrayed so it never occurs to them that the soldier or police officer they see (or the most masculine guys in their mosque) may be homosexual. This is also the reason they feel they can attack gay people with impunity because they only see gay people as “women” in nature so clerics naively posture and issue threats unaware who among them they have just pissed off. It is similar to tv portrayals of racial minorities as submissives by racial majorities, or religious minorities as submissives by religious majorities.

      Mar 24, 2010 at 3:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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