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]