Breakthrough in Malaysia! Movie Gays Temporarily Allowed Out of Closet
From Movieline's international desk comes a dispatch from Malaysia -- that shining beacon of dignity, tolerance and spirituality where now, at last, it's all right for gay characters to appear in mainstream films. Hooray, right? Wait, there's more coming over the wire, hang on... Oh. This sucks.
The predominantly Muslim nation's Film Censorship Board released new guidelines that allow for the appearance of out gay male characters in the country's films -- on one condition, according a Malaysian producer:
"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."
In other words: It's the Hays Code V2.0, an updating of the seminal Stateside strictures against vice, sexuality, aberration and other acts and behavior that might corrupt impressionable viewers if left unchecked. The report also notes that the even more vile scourge of street racing has been approved as well in limited cases, such as when "the illegal racers either died or were caught by police at the end." But if a gay street racer dies before renouncing his homosexuality, is that still a violation? I'm so confused. Anyway, high-five, Malaysia -- you've finally caught up with Hollywood circa 1930. Milk should appear on cable there by 2070 or so. Set your DVR's; it'll be here before you know it.
It's OK to be gay in Malaysian movies - as long as you go straight
[AFP via Sydney Daily Telegraph]