The controversial film has already been banned in Indonesia, Malaysia and Kenya, and a refusal was also expected from the mainly conservative India.
Despite conquering box offices wherever it goes, it seems that Indian fans of E.L. James’ erotic novel won’t get the chance to enjoy the movie adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey after the country’s government censors banned it.
According a report by Reuters, India’s Central Board of Film Certification decided that the film was unsuitable for theatrical release in the largely conservative country, a verdict that most onlookers had anticipated.
The Board’s chief executive Shravan Kumar has not stated the precise reasons why they have taken the decision to prevent the film from being screened, but said the distributor Universal Pictures would be allowed to appeal.
A source at Universal Pictures, who remains anonymous because he is not allowed to talk about the censorship process, has intimated that the Board had objected to some of the dialogue in the film, even after the studio had voluntarily dialled down and edited some of the sexual content in anticipation of their objections.
The Board has reportedly come in for criticism in recent months, with its former chairman Leela Samson quitting after accusing Narendra Modi’s government of interfering with their decision-making. Modi then unveiled a new Board, issuing updated guidelines instructing that Indian films should not contain profanity.
Universal is not even bothering to pursue a release of Fifty Shades in China, which almost always bans films of a sexually explicit nature. Malaysia, Indonesia and Kenya have also decided on a total ban from theatrical screenings, while a handful of others have heavily censored portions of it.
Fifty Shades of Grey was released the day before Valentine’s Day, and has taken nearly $500 million around the world despite not being released in its two most populous countries. Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, it stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson as a couple exploring a sadomasochistic relationship.
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