Disney removed a kiss scene between two female minor characters in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” screenings in Singapore.
As the first appearance of gay characters in Star Wars film, the short kiss caught the attention of Singapore censors even though it only last for a few seconds and not a major plot point in the film.
“The applicant has omitted a brief scene which under the film classification guidelines would require a higher rating,” a spokesperson from Infocomm Media Development Authority said in response to media queries.
Disney did not respond to media requests for comment since 24 Dec.
The Internet Code of Practice, first laid down in 1997, deems “prohibited material” as that which “advocates homosexuality or lesbianism”.
This contentious phrase has led many human rights activists to argue that it is preposterous for the MDA to regard realistic, positive portrayals of gay men and lesbians, and speeches, interviews or conversations in support of LGBT equality, as “advocating” homosexuality.
Institute of Policy Studies’ studies on the evolving trends of perceptions and attitudes towards social and moral issues, also found out that most of the Singaporeans still remain fairly conservative towards the issues surrounding homosexual rights.
The omitted scene has been a hot topic among the gay rights supporters as they applauded the acknowledgment of gay people in ‘Star Wars’ universe, reported in New York Times.
“It was important to me that people who go to see this movie feel that they are being represented in the film,” said by J.J Abrams, the film director during the interview with Variety.
Apart from that, Phil Robertson, the deputy director of Human Right Watch’s Asia division tweeted on 26 December and expressed regrets on the act of Disney bow to Singapore’s intolerance of LGBT and Singapore government’s failure to acknowledge the LGBT community.
Sad, but sadly predictable: @Disney bows to #Singapore's ludicrous intolerance of #LGBT people by removing same sex kiss scene in @starwars The Rise of Skywalker. When will @govsingapore recognize reality that people should be free to love who they want? https://t.co/cbmXvD3p8Y pic.twitter.com/AgsgpZm427
— Phil Robertson (@Reaproy) December 26, 2019