Lifestyle & Belief

"The Kids Are All Right" too gay for Singapore


Actress Annette Bening, left, poses with her award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture for 'The Kids Are All Right' with fellow actress Julianne Moore at the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards.


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According to Singaporean government censors, moviegoers might decide homosexuality is normal if they watch the film "The Kids Are All Right."

A hit at Sundance and the Golden Globes, the movie depicts a two-mom family jarred by the emergence of their teen kids' biological father, a sperm donor who lives in the same California town.

The small English-speaking Asian island, notorious for its micro-managing of social life, ruled that no one under 21 could see the movie. There are semi-explicit sex scenes though, ironically, most are between a man and a woman. (It's rated R in the U.S.)

That 21-and-over rating is no big surprise. The twist is that censors only allow one copy of the film into the country's theaters.

After a distributor appealed, complaining it could barely profit off a single copy, the censors held firm.

"Imposing a condition of one-print serves as a signal to the public at large that such alternative lifestyles should not be encouraged," said the Board of Film Censors, according to the magazine Film Business Asia. "Films that promote or normalize a homosexual lifestyle cannot be tolerated."

Singaporean censors are fairly strict in their prohibition of same-sex media. Three years back, a home decor show caught a nearly $11,000 fine for showcasing a gay couple interested in turning their spare room into a nursery. Video games have been banned just for giving players the option of coupling their character with the same sex.

Having seen "The Kids Are All Right," I must agree with censors: the movie does normalize gay life. One parent is a nag, the other struggles through a series of failing businesses and their teenage son wastes afternoons with an idiot best friend.

I'm not sure what that portrayal does to "promote" same-sex couples, but it all sounds fairly "normal."