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MDA admits playing moral police – international productions told to tone down

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Facebook user Alvin Ng reported to the Media Development Authority on 1 June about a scene which involved a brief peck by two male characters in the play Les Miserables. The play is now being staged at the Esplanade.
In pointing out that the scene in the song Beggars at the Feast “was never in the original production” but has now been included, Alan appealed for others to lodge complaints too, if they noticed the scene in other Les Miserables performances here.
MDA has now released a statement in response to complaints lodged about the play by members of the public. We republish MDA’s statement in full:

“The inclusion of the same-sex kiss was not highlighted in the script when it was submitted to MDA for classification. The performance was thus given a ‘General’ rating. Upon receiving feedback from members of the public, MDA reviewed the performance and confirmed that the scene was present.
MDA advised the applicant that the inclusion of this particular scene meant that the performance had exceeded the ‘General’ rating issued. Under our classification code, such a scene would fall under an ‘Advisory’ rating.
The applicant decided to remove the scene so as to keep the ‘General’ rating for the rest of its run. MDA will take action against this breach of licensing conditions.
Other international performances have been toned down for the Singapore audience, but usually before the show opens here.
At Madonna’s risque concert in March, which had an R18 rating, songs with religious sensitive lyrics like Holy Water were left out.
In a 2007 production of King Lear where Sir Ian McKellen played the titular monarch, he wore a loin cloth for a nude scene.”

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