Bruno banned in Ukraine

The BBC had this news report last Thursday, indicating that the movie Bruno has been banned in Ukraine* by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Now, it does seem like rather a good thing, in some ways. A movie based entirely on exploiting homophobia for the enjoyment of bigots being banned, could be worse, yeah?

Until you dig into the reasons why.

First, the "good" reason. Cohen's previous movie, Borat, was also banned in Ukraine, for being offensive to their Kazakh allies and neighbours - and rightly so. So Ukrainian officials were always going to be looking at this one closely.

But after that, the reasoning is...a little problematic to progressives.

Just to avoid any suggestion that I'm misinterpreting the Ministry's directive, I present a translation I've done myself of the text found here. Bruno, they said:
содержит художественно неоправданную демонстрацию половых органов и отношений, гомосексуальных половых актов в откровенно натуралистической форме, показ гомосексуальных извращений, ненормативную лексику, проявления садизма, антисоциального поведения, что может нанести вред моральному воспитанию граждан.
My translation thereof:
(the film) contains artistically unjustified display of genitalia, as well as homosexual sex acts in a frankly naturalistic manner, showing homosexual perversion, abusive language, sadism and anti-social behaviour that may harm the moral education of citizens.
So it's not the homophobia, or the fact that it might offend or endanger Ukrainian gay people, but the fact that homosexual acts and male genitalia are inherently threatening to the moral fibre of Ukrainians generally.

And y'know...I've gotta wonder whether they'd be so quick to ban it if it were women's genitals or lesbian sex acts being shown. It seems likely they'd hide behind the "artistically justified" thing.

So yeah. Mixed bag on this one. One fewer countries running this crapfest is good. Doing so because it has the temerity to depict gay acts and male genitalia, rather than because it endangers the lives of your gay citizens, considerably less good.

* Ukrainians generally prefer the country not to be called "the Ukraine" in English, as they feel this undermines their sovereignty. I would ask that you be kind enough to respect that in the comments thread, please.

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