Actor James Franco launched an online appeal on YouTube, speaking directly to the Australian Classification Board after censors banned a gay film, ‘I Want Your Love’, from screening in Australia. His appeal has been viewed almost 80,000 times during its first six days on YouTube.
“Frankly, adults should be able to choose, they’re not going in blind,” said James Franco, 34, star of Disney’s new blockbuster movie ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’. He called called the decision to ban the film ‘I Want Your Love’ “an embarrassment” to Australia and urged the board to reconsider.
The Australian Classification Board officials said an application was made to exempt the film ‘I Want Your Love’ from classification under rules specific to film festivals but it ruled against this due to the content of the film. In a statement, the Classification Board explained its decision to The Huffington Post.
“In considering whether to grant an exemption, [I am] required to apply the 2007 Film Festival Guidelines,” wrote Board Director Lesley O’Brien. “Under those guidelines, if it is likely that a film would be classified X 18+, the film will not be granted an exemption. In this case, the film contains detailed and prolonged scenes of actual explicit sexual activity.”
The New York Times called ‘I Want Your Love’ “a conscious effort to take back gay sex on film.”
Indiewire called it “a must see,” and the London Guardian called it “a welcome shift in queer cinema” and “an embrace of the real”.
Petition to lift the ban
“The film “I want your love” has been banned by the Australian Classification Board — the only country in the world to do so. Christos says it is “dangerous and distressing that clearly the ban arises from the homophobic and anti-sex positions of Board members”.”
Huffington Post – 7 March 2013:
‘I Want Your Love’ Banned In Australia: San Francisco Film Rejected For Gay Sex Scene
The New York Times called it “a conscious effort to take back gay sex on film.” Indiewire called it “a must see,” and the London Guardian called it “a welcome shift in queer cinema” and “an embrace of the real.” But in Australia, San Francisco gay film “I Want Your Love” can only be called one thing: banned.
Reuters – 5 March 2013:
Actor James Franco protests Australian ban of gay film
Actor James Franco, star of Disney’s new film “Oz the Great and Powerful”, has launched an online appeal after censors banned a gay film from screening at Australian film festivals.