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Black Swan’s gay love scene prompts more complaints than any other film

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Reader comments

  1. 40 people? That’s nothing compared to the number of people who could have complained about it being such a crap movie.

    1. Are you serious? The movie was amazing.

    2. I liked it.

  2. Glad to see BBFC stick to their guns and determine ratings based on explicitness of portrayals of sex, and not on the orientational basis of sexual activity.

  3. That whole scene could have been a lot raunchier! It was very well done!

  4. As a gay man I actually liked the “scene” so yes, it should be banned. :)

  5. Jock S. Trap 12 Jul 2012, 11:50am

    40 people need to get a life!

  6. Robert in S. Kensington 12 Jul 2012, 12:09pm

    Even though the BBFC didn’t censor anything, it’s hard to believe that the UK still exercises censorship for the arts. So much for freedom of expression. To think this is the 21st century. Had it been an explicit hetero sex scene, there wouldn’t probably have been any of the hysteria exhibited by a measley 40 people. This wouldn’t even make waves in the more progressive countries in the western EU.

    1. Spanner1960 15 Jul 2012, 2:23pm

      The BBFC is a self-regulatory body funded by the film industry itself.

  7. 40 is not much. Still, in 2001, France 2 launched a “Just a question of love”, a direct to TV French/Belgian gay romance. In the following 2 weeks, France 2 received a total of…3 complaints. Despite 6.300.000 people watching from their homes.

    1. Yes, but in fairness British TV quite often shows gay films too, without (I believe) many complaints, possibly because they’re shown late in the evening – what is at the core of this issue seems to be what is considered suitable for a film rated 15.

      1. Yes, and what was shown was about right. Plenty of 15 rated films have that much hetero content and nobody bats an eyelid.

        As for the excuse that people thought the film was about ballet, well, obviously they ought to read the film guide more thoroughly.

        1. Yes, any budding balletomane who seriously imagined this movie was of the well-known ballet to Tchaikovsky’s music thoroughly deserved what they got!

  8. “some complainants “argued that portrayals of homosexual activity should either be restricted to the 18 category or not shown at all”. ”

    Some people clearly think that homosexual sex is ‘worse’ than hetero. They need to understand the very point that the BBFC man made.

    ““We have a clear policy in the guidelines that we don’t differentiate or discriminate whether it’s a straight or gay or lesbian scene.”

  9. Alex MacDonald 12 Jul 2012, 1:26pm

    So 40 people – let’s compare that to say 55000 complaining about Jerry Springer the Opera – complain about a lesbian scene in a movie and “argued that portrayals of homosexual activity should either be restricted to the 18 category or not shown at all”.

    Surely we’re not going to report on the ‘crackpot community’ as if its mainstream news…

  10. 40 homophobes who don’t have anything better to do with their time.

    1. Spanner1960 15 Jul 2012, 2:22pm

      Who said all 40 were complaining about the gay sex?

  11. I wonder how many of these complainants had actually seen the film rather than just responded to an email from some fundie group just waiting to be outraged and froth in righteous (un)Christian indignation?

    All the reviews I read mentioned the lesbian scene so it could hardly have come as a surprise to many people. I read more about that than the actual story.

  12. It’s just double standards when it comes to straight & gay sex scenes in films and on tv.

    I remember the so-called drama Footballer’s Wives a few years back which was full of explicit straight sex scenes from start to finish and everyone loved it, yet there was a campaign by the Star newspaper to cut a gay sex scene before the episode was even aired – and it was, despite it being far less explicit than it’s straight sex scenes.

  13. “He suggested some complaints may have come from people who had expected to see a film about Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake but were confronted with a dark psychological thriller with a homosexual element.”

    I must say I laughed when I read this.

    1. I laughed too, but then I was the idiot taken by my kids to see The Avengers recently, expecting to see Steed on our screens. I was most disappointed.

  14. This story and the comments made me laugh – thanks – but you’re right American Pie was a 15 showed way worse than this film – seeing a grown man ‘enjoy’ an apple pie in a special way is OK ‘cos he’s ‘straight’.
    Some people just hate us – but I think we all know that by now.

  15. thanks to the complainers. It just made me go out and buy the DVD. gotta go and watch the kinky sex scene… bye!

    1. Don’y expect to much! I think the 40 complainers were just a bit miffed because they expected to see a nice film about ballet.

      1. aw shucks rachel…

  16. No surprise. Tchaikovsky himself was gay – by the end of his life, it was a secret to no one.

    1. That has nothing whatever to do with this news item.

      1. Other than the fact that the movie is based on one of Tchaikovsky’s ballets.

      2. You’re right…I wasn’t thinking. I only realized that after I posted it.

        What I was trying to say, was this line of logic:
        (1) People are accustomed to masked love scenes in films with this rating.
        (2) This film had one, but between two women.
        (3) If people are so shocked by gay people doing things gay people do (as opposed to straight people doing what straight people do), one wonders if they didn’t realize that Tchaikovsky himself was gay.

        …but the actual chain of relevance was lost somewhere along the way. Sorry.

        1. Thanks for clarifying – I did think the link a little tenuous!

          Frankly I’d have been happy if there’d been more Tchaikovsky and less clichéd nonsense in the film, but then it wouldn’t have been the movie they wanted to make …

          1. Rehan (or anyone else who can answer this),

            Off topic (apologies)

            How do you add the emphasis to your comments on here?

            I see you have some in italic above and I have noticed others add some in bold.

            Can you either point me to instructions or explain how, would be incredibly grateful if you can.

          2. Enter the following without the spaces:

            [word/s to be itlicised]

            For bold you subsitute b for i.

          3. Sorry Gary, that didn’t work. In front of the word/s to be italicised, put first .

            After the words to be italicised, put (that cancels the formatting).

            For bold, substitute the letter b for i

          4. Damn, that didn’t work either! Trying again: you need the v-shaped brackets (which you get by SHIFT + [,] and SHIFT + [.] on your keyboard) on either side of the letter i (for italics) or b (for bold).

            To reverse the formatting, puth /i or /b between the v-shaped brackets.

          5. Spanner1960 15 Jul 2012, 2:21pm

            Worth learning a little about HTML and tags:

  17. Mr Cooke added: “We have a clear policy in the guidelines that we don’t differentiate or discriminate whether it’s a straight or gay or lesbian scene.”

    Well done, Mr Cooke, for standing your ground. For people to say that a sex scene featuring a same-sex should be automatically classified as an 18, or not shown at all, is absurd and obvious homophobia. If a scene of a man giving oral sex to a woman (or vice versa) can be classed as a 15, then a scene of a woman giving oral sex to a woman, or a man giving oral sex to a man, should be classed exactly the same way.

    …and now I want to see Black Swan!

  18. GingerlyColors 13 Jul 2012, 6:35am

    I don’t know what all the fuss is about. At one time footballers often kissed each other on the pitch, usually after scoring a goal – until the FA banned it. Nowadays gay people are increasingly visable in mainstream media, not restricted to specialist programmes shown on late-night Channel 4. We see gay people not just on daytime and evening soap operas but also other programmes where couples are involved. Then there is Torchwood with John Barrowman taking the lead role as ‘omnisexual’ Capt. Jack Harkness who’s partner, Ianto Jones is so missed by fans that they even erected a shrine to him on Cardiff’s waterfront. Of course we are still going to get the d**kheads who will complain about a same sex kiss – how many people still kick off when they see an inter-racial kiss even though it is a good 43 years since Captain Kirk kissed Lt. Uhuru in the first significant kiss of it’s kind? (Star Trek: Plato’s Stepchildren).

    1. Spanner1960 15 Jul 2012, 2:19pm

      The FA banned kissing? News to me.

  19. Spanner1960 15 Jul 2012, 2:18pm

    I think a lot of the complaints stemmed from the fact people assumed this was a film about ballet, not about someone losing their marbles.

    I would have thought any “ballet” film with a 15 certificate should have rang alarm bells that this wasn’t going to be Swan Lake.

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