It has long been known that Singapore is a conservative country. They have proven this yet again when Google Play opened their online store for buying/renting movies. The movie, 50 Shades of Grey, received a rating of R21 from the Singaporean film industry, meaning it could not be sold online in stores or bundled as part of a media package. Additionally, R21 movies are illegal to show to audiences under the age of 21.
Since Google’s store opened last week, other movies were found to be miscategorized. One would think all of the movies that match this category are newer, but that is not the case. Jennifer Lopez’s Boy Next Door is banned, but so is the cult classic, A Clockwork Orange. For those unaware, A Clockwork Orange is a movie about dystopian crime that was released in 1971 by Stanley Kubrick, of 2001: A Space Oddysey fame.
Of course, the Singapore ban should not come as a total surprise, and Google is not alone in getting targeted. Apple ran in to similar problems in 2012 when it released another movie with an R21 rating, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Previously, the censorship board banned the popular US TV show, Sex in the City. Indeed, there are quite a few other movies that are sure to invoke the wrath of the board, but we are sure to see more of those bans in time.
Interestingly enough, movie banning in Singapore is not a new thing. From movies like The Exorcist to Last Tango in Paris to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, they have a long history of banning movies for coarse language, sexuality, graphic violence, bondage, or homosexual themes. 50 shades is just the latest in the long line of judgements passed by the censorship police of Singapore. As a result, if you are traveling there, you would not be able to see some movies you would be able to view in other countries.
If you plan to travel to Singapore or any other country that censors content we highly recommend you plan ahead of time. Sign up for a reliable VPN service so you can enjoy all your favorite sites and streaming media without being censored. A VPN will encrypt your data which will help protect your privacy online. It will also give you a new IP address in a location of your choosing. That will let you watch popular services like Netflix from anywhere in the world. You can even switch between Netflix libraries by connecting to a VPN server in another country.