A recent article by The Evening Standard has claimed that the Dubai based airline Emirates is censoring LGBT+ content, with same-sex kisses being removed from its in-flight movies.
While opposite-sex love scenes remained untouched, examples were given of same-sex moments which had been cut. A scene from Saoirse Ronan’s acclaimed Oscar-nominated film Ladybird where she discovers her boyfriend kissing another man was removed, while the Golden Globe winning television show Killing Eve also had a kiss between the villain and the woman she was seducing edited out.
When queried by the Evening Standard, Emirates replied “Emirates does not have rights to edit any licensed movie or TV content, as we acquire content produced by the studios and distributors. Emirates acquires mostly theatrical unedited versions of content, but as a family friendly airline serving an international audience, where there is excessive violence, sex, nudity or language, we opt to license the edited versions created by the studios/distributors.”
If Emirates deny making the cuts, the question remains, who did? A source from the BBC, who produce Killing Eve, told the Evening Standard: “If a company wants to remove same-sex moments from a BBC programme, then the BBC should put its foot down and not allow it to be shown at all. It is in direct opposition to what we stand for.”
In the United States, the chain store Target was criticised for a censorship algorithm which removed the words ‘queer’ and ‘transgender’ from its website. When users searched for books which contained those words in the title or description, they were presented instead with a series of asterisks.
The company apologised, stating: “Like most retailers, Target doesn’t want profanity and other select words to appear on our website in an effort to ensure a positive shopping experience. This was an oversight on our part, and [terms like ‘queer’ and ‘transgender] should be included. We’re working to update our site with the descriptions that were provided to Target by the book publishers.”
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