Beautiful and touching "Love, Simon" banned in China and not allowed to be seen by anyone younger than 21 in Singapore




















There's been a lot of talk about "Love, Simon" in recent weeks, a YA adaptation that, more or less, does the job in portraying the teenage identity struggle in being gay and closeted. I dug its bravado, the risks it took, to my knowledge there hasn't been a major studio film that's tackled the subject matter for mass audiences. Suffice to say, the film has been a major breakthrough at the box-office and has even sparked a social media movement of closeted teenagers having the courage to tell their family and friends that they are gay. I don't know how the film went over in bible-belt states, many of which have a majority that still frown upon homosexuality, but the fact that a movie like "Love, Simon" would play in a theatre in that part of the country is a miracle in itself. The film is actually compulsively watchable up until is last 15 or so minutes when it succumbs to cliches but even in those closing moments there's tremendous joy that seeps through the screen, the audience I saw it with applauded when a key moment happened during a roller coaster ride which, in a different movie having to do with a straight couple, would have otherwise been deemed sappy and unconvincing.

Here's what I wrote in my notes a few weeks ago:

There's been a lot of talk about "Love, Simon" in recent weeks, a YA adaptation that, more or less, does the job in portraying the teenage identity struggle in being gay and closeted. I dug its bravado, the risks it took, to my knowledge there hasn't been a major studio film that's tackled the subject matter for mass audiences. Suffice to say, the film has been a major breakthrough at the box-office and has even sparked a social media movement of closeted teenagers having the courage to tell their family and friends that they are gay. I don't know how the film went over in bible-belt states, many of which have a majority that still frown upon homosexuality, but the fact that a movie like "Love, Simon" would play in a theatre in that part of the country is a miracle in itself. The film is actually compulsively watchable up until is last 15 or so minutes when it succumbs to cliches but even in those closing moments there's tremendous joy that seeps through the screen, the audience I saw it with applauded when a key moment happened during a roller coaster ride which, in a different movie having to do with a straight couple, would  have otherwise been deemed sappy and unconvincing. 


With all that being said, I'm actually shocked to hear the news that that "Love, Simon" is even showing in Singapore. It's still illegal to be gay there. In China the movie was banned. Sadly some countries are quite backwards but at least Singapore is allowing it to be shown. 

"A petition has been launched to protest the fact that “Love, Simon” has received a rating of R21 in Singapore, meaning that no one under the age of 21 will be permitted to see it. Given that the drama concerns a gay teenager coming to terms with his sexuality, that includes much of its target audience. The Infocomm Media Development Authority’s (IMDA) classification information specifically cites the film’s “homosexual theme” as part of the reason for its advisory."

"Nearly 12,000 people have signed the petition, which calls upon the IMDA to give “Love, Simon” an NC16 rating instead. “By making ‘Love, Simon’ NC16, I am positive that it will have a huge impact on young teenagers struggling to find acceptance from family and friends,” reads the petition. “It will also educate people that being free and accepted is just what everyone in this extensive community wants. Hopefully, it will also change people’s negative perception of the LGBTQ+ community.”