Friday, December 12, 2008

Kissing Cowboys Cut

A case of life imitating art, the Italian TV Station Rai, been accused of homophobia when it cut the homosexual love scenes between the late Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal from the highly successful 2005 film “Brokeback Mountain“.

The network came under criticism for removing the kissing scenes between the two cowboys, which is ironically reminiscent of the 1989 Italian classic “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso“. Here the priest of a small Sicilian village forces the cinema owner to remove any kissing scenes from any films shown.

The TV stations decision to edit the scenes comes only days after the Vatican dismissed plans for the EU to formally condemn gay discrimination. Franco Grillini, President of Gaynet, said, "The need to change a film about homosexual love into a film about simple male friendship says a lot about the current cultural climate."

A spokesperson for the network insisted that the cuts were an "honest mistake". They claimed that it had aired the cut version by mistake, and that they will air the uncut version at a later date.

Several Italian newspapers expressed dismay at the networks decision to cut the gay scenes from the film while the heterosexual love scenes were kept intact. However, Il Giornale, the newspaper owned by the family of Silvio Berlusconi claimed the controversy was down to the "politically correct lobby".