Pakistan and Egypt jump on the censorship bandwagon along with North Korea

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On the heels of North Korea’s fury about “The Interview,” other countries are now attempting to influence American film and television productions. On Dec. 27, 2014, Pakistani diplomats told the New York Post that the fourth season of Showtime’s hit show “Homeland” portrays their country as a “grimy hellhole.” Disgruntled officials complained directly to the show’s producers, to no avail. Now they’ve decided to go to the press. “Maligning a country that has been a close partner and ally of the US … is a disservice not only to the security interests of the US but also to the people of the US,” said Pakistan Embassy spokesman Nadeem Hotiana.

The diplomats were displeased with the lack of greenery in the depiction of the nation’s capital. The show’s Islamabad-based scenes were actually filmed in Cape Town, South Africa. Pakistani officials were also appalled at the portrayal of their homeland as a perpetual war zone, with constant shootouts and bombings. Pakistani diplomats were also peeved with the way their language was being used, featuring uncommon accents. Their biggest complaint by far was the representation of Pakistan as a terrorist-friendly nation by insinuating that the country’s intelligence agency is complicit in protecting the terrorists at the expense of innocent Pakistani civilians.

Egypt took their displeasure with “Exodus: Gods and Kings” a step further, by banning the film. Ridley Scott’s biblical epic was banned in Egypt, Morocco and United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.). “The Ministry of Culture bans the film ‘Gods and Kings’ for historical inaccuracies,” the Egyptian agency said in a statement.Film’s distributors said that the feature “represents God” which is forbidden under Islam. Egyptian Culture Minister Jabir Asfour exclaimed: “It shows history from a Zionist viewpoint and forges historical events, therefore it is banned in Egypt.”

More criticism and attempted censorship is likely to come our way after American distributors fecklessly pulled “The Interview” from its original scheduled release in more than 2,000 domestic theaters, because of hacker threats. The new theory, based on language analysis, seems to suggest that e-mails and posts attributed to North Korea’s hackers may have been penned by a Russian native speaker. The majority of the phrasing could have been translated word for word from the Russian language. Since Russia supports North Korea’s position with respect to the controversial comedy and mainstream distributors clearly lack a backbone, prototypical Russian villains in James Bond films might become increasingly scarce.

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