Singapore Google Play store takes down some R21 titles

(From left) Controversial bondage film Fifty Shades of Grey, crime thriller Gone Girl and dark comedy drama Trainspotting are  no longer on sale on Google Play in Singapore.
(From left) Controversial bondage film Fifty Shades of Grey, crime thriller Gone Girl and dark comedy drama Trainspotting are no longer on sale on Google Play in Singapore.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM GOOGLE PLAY

SINGAPORE - Google Singapore's online Play content store has taken down some R21 movies that are banned from distribution here after the authorities knocked on its doors.

Controversial bondage film Fifty Shades of Grey, crime thriller Gone Girl and dark comedy drama film Trainspotting were no longer on sale on Google Play when The Straits Times did its checks Thursday morning. But other R21 titles like drug comedy Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, epic drama film The Last Temptation of Christ and erotic thriller The Boy Next Door were still listed.

Titles rated R21 by the Media Development Authority's (MDA) Board of Film Censors are only approved for theatrical screenings. Home video titles are limited to an M18 rating and below.

MDA had said it would "work with Google to align their ratings with our film-classification guidelines", but did not provide a timeline for compliance.

 

Google, which started selling movies on its local Play store last Thursday, offers movies for rent and sale starting from $3.98 and $12.98, respectively.

Over the past week, it has also updated the ratings of wrongly-classified titles including Fast and Furious 7 (PG13) and Kingsman: The Secret Service (M18), which were tagged "Not Rated" previously.

When Apple launched its movie service for iTunes here in 2012, it also listed several R21 titles including The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. The titles were removed a day after The Straits Times ran a report on it.

sherwinl@sph.com.sg