Malaysia bans J.Lo's hit stripper movie Hustlers for being 'too racy'

Jennifer Lopez (second from left) with co-stars (from left) Lili Reinhart, Keke Palmer and Constance Wu in a scene from Hustlers. Malaysia's censorship board has criticised the movie as being packed with too much obscene content not suitable for cine
Jennifer Lopez (second from left) with co-stars (from left) Lili Reinhart, Keke Palmer and Constance Wu in a scene from Hustlers. Malaysia's censorship board has criticised the movie as being packed with too much obscene content not suitable for cinemagoers in the conservative country. PHOTO: STXFILMS

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia has banned the hit Jennifer Lopez film Hustlers, the authorities said last Friday, criticising the film about strippers as being packed with obscene content not suitable for cinemagoers in the conservative country.

The star-studded movie - billed as a female The Wolf Of Wall Street - is about how New York strippers turned the tables on wealthy businessmen during the financial crisis.

The real-life tale depicts how a group of women resorted to increasingly criminal tactics, such as spiking men's drinks before emptying their bank accounts, as the stock market crash hit strip club receipts.

Malaysia's Film Censorship Board banned the movie from cinemas, saying it would have to make so many cuts to racy scenes that there would be barely anything left to screen.

"This film contains too many scenes with too much... obscene content, and is not suitable for public screening," board chairman Mohamad Zamberi Abdul Aziz told Agence France-Presse.

"We can see women's breasts and men's private parts. There are also erotic dances which are too much, and scenes (with drugs)."

Square Box Pictures, the film's distributor in Malaysia, confirmed the ban in an Instagram post.

"We deeply apologise for the inconvenience caused to our beloved followers, fans of the movie, media and partners."

The film was reportedly due for release at cinemas last Thursday.

Malaysia's Film Censorship Board banned the movie from cinemas, saying it would have to make so many cuts to racy scenes that there would be barely anything left to screen.

It is common for censors in the Muslim-majority country to ban films entirely or cut scenes related to subjects they deem sensitive.

Other films that were banned from Malaysian cinemas include The Shawshank Redemption and children's movie Barney's Great Adventure. Earlier this year, censors cut gay sex scenes from Rocketman, the movie musical based on the life of British singer Elton John, sparking anger from critics.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 22, 2019, with the headline 'Malaysia bans J.Lo's hit stripper movie Hustlers for being 'too racy''. Print Edition | Subscribe