‘Brokeback Mountain’ gay love scenes censored on Italian TV
Following a late 2008 Rai Due broadcast of the multiple-award-winning gay romantic drama Brokeback Mountain – minus the gay lovemaking scenes – Italian gay rights’ groups have demanded that the public network’s director, Antonio Marano, explain the channel’s decision to censor the film.
Adding insult to injury, the Brokeback Mountain cuts came days after the Vatican attacked a European Union proposal for the United Nations to formally condemn anti-gay discrimination.
“Who had the presumption to think that an adult public could not handle the sight of kissing and intimacy between two men?” inquired Aurelio Mancuso, president of the gay advocacy group Arcigay, which has also petitioned Rai Due to show Brokeback Mountain minus the cuts as “a conciliatory gesture.”
‘Brokeback Mountain’ cuts an ‘accident’
According to a Dec. 9 Arcigay post, Marano has explained that the cuts were an “accident,” as Brokeback Mountain was supposed to have been aired at an earlier TV slot – in which gay kissing is apparently a big no-no. Marano added that the Ang Lee-directed film starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as star-crossed gay cowboy lovers will be shown in its entirety “at the first chance.”
Curiously, the film’s heterosexual sex scene between Ledger and Michelle Williams – who plays his wife – was left intact in the censored version. (YouTube has a similar double standard, as a viewer’s age must be confirmed before they get a chance to watch a gay kiss montage, but there’s no such requirement for montages of heterosexual movie kissing.)
According to The Guardian, the newspaper Il Giornale, owned by right-wing prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s family, “dismissed the protest as the work of ‘the politically correct lobby.’ ”
Vladimir Luxuria, a transsexual former member of parliament, saw the matter differently, stating that the version aired on Rai Due was like “the Mona Lisa without a head.”
Gay cowboy romance awards
Brokeback Mountain won the Golden Lion at the 2005 Venice Film Festival, and went on to garner dozens of accolades including three Academy Awards: Best Director for Ang Lee, Best Adapted Screenplay (Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, from E. Annie Proulx’s short story), and Best Original Score (Guillermo Santaolalla).
Besides Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Michelle Williams, Ang Lee’s “gay cowboy” romantic drama features Anne Hathaway, Randy Quaid, Linda Cardellini, Kate Mara, Anna Faris, David Harbour, Roberta Maxwell, and Peter McRobbie.
Image of Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as gay cowboy lovers in Brokeback Mountain: Focus Features.
Brokeback Mountain box office figure via boxofficemojo.com.
“Brokeback Mountain Gay Love Scenes Censored on Italian TV + Heterosexual Sex Scene Left Intact” last updated in August 2018.