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'Zoolander' upsets Singapore censors

Ben Stiller stars as a male model in
Ben Stiller stars as a male model in "Zoolander" a movie banned in Malaysia.  

SINGAPORE -- Singapore has banned the film "Zoolander," an American comedy featuring a plot to kill Malaysia's prime minister.

The action comedy was banned for "controversial elements gathered from feedback," Singapore's Board of Film Censors said in a news release, without elaborating.

The board revoked the film's certificate for release it had already issued. It was due to hit Singapore's big screens next week.

Neighboring Malaysia has already banned it from being shown.

The film features a model with low self-esteem, named Derek Zoolander, who is brainwashed into killing the Malaysian prime minister for threatening the fashion industry with a plan to raise minimum wages

New York attention

Movie trailer for 'Zoolander' banned in Singapore

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The lowbrow satire had attracted press attention in the United States before its release there last November.

Fearing that the sight of the World Trade towers in the New York-based film might traumatize viewers, the producers edited out all images of the twin towers.

The filmmakers were also forced to cut shots of a goat in a comic orgy scene in order to get a PG-13 rating from the U.S. Motion Picture Association.

Under this rating parents are cautioned that some material may not be appropriate for children under the age of 13.

The movie, co-written and directed by Stiller, was among the top five shows at the U.S. box-office last year.

Singapore routinely censors or bans films, publications and TV programs deemed to have excessive amounts of sexual or drug references, as well as anything that could foment intolerance among the Chinese, Malay and Indian communities.

The city state has a long history of banning Western movies and popular songs, dating back to Peter, Paul and Mary's 1963 hit "Puff, the Magic Dragon" -- believed by censors to contain references to marijuana.


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