flapsdown40
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IFE censorship of hit movies on Emirates

Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:22 am

Moderators- I didn't know if I should have posted this in the Trip Reports forum instead. If that is the case, please move it to that forum.

Now onto my question. From what I understand, some department within the UAE gov't screens every foreign motion picture before it can be shown in a theater in the UAE. Seeing that Emirates Airways is home-based in Dubai, I am just assuming that all in-flight movies shown on any Emirates flight is the UAE-censored version of that movie. Is my assumption correct?

Has anyone had the opportunity to watch both the (non-censored) US theatrical release of a movie vs its UAE-censored version? What were the major differences you noticed between the US vs UAE version of the movie? Never having had the opportunity to fly on Emirates, I'm not really sure. Hence my question about this topic.

Perhaps just a bit off-topic but along the same lines as my question, for those of you who live or have lived in Dubai, are the DVD's of Hollywood movies sold at the store censored as well? Again, I am assuming they are, but doesn't that mean the entire DVD needs to be "re-printed" in its censored format before it can be sold within the UAE?

TIA for any responses.

Happy landings.

Flapsdown 40
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Virtual737
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Re: IFE censorship of hit movies on Emirates

Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:32 am

I'm pretty sure most movies are censored / edited in some way on most airlines. I can't every remember an inflight movie that didn't have the "edited for content and screen size" type notice at the beginning. Remember that, especially when flying in Y, lots of other people including children can see what you are seeing, so the content pretty much always has to be suitable for all. Personally I don't watch any major movie for the first time in flight. Apart from the typical screen sizes and outside distractions, you just don't ever see the real film.

A little off topic in terms of aviation but very much on topic in terms of censoring... I recently spent a few weeks in India. There they HEAVILY censor smoking in that they blur out all cigarettes, which draws your eye to it because you can still see the actual smoke. This, to me at least, highlights the fact that the person is smoking, so the censorship would appear to have the total opposite effect to that intended. They also very heavily censor violence, swearing etc etc to the extent that they delete whole scenes. It made watching many films pretty much pointless.
 
TUGMASTER
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Re: IFE censorship of hit movies on Emirates

Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:35 am

Having flown EK several times recently, i'm pretty sure the movies are NOT censored......
In fact, I've been worried about what content my kids could see, and have even used the safety cards as screens to block out their view of my screen.
 
gokmengs
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Re: IFE censorship of hit movies on Emirates

Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:43 am

Just flew B6 and watched "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri" and every curse word from F the word to "jesus christ" was censored. So I'm pretty sure all airlines does it let alone EK.
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PerfectGriffin
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Re: IFE censorship of hit movies on Emirates

Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:02 pm

Yes, they are censored on EK flights.

In UAE cinemas only the very graphic stuff is censored, but most of it is not. Usually the film regulators only ban movies that have a high amount of sexual content.
 
ahj2000
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Re: IFE censorship of hit movies on Emirates

Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:00 pm

Huh. And I remember US barely even censored anything. (I never got it but I remember a trip report in which a blogger found that they didn’t even censor toplessness)
I wonder if EK/the government/the clerics have problems with just plain swear words, or more adult situations and violence
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richierich
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Re: IFE censorship of hit movies on Emirates

Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:16 pm

gokmengs wrote:
Just flew B6 and watched "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri" and every curse word from F the word to "jesus christ" was censored. So I'm pretty sure all airlines does it let alone EK.


Really? I remember watching Reese Witherspoon's movie "Wild" on B6 a few years back when it was a new film, and if it was censored then the curse words - and I mean all of them - most certainly were not. Why would they? I'm the only one that can hear it. I wouldn't be surprised if they edited the more racy scenes, however.

As a side note, I've watched 'Why Planes Crash' on more than one occasion while flying B6. If anything, you'd think THAT would be censored, even though it is really an educational program once you get past the obviously tragic topic.
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lugie
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Re: IFE censorship of hit movies on Emirates

Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:43 pm

A bit o/t maybe but when I flew on IB in December they had Dunkirk loaded in the IFE which I watched.
It ended up giving me a pretty eerie feeling because there were several scenes of planes crashing into the ocean and others where soldiers were trapped in the belly of a ship when the water rose (circular cabin with quickly rising water) -> not exactly the most reassuring things to watch when you're over the middle of the Atlantic on a flight that goes over open water for a good 9-10 hours.

Afterwards I wondered if that might not have been something adequate to censor out for an onboard version.
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stlgph
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Re: IFE censorship of hit movies on Emirates

Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:51 pm

Emirates definitely isn't alone in this.
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BawliBooch
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Re: IFE censorship of hit movies on Emirates

Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:04 am

Filmmakers have to separately render a version for IFE use anyway. Airlines usually follow a protocol for inflight use that may extend over and above national certification guidelines, usually to edit out scenes involving nudity.
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MildBlueYonder
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Re: IFE censorship of hit movies on Emirates

Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:30 am

Just flew five segments on EK and none of the movies I selected on ICE (including Death of Stalin which is just laden with F-bombs) were bleeped.

Dunno if any scenes were edited out but they definitely didn’t censor the language, which I appreciated following several recent flights (like on TK) where I just couldn’t watch an R-rated movie because of all the dubbed-over “freakings” and “shoots” ruining the tone.
 
flyinggoat
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Re: IFE censorship of hit movies on Emirates

Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:25 am

I've never flown EK, but I do know that Asiana edits its content to some extent. In the movie, Ben-Hur, every reference to Jesus Christ (the figure, not the cuss word) was removed.

On the flip side of that, I was on UA a few months ago, and some of the movies they had available were probably not as censored as they should have been. I was in an isle seat, and I could see that somebody a few rows up was watching a movie that featured quite a few women in g-strings. That's not something I would want my kids seeing (if I had any).
 
gokmengs
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Re: IFE censorship of hit movies on Emirates

Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:20 am

MildBlueYonder wrote:
Just flew five segments on EK and none of the movies I selected on ICE (including Death of Stalin which is just laden with F-bombs) were bleeped.

Dunno if any scenes were edited out but they definitely didn’t censor the language, which I appreciated following several recent flights (like on TK) where I just couldn’t watch an R-rated movie because of all the dubbed-over “freakings” and “shoots” ruining the tone.


Same here on the B6 experience "freaking" "shoot" etc. I seriously think someone in the US especially would sue for an uncensored movie that was experienced by their underage kid.
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opticalilyushin
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Re: IFE censorship of hit movies on Emirates

Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:20 am

I had to laugh years ago when watching 'There's Something About Mary' on a KLM flight. Each short masturbation scene was cut out and replaced by a black screen and some text "we cannot show you this, but please ask the person beside you to explain"!!
 
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XAM2175
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Re: IFE censorship of hit movies on Emirates

Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:49 am

lugie wrote:
A bit o/t maybe but when I flew on IB in December they had Dunkirk loaded in the IFE which I watched. ... Afterwards I wondered if that might not have been something adequate to censor out for an onboard version.


I think at that point, given the overall nature of the film, you simply don't show it.

On the other hand, I did enjoy Titanic on a QF flight a couple of years ago and the only edit I noticed was that the picture had been pan-scan cropped from 2.39:1 down to 16:9.
 
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SomebodyInTLS
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Re: IFE censorship of hit movies on Emirates

Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:58 am

PerfectGriffin wrote:
Yes, they are censored on EK flights.

In UAE cinemas only the very graphic stuff is censored, but most of it is not. Usually the film regulators only ban movies that have a high amount of sexual content.


On our last long haul flight (KLM), my wife was worried people would think she was some kind of pervert since the movie she watched devolved into soft porn. She was in the aisle seat and I had to laugh at her uncomfortable squirming - after looking over to see what it was and calling her a few names, of course... LOL!

(No, I don't remember what she was watching - but it was graphic!)

On-topic - this whole thread is a bit weird since I thought it was common knowledge that almost all airlines (except KLM, apparently) take the "light" versions of movies and TV content. And they don't censor it themselves, the studios supply "standard" airline-formatted versions which play better on the small screens and have the graphic and politically incorrect stuff filtered out. They even shoot or edit different versions of the same scenes during production, AFAIK - it's not done because the airlines censor it, the studios offer different "levels" to cater for the airlines.

Edit: beaten to it by BawliBooch.
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n757kw
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Re: IFE censorship of hit movies on Emirates

Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:45 pm

Well,on an Asian carrier I have flown on,some movies were censored and others were not. Getting a nude scene on an inflight movie was a shock.

To DVDs,in Indonesia the movies at theatres are censored. But,at the bootleg DVD stores you can get everything uncensored. Hard to watch Game of Thrones with the kids in the room. Hahaha

I also saw the smoking blur in South Korea TV. Took me about 30 minutes to figure out what was being blurred out.

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Qfsaviation
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Re: IFE censorship of hit movies on Emirates

Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:04 pm

I remember watching Baywatch on Delta once. They cut out all of the inappropriate scenes including bikinis and other stuff like that.
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atcsundevil
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Re: IFE censorship of hit movies on Emirates

Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:07 pm

flapsdown40 wrote:
Now onto my question. From what I understand, some department within the UAE gov't screens every foreign motion picture before it can be shown in a theater in the UAE. Seeing that Emirates Airways is home-based in Dubai, I am just assuming that all in-flight movies shown on any Emirates flight is the UAE-censored version of that movie. Is my assumption correct?

Has anyone had the opportunity to watch both the (non-censored) US theatrical release of a movie vs its UAE-censored version? What were the major differences you noticed between the US vs UAE version of the movie? Never having had the opportunity to fly on Emirates, I'm not really sure. Hence my question about this topic.

I can't speak as to EK specifically, but as many other users have mentioned, many airlines will censor content for nudity, inappropriate language, extreme violence, extreme imagery, etc. However, I've found that it seems to be far less prevalent with personal AVOD as opposed to back in the day when central screens were in use, or even more recent tape loop PTV systems. Systems these days have so much choice that the issue is usually solved with a content warning, so uses don't "accidentally" turn on content they may find offensive.

Funny enough, I've noticed inconsistencies even on the same flight. I've had times in the past where I've watched a movie that's been censored into oblivion, then watched another movie right afterward with little to no editing whatsoever. I wonder if it sometimes depends on the studio/source providing the material. Some studios may only provide a heavily edited version when offered to airlines, while others might provide a choice.

Qfsaviation wrote:
I remember watching Baywatch on Delta once. They cut out all of the inappropriate scenes including bikinis and other stuff like that.

Really? That's probably a bit extreme! Certainly nudity is understandable, but that probably goes a bit far. I suppose it could be offensive to more modest/conservative cultures, but it seems to me that a simple disclaimer at the start of the movie would be sufficient. Most people familiar with Baywatch probably know what to expect after all! Cutting out bikini scenes from Baywatch would be like cutting out all instances of tire squealing from an episode of Top Gear/The Grand Tour...sort of defeats the purpose.

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