A production of Les Miserables in Singapore has removed a scene in which two men kiss, notes Reuters.
The play's production company, Mediacorp VizPro, removed the kiss—which it described as a "small peck on the lips"—following complaints from the public. Singapore's Media Development Authority (MDA), had pressed Les Mis organizers to nix the scene, citing that it violated the play's "General" audience rating.
Singapore's MDA said in a statement: "The inclusion of this particular scene meant that the performance had exceeded the 'General' rating issued." The state regulator also noted that the male-kissing scene would require organizers to file for an "advisory" rating, which Mediacorp VizPro considered potentially harmful for business. "The kiss was intended to be comic," Moses Lye, head of Media Corp Vizpro said following the announcement.
The Southeast Asian city state of Singapore—along with neighboring countries like the Philippines and Indonesia—has a long history of social conservatism. Reuters points out that sex between two men is illegal and punishable by up to two years prison time in Singapore, although the law is rarely enforced.