Censorship

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Censorship
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Canada is a North American country.

It is a Dominion with freedom of speech protected by the Canadian Constitution. Because Canada is a free country, modern censorship is rare.

General censorship[]

  • Canadian federal law considers material depicting any sexual activity by any character under 18 as child pornography, whether drawn, live-action, or written. Although there is a clause excluding material with an "artistic purpose", the line isn't very clearly defined. Furthermore, the age of consent in Canada is 16, meaning that it is entirely possible for material to be banned because it depicts an otherwise legal sexual act involving a character between 16 and 18 years old. For some reason, Cardcaptor Sakura wasn't banned despite the unfortunate implications of several relationships (especially that of Terada and Rika) - as evidenced by rhe Toronto-based Nelvana, which produced the original English dub.
  • Canada's national customs authority used court rulings about material depicting "violence against women" as somehow encompassing male gay erotica.
  • Strangely, the influence of lobby groups causes a frequent circumvention of the censorship trends, as Canadian private broadcasters self-regulate through the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council; this entity can easily bow to pressure to refuse to air certain content. The state broadcaster, the CBC, does not participate in this scheme, and they can thus get away with more than the private networks can. (It and other public broadcasters are directly regulated by the CRTC.)

Movies censorship[]

The first Canadian censor board was formed in Ontario in 1911; each province followed suit shortly afterwards, but Ontario became the "main" censor where films would go first for approval and cuts before being handed down to other provinces for their own approval and cuts. While most of features were deemed unacceptable closely mirrored those of the Hays Code, a few were peculiar to Canada, such as any depiction of American flags and patriotism (to avoid hurting Canadian nationalism and pro-British sentiments). As censorship standards became more relaxed in the 1950s, provinces began turning to classification, with Manitoba the first to fully abandon censorship for classification in the 1960s.

  • Caligula - this film was banned on its initial release (except in Quebec, where it was rated 18+) for its sexually explicit content.
  • The Wild One - this film banned in Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec. The bans were eventually overturned, at least in Quebec where the film was rated 14+ in 1968 and re-rated G in 2013.
  • A Clockwork Orange - this film was banned in Alberta and Nova Scotia, where both bans were eventually overturned and classified the film R.
  • Blue Velvet - this film was banned in New Brunswick. However, its ban became moot when the province started to use the ratings provided by the Maritime Film Classification Board, which gave it an R rating.
  • Exit to Eden - this film was temporarily banned in Saskatchewan. Nonetheless, the backlash against the ban proved so fierce that the Saskatchewan Film and Video Classification Board quit classifying movies on its own and made an agreement with the British Columbia Film Classification Office in 1997 to use their ratings.
  • The Tin Drum - this film was banned in Ontario as the Provincial film board deemed it as child pornography.

Books censorship[]

  • American Psycho - this novel was banned during its first release.

TV censorship[]

  • Doctor Who - the episode "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" was refused airing by Ontario TV after Chinese-Canadian groups who were given precautionary test screenings were angered by its Yellow Peril content.
  • The Swamp Fox - this Disney show which aired circa 1968 on "Walt Disney Presents", was banned as the Canadian government didn't like the portrayal of the Tory/Loyalist characters as complete villains. Ironically, the series' star, Leslie Nielsen, hails from Canada.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - its tenth episode, "Jungle Cruise", was skipped by YTV due to its graphic content on the show's first rotation. In this case, it shows a serial killer who skins his victims alive and plugs his eyes into them so they can watch themselves being killed. However, due to outcry from the fans, it was later played in a marathon of episodes, and on the show's second run, albeit with a special content warning that the level of violence was above the usual level for something allowed on YTV.

  • Looney Tunes:
    • 1939 cartoon "Thugs With Dirty Mugs" was banned back in Winnipeg, Manitoba, at that time due to a joke near the end of the cartoon where a criminal declares himself to be "a naughty little boy". The censors deemed that this ending was "not sincere and just an excuse to show criminal activity."
    • The 1954 Bugs Bunny short "Bewitched Bunny", which ends with Bugs transforming Witch Hazel into a lady bunny with a more feminine voice but retaining Hazel's evil laugh, was banned by the National Film Board because of Bugs' fourth wall-breaking line "Ah sure, I know. But aren't they all witches inside?", being perceived as misogynistic. Three days later, however, ban was lifted, but the line was edited out of later broadcasts in the 1980s, being replaced with "Sure uh, I know. But after all, who wants to be alone on Halloween?" The edited version has since ceased airing in favour of the original version.
  • Kevin Spencer - this series had its eight episode banned for violence and disgusting humor.
  • The Powerpuff Girls - the episode "The Rowdyruff Boys" did not air on the original YTV broadcast, but was later shown as part of reruns.

Video Games censorship[]

  • Soldier of Fortune, Manhunt and Manhunt 2 were labeled as "adult motion pictures" by the British Columbia Film Classification Office, prohibiting sale to persons younger than 18 in the province.



Internet Censorship[]

Others[]

  • Huawei devices are banned by the Canadian government.
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