The world’s fourth largest airline, Emirates has been accused of censoring same-sex scenes from some productions shown on its flights.
Among the programmes where gay scenes have been cut are Killing Eve and Oscar-nominated Ladybird, according to the Evening Standard newspaper.
Scenes were removed from shows on Emirates’ flights
Emirates cut a kiss scene between the two lead female characters in Killing Eve, sources told the paper. A kiss scene between two boys in US film, Ladybird, was also removed, the paper reported.
However, comparable heterosexual scenes were left untouched, the Standard noted. These included a semi-nude encounter between Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts in comedy-drama Notting Hill.
While airlines often edit the films they show, the paper said this type of censorship runs counter to previous statements trumpeting Emirates’ progressive values.
The Dubai-based carrier stated in 2017 that, ‘as a multicultural global company, it does not discriminate against people of any race, religion or sexual orientation. Diversity is a foundation of our brand.’
The UAE has long-standing censorship of print media
The move is similar to practices that have existed within the United Arab Emirates in regards to newspaper and magazine censorship.
All publications imported to the nation are scrutinised for ‘unsuitable’ content, which includes any nudity and LGBTI content. This is often cut off by scissors or scored through with black ink.
Emirates Airline has been seen by many as a modernising influence in the UAE because of its global reach. However, it seems that domestic attitudes are now creeping into curbing the airline’s self-stated ‘multicultural’ values.
A spokesperson from Emirates contacted Gay Star News with a statement:
‘Emirates does not have rights to edit any licensed movie or TV content, as we acquire content produced by the studios and distributors.
‘Emirates acquires mostly theatrical unedited versions of content, but as a family friendly airline serving an international audience, where there is excessive violence, sex, nudity or language, we opt to license the edited versions created by the studios/distributors,’ the spokesperson said.