Considering how much sex, drug use and swearing there is in the film, it doesn’t come as a huge shock that parts of Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” are being trimmed for more conservative regions of the world like the Middle East and parts of Asia.
Now though it’s going further in some places according to THR. Malaysia and Nepal have outright banned the film.
Major scenes have been cut from the releases in India – notably the gay orgy, the Jonah Hill public masturbation, the use of a straw to blow cocaine into a woman’s ass, and oddly enough the line “all nuns are lesbians” as there’s a guideline that “all religions should be respected”.
In Lebanon it made it through intact aside from the gay orgy scene. United Arab Emirates wasn’t so lucky with a full 45 minutes of the film excised.
In other areas, like Singapore, it made it through apparently intact but the ultra-restrictive R21 rating means only a handful of cinemas will play it as it has been banned from suburban multiplexes. Still, even with its limited run, it topped the box-office in Singapore last weekend.
Red Granite Pictures president Christian Mercuri says: “Some of the content in the film makes it difficult in certain territories where they have censorship and can even ban films. It certainly concerns us that anyone is cutting our film, but every territory is different.”
He goes on to talk about cultural differences. The graphic sex in the film is a problem in Asia, the Middle East, and even the U.S. to some extent but isn’t a problem in Europe. With a highly violent film on the other hand, it’s the other way around.
So far the film has only just begun its international rollout, but has been doing big business in the few territories it has opened so far in.