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  Lamb's off...

Australia's advert censor decides to ban amusing religious dinner party advert at the second attempt


Link Here 1st December 2017  full story: Advert Censorship in Australia...Advertising Standards Board
lamb advert video Australia's advert censors have changed their mind over a lamb marketing advert and have now banned the advert.

The Advertising Standards Board (ASB) has reversed its decision on Meat and Livestock Australia's lamb ad, after an independent review found it had breached the advertising code.

The ad, which featured religious gods and prophets, including Hindu god Ganesha sharing a BBQ lamb meal, received more than 200 complaints, including one from the High Commission of India in Australia, which claimed the ad was offensive and hurting religious sentiments.

The ASB originally cleared the ad declaring it had not breached its code.

An independent review by the ASB found the original ruling was an error and cited substantial flaws with the initial decision, which found the ad was lighthearted and humorous and did not breach the advertising standards code.

The review claimed Meat and Livestock Australia gave inadequate consideration to how seriously some Australians take their religious views and determined the ad had breached the code, recommending the ad be removed.

 

  Nut Jobs at the Australian Censorship Board...

Appeal board overturns the PG rating for Nut Job 2 and replaces it with a general audience G rating


Link Here 27th November 2017
The Nut Job 2 - Nutty By Nature DVD The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature is a 2017 Canada / USA / South Korea family animation comedy by Cal Brunker.
Starring Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl and Maya Rudolph. IMDb

Surly and his friends, Buddy, Andie and Precious discover that the mayor of Oakton City is cracking one big hustle to build a giant yet quite-shabby amusement park, which in turn will bulldoze their home, which is the city park, and it's up to them and the rest of the park animals to stop the mayor, along with his daughter and a mad animal control officer from getting away with his scheme, and take back the park.

The Australian Review Board has overturned a PG rating from the Classification Board and replaced it with a general audience G rating (equivalent to a UK U rating). The Review Board explains:

A three-member panel of the Classification Review Board has unanimously determined that the film Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature is classified G (General) with the consumer advice Some scenes may scare young children.

The Classification Guidelines provide that at the G category, violence and the treatment of themes should have a very low sense of threat or menace, and be justified by context.

In the Classification Review Board's opinion Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature warrants a G classification because its violence and treatment of themes are of a very mild impact. There are numerous scenes of unrealistic, animated violence which are all resolved with positive outcomes for the animals and are interspersed with humour and are relevant to the context. The theme of the park being destroyed for greed is overall a positive story about animals protecting their habitat and has a very mild sense of threat which is at all times relevant to the context.

The Classification Review Board convened today in response to an application from the original applicant, Roadshow Films to review the decision made by the Classification Board on 18 September 2017 to classify Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature PG with the consumer advice Mild themes and animated violence.

For comparison:

  • the UK BBFC rated the film as U uncut for mild comic threat, violence
  • the US MPAA rated the film PG for action and some rude humor.

 

 Updated: Australian puppets dance for their Chinese masters...

Chinese pressure, or fear of Chinese pressure, gets an Australian book dropped by Australian publishers


Link Here 20th November 2017

Silencing Dissent: How the Australian government is controlling public opinion and stifling debate The leading book publisher in Australia, Allen & Unwin, has dropped a book about the influence of China's Communist Party in Australia's domestic affairs, due to censorship pressure from China, or maybe from  the fear of Chinese action against the publisher..

In a decision likened to the recent decision by Cambridge University Press to restrict access to sensitive China-related articles, the release of the forthcoming book, Clive Hamilton's Silent Invasion: How China is Turning Australia into a Puppet State was shelved by the publisher over concerns about potential legal action by China.

The author and a prominent Australian academic, said the decision by Allen & Unwin demonstrated the extent of the shadow cast by Beijing.

It is believed to be the first time that a publisher has suspended publication of a book in a Western market because of fears of potential pressure from Beijing.

We as Australians living in a free society should not allow ourselves to be bullied into silence by an autocratic foreign power, Professor Hamilton told ABC News.

In a statement, Allen & Unwin said it decided to delay publication following extensive legal advice. Clive was unwilling to delay publication and requested the return of his rights, as he is entitled to do, it said. We continue to wish him the best of luck with the book.

Update: Presenting China in a more positive light

19th November 2017 See article from nytimes.com

silent invasionThe New York Times reports on an Australian furore following the news that a book has effectively been banned by Chinese influence. The Times writes:

The decision this month to delay the book, Silent Invasion: How China Is Turning Australia into a Puppet State , has set off a national uproar, highlighting the tensions between Australia's growing economic dependence on China and its fears of falling under the political control of the rising Asian superpower.

The decision by Allen & Unwin to stall publication of this book almost proves the point that there's an undue level of Chinese influence in Australia, said Prof. Rory Medcalf, head of the National Security College at Australian National University.

In the yet-unpublished book, the author, Clive Hamilton, a well-known intellectual and professor at Charles Sturt University in Australia, describes what he calls an orchestrated campaign by Beijing to influence Australia and silence China's critics.

In one chapter the book asserts that senior Australian journalists were taken on junkets to China in order to shift their opinions so they would present China in a more positive light. In another chapter, the book details links between Australian scientists and researchers at Chinese military universities, which he said had led to a transfer of scientific know-how to the People's Liberation Army.

 

  The Russian art of protest...

An exhibition of art from Pussy Riot and other Russian artists has opened in London


Link Here 20th November 2017  full story: Pussy Riot...Protest in a church sparks vengeful persecution
pussy riot about putin Members of the punk rock band Pussy Riot were arrested for their criticism of Putin while performing in a Moscow cathedral. The performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky once sat naked in front of Lenin's Mausoleum, and nailed his scrotum to the stone pavement. He was later taken away by the police. The art duo Blue Noses is famous for a photograph of two Russian policemen kissing and embracing each other while in uniform.

They are all, along with other protest artists who work in Russia, part of the  Art Riot: Post-Soviet Actionism exhibit whiched opened on 16th November at London's Saatchi Gallery.

Quartz have produced a video showing examples of the protest art .

 

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