Film #LookAtMe refused classification
SINGAPORE – 17 OCT 2022
The film “#LookAtMe” has been assessed to have exceeded the Film Classification Guidelines because it denigrates a religious community and has the potential to cause enmity and social division in Singapore’s multi-racial and multi-religious society. In arriving at the decision, the IMDA consulted the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY).
The film indicates, to the audience in the opening frame, that it is “inspired by true events”. Set in Singapore, the film revolves around the protagonist who is offended by a pastor’s stance on homosexuality. The protagonist uploads an incendiary social media post about the male pastor, which goes viral. This leads to a series of events that adversely affects the lives of the protagonist and his family. As the film progresses, the protagonist considers plotting a revenge attack on the pastor. Various descriptions of the pastor (including a similar sounding title) are suggestive of a real pastor in Singapore. Persons in Singapore may draw that connection. The context may be seen to be suggesting or encouraging violence against the pastor. The pastor is also portrayed engaging in an act prohibited by his professed religious faith. The allegations may be perceived to offensive, defamatory and contrary to the MRHA, in that it may be seen as unfairly attacking a religious figure, as well as cause offence to religious beliefs.
Further, the film has the potential to cause enmity and social division in Singapore.
- The Singapore pastor preaches against homosexuality but engages in behaviour that goes against his religious teachings.
- The reference to “true events” implies that leaders of the local religious community, including the pastor, have engaged in such behaviour.
- The protagonist declares his intention and makes preparations to violently attack a religious figure.
In arriving at its decision, IMDA had sought the views of its advisory committees and was guided by the Film Classification Guidelines.
The Film Classification Guidelines state that “classification should be sensitive to the concerns of different racial or religious groups and the need to safeguard racial and religious harmony”. It further states that “films that are likely to denigrate any racial or religious group will be refused classification”.
MHA and MCCY agree that the film should be refused classification.
About the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission.
For more news and information, visit www.imda.gov.sg or follow IMDA on LinkedIn (@IMDA), Facebook (@IMDAsg) and Instagram (@IMDAsg).