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Woody Allen Fights India’s Anti-Tobacco Laws

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Woody Allen hasn’t said anything about Mia Farrow‘s allegations that their son is actually Frank Sinatra’s kid. Perhaps he’s channeling it into a different fight. Okay, not really, he’s probably just rolling over the whole thing and shuffling around his apartment holding up his hands asking houseplants, “Can you believe this?” while taking short breaks to play jazz clarinet and count his money. Please let this be accurate.

He’s got a film out, Blue Jasmine, starring Cate Blanchett and that chick from The Bachelorette, and it’s getting really good reviews and buzz. But India isn’t giving Allen any slack when it comes to their strict film laws. They have anti-tobacco laws, and consider smoking in films to be an advertisement for smoking, which they don’t allow, so they put anti-smoking ads into all films where there are smoking screens. Something at the bottom of the screen. “Typically scrolling text warning viewers of the dangers of tobacco use.” (BBC News). So here’s what he’s doing about it. More from BBC News:

According to Reuters, Allen refused to accommodate the ads during his film.

It had been due to open in around 30 cinemas at the weekend.

The film features two smoking scenes that would have given cause for the on-screen disclaimers – typically scrolling text warning viewers of the dangers of tobacco use.

A publicist for Allen told Reuters: “Due to content in the film, it cannot be shown in India in its intended manner. Therefore, the film is not scheduled to play there.”

The film’s Indian distributor, PVR films, told DNA newspaper the director had overall creative control over the film.

“He wasn’t comfortable with the disclaimer that we are required to run when some smoking scene is shown in films,” Deepak Sharma said. “He feels that when the scroll comes, attention goes to it rather than the scene. We had to abide by the law and we don’t have control over the film.”

I think it’s stupid as hell to have these ads inserted into films. Where will it stop? Can you imagine if Breaking Bad had to abide by the same laws? Give your viewers some credit. Or don’t, who cares, not your problem to watch out for their health.

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