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James Franco Slams Australian Government Over Gay Sex Film Ban (Video)

Jame Franco

UPDATED: The "Oz" actor calls the country's film board's decision to ban the screening of one of his collaborator's other projects "hypocritical" and "disappointing."

James Franco is fighting the power in the other Oz.

The Oz the Great and Powerful star has spoken out against the Australian Classification Board's decision to ban screenings of Travis Mathews' gay-themed film, I Want Your Love.

Matthews co-directed with Franco Interior.Leather.Bar, a reimagining of 40 minutes of scenes deleted from William Friedkin's 1980 S&M club film Cruising. Prior to that film, Mathews directed I Want Your Love, the story of a gay man's last days in San Francisco. The Australian government-sponsored commission has banned the screening of the film at two gay-themed film festivals in the country, the Melbourne Queer Film Festival and the Brisbane Queer Film Festival, citing the sex scenes between men as indecent.

Film Review: 'Interior. Leather. Bar.'

Franco produced a video on the film's behalf, and said that he asked Morrison to join him in making Interior. Leather. Bar because he was "using sex in such a sophisticated way... to keep it away from films that want to explore it as human behavior is very shortsighted and I think very hypocritical. I don't think we would be having this conversation if he had made a very violent film."

In a statement that went along with a petition sent to the classification board, Mathews said, he uses sex "as a tool to show character development, interpersonal issues, intimacy, playfulness and something overall closer to the reality I'm familiar with."

In response to the ban, he also put the film online, available at IWantYourLoveTheMovie.com.

The controversy also is fueled by the fact that, just a year ago, the classification board allowed a film about beastiality -- which included onscreen sex between men and animals -- called Donkey Love to screen at festivals. The board has banned several films before, including one with a violent zombie sex scene and one that involved a threesome.