Malaysia Bans 'Hustlers' Over "Obscene Content"

Hustlers - Publicity still 6 - H 2019

According to the BBC, the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia classified the movie as "not suitable for public screening."

The Jennifer Lopez-starring Hustlers has been banned in Malaysia. 

Square Box Pictures, the company distributing the STX title in the country, confirmed the ban on Instagram, writing, "We regret to inform you that Hustlers movie release has been cancelled as it has been banned in Malaysia."

According to the BBC, the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia classified the pic as "not suitable for public screening." The ban was enacted due to of the feature's supposed "excessive obscene content," which includes nudity, drug use and erotic dancing. 

A representative from the board told Agence France-Presse there were so many cuts that needed to be made there would hardly be anything left to watch.

"This film contains too many scenes with too much excessive obscene content, and is not suitable for public screening," the board's chairman Mohamad Zamberi Abdul Aziz told AFP.

"We can see women's breasts and mens' private parts. There are also erotic dances which are too much, and scenes (with drugs)."

STX has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Based on a 2015 New York Magazine article, the crime drama centers on a band of strippers in Great Recession-era New York City that drug and fleece their Wall Street clientele. Lorene Scafaria wrote and directed the feature, which is led by Lopez and Constance Wu and also stars Keke Palmer, Cardi B, Lizzo and Lili Reinhardt.

Hustlers received glowing reviews after its Toronto International Film Festival debut and earned an impressive $33.1 million in its opening weekend at the North American box office.

Malaysia recently censored the Elton John biopic Rocketman over the movie's depiction of gay sex. In 2017, the country's film board attempted to censor Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast for a "gay moment" in the pic, but the studio refused to edit the movie. (After postponing the release, Beauty and the Beast was cleared without the proposed cuts.)

Other titles that have been banned in the conservative Southeast Asian country include The Wolf of Wall Street, Fifty Shades of Grey and the Sacha Baron Cohen movie Bruno