AP: Singapore signs German TV deal, bans Taiwanese gay movie

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Singapore signs German TV deal, bans Taiwanese gay movie

Singapore said last week it has stepped closer to its goal of becoming an Asian media and arts hub by signing a TV deal with a German company — but on the same day, said it banned a Taiwanese hit film for its gay content. Authorities nixed “Formula 17,” a Taiwanese movie about two teenage boys falling in love, after the Media Development Authority objected, saying it showed homosexuality as “normal, and a natural progression of society.”

The authority announced July 22 that Singapore’s Oak3films signed a $4.07 million deal with Germany’s FFP media to jointly produce the TV romance drama “House of Harmony.” It will be broadcast in Singapore and on Germany’s ZDF television network, the Media Development Authority said. But the authority, which is sponsoring part of the deal, said Singaporeans weren’t ready for “Formula 17,” and claimed that more than 70 percent of the city-state’s 4 million people reject homosexuality. Singapore law bans gay sex, but gays are seldom prosecuted.