BBC News: Singapore upholds Janet Jackson ban

Tuesday, June 5, 2001

Janet Jackson
Jackson's All For You tour starts in July
Officials in Singapore have thrown out an appeal against a ban on Janet Jackson's album, All For You.

The Publications Appeal Committee, a panel of academics and professionals, considered the appeal by record company executives.

They decided that the lyrics of the album, particularly one song, Would You Mind, were "not acceptable to our society".

The record was initially outlawed because of its "sexually explicit lyrics". The song lyrics include "I just wanna touch you, tease you, lick you, please you, love you, make love to you."


Distributor EMI is now attempting a compromise by trying to persuade Jackson's management to delete Would You Mind from the album.

This would make the album more acceptable in Singapore. However, Jackson fans can still access and download the offending song from the internet.

Singapore officials banned Jackson's previous album, The Velvet Rope, because three of its songs contained lyrics about homosexuality.

Singapore, a conservative city-state, is notorious for its tight controls on all media and for its promotion of family-oriented "Asian values".


In 1963 it outlawed the Peter, Paul and Mary hit Puff, the Magic Dragon, fearing it referred to smoking marijuana.

An episode of Ally McBeal was banned because its titular character shared a steamy kiss with co-worker Ling, played by Lucy Liu.

Calista Flockhart
Ally McBeal: Lesbian kiss banned
The Television Corporation of Singapore (TCS) said it had dropped the episode because it "centres around alternative sexual explorations".

Two further episodes in the same series were given parental guidance warnings.

Austin Powers 2 was heavily censored and had its subtitle changed from The Spy Who Shagged Me to The Spy Who Shioked Me.

Shioked means good or nice in Singapore's mix of English, Malay and Chinese dialects. Singapore's board of film censors said the use of the word 'shagged' was "crude and offensive".

All pornography, even partial nudity, is banned, websites considered obscene or offensive are blocked by the government, and many films are censored or banned.

Jackson is still enjoying success, however. The album is currently riding high in the American charts at number five, after occupying the number one spot.

Her All For You world tour starts in Vancouver, Canada on 7 July. Singapore is not on the list of tour dates.