Beijing Film Festival Pulls “Call Me By Your Name”

“There is no clear policy on this issue, so we are always confused,” says the head of the Beijing LGBT Center.

A film festival in China has dropped the critically acclaimed gay drama Call Me By Your Name from its lineup, Sony Pictures announced Monday.

Sony Pictures Classics

The Oscar-winning movie has been withdrawn from the Beijing International Film Festival taking place in April, reflecting China’s fickle relationship with LGBT themes in the media. While homosexuality is not technically illegal, the government has banned “abnormal sexual behaviors,” including homosexuality, from TV and online content. The popular Chinese web series Addicted, which follows a gay high-school couple, was abruptly taken down in 2016.

But that same year saw the first film featuring gay main characters, Wang Chao’s Seek McCartney, approved by censors.

This month Parliament voted to end term limits for President Xi Jinping and hand control over film, news, and publishing to the Communist Party’s publicity department. Insiders say the reshuffle has made it nearly impossible to get clear directions.

Sony Pictures

“There is no clear policy on this issue, so we are always confused,” Xin Ying, director of the Beijing LGBT Center, told The Japan Times..

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery