Register for our free newsletter

Latest News

Game of Thrones . . . dethroned

Game of Thrones . . . dethroned

UAE censorship laws tickle Kipp.

April 11, 2012 5:21 by

If you have lived in the region for as long as Kipp, you are probably aware of the somewhat strange and random censorship laws that apply to entertainment programmes. If you haven’t, you probably have no idea what it is we are talking about. It is tough to describe what doesn’t survive the UAE censorship chopper. Do you remember the story of a US judge who was asked to define pornography? “I know it when I see it,” he replied. Here in the UAE it isn’t that straightforward. . . of course.

Sure, the usual scenes of nudity or graphic content tend to get cut, but very often suggestions of explicitness tend to slip through. Case in point: when Horrible Bosses was screened in the Emirates, it ran mostly uncensored. This was interesting, especially as a third of the film followed the story of a female dentist who sexually harrasses her assistant. The dentist, played by Jennifer Aniston, had some rather eyebrow-raising, colorful things to say. Even Kipp was a little taken aback at times, but it was deemed acceptable by UAE censors. This confirms Kipp’s theory – the more standard-typical the explicit content is, the higher the chances of censorship. A strange concept. But rather a simple one.

After years of watching characters silently mouth swear words or clumsily pieced-together romantic movies, Kipp has become used to the country’s penchant for censorship – which is why we were extremely shocked, and just a little tickled, to hear about Etisalat’s less-than-classy treatment of the screening of the second season of US dark fantasy TV series, Game of Thrones.

According to The National: “An episode of Game of Thrones was cut midway through transmission on Monday evening after Etisalat, which runs the eVision television service, deemed it unsuitable. Viewers were left with blank screens after the show was pulled off air, with many angry at the lack of explanation for the cut.”

They just pulled the plug? Say what? This is just too good to be true. Anyone who has heard of Game of Thrones knows the show is dripping in explicitly, explicit content. Who initially decided it would be broadcast? If you removed all of the precarious scenes from the show, you’d probably be only left with five minutes of screen time.


  1. K T on April 12, 2012 9:35 am

    Welcome to Dubai where everything is a bit puzzling. Gore and violence used to be censored yet movies starring Van Damme, Steven Seagal which were immersed in violence and gore made it on the big screens without any cuts. There are no set rules and procedures in place at the Censorship board thus we see Horrible Bosses uncensored and Game of Thrones being cut half way.

  2. Neil on April 14, 2012 9:51 am

    If the intent is to block some images and language from children, then the parents can use the tools already in place for this. Every set-top-box already includes parental controls.


Leave a Comment