India’s censors block “Code” over disclaimer

Well, not that India was going to be such a windfall anyway, but “Da Vinci Code” won’t be opening there, after all.
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Per a BBC report,

“…the Censor Board wanted the disclaimers to read “it is a work of pure fiction and has no correspondence to historical facts of the Christian religion.”

On the one hand, much as we were bored by the film, this is totally absurd. As Sony rightly points out, every film ever released in the last 20 years as a disclaimer at its end. You know it well if you’ve ever stuck around through the credits to make out with your date:

“The characters and incidents portrayed and the names herein are fictitious, and any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.”

Sounds familiar, right?

Except, the catch is, you gotta stick around.

The problem with India is, religious and cultural disagreement can get very hairy, quickly.

And Sony’s Indian censor problem is particularly nettlesome and wide-ranging in its potential ramifications: If the studio caves on the disclaimer in India, it will probably need to cave everywhere else overseas. Worse, despite the projected $70 million opening weekend Stateside, the studio really needs overseas audiences to show up – because if critical word of mouth is any indication, there’ll be a plunge in ticket sales domestically in the second week of release.imageBAN10504121616.jpg

There’s a fine line between individual responsibility and pandering. In a volatile third world tinderbox like Gujarat, it behooves Sony to do the right thing an insert a disclaimer in “Code.” Because if they think there’s a controversy now, imagine how things will go if charred bodies pile up in front of Indian theaters?