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24th April

 Updated: Slippery Slope...

Well it's a good job the Daily Mail pointed out a 'racist slur' on Top Gear, otherwise no-one would have noticed, and many would have missed out on an opportunity to be easily offended
Link Here  full story: Top Gear...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers
top gear slope video Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson has found himself at the centre of a trivial 'racism' row following a comment he made during the final show of the series.

Clarkson was commenting on a newly constructed makeshift bridge over the River Kwai: That is a proud moment, but there's a slope on it , as a man walked towards them on the bridge. Fellow presenter Richard Hammond replied saying: You're right, it's definitely higher on that side.

A few viewers took to Twitter in 'shock' following his use of the word slope in the second episode of the two-part special, which is apparently considered a derogatory term for people of Asian decent.

One wrote: Topgear - There's a slope on it - Subtle racism!, while another viewer appeared to agree: That slope joke on Top Gear tonight was ill advised. A great show ultimately spoilt by a gag too far.'

Update: Equal Opportunity

29th March 2013.  See article from

The BBC has received a formal complaint over an supposedly racist remark made by Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson during one of the show's Burma specials.

A law firm acting on behalf of the nearly unknown actress Somi Guha has written to the BBC claiming Clarkson's use of the word slope , which can be used as a derogatory term for people of Asian descent, contravened the Equality Act 2010. Guha is seeking an apology and disciplinary action against Clarkson. In the formal complaint, sent to the corporation's management and the BBC Trust, law firm Equal Justice wrote:

Casual racism in the media by established BBC stalwarts is constantly brushed aside. Discrimination within the industry is accepted. Racial profiling of roles is accepted and expected. I find it offensive that Jeremy Clarkson refers to people of different races in pejorative terms.

[The show] must be censured to ensure that another race or nation is not targeted, and that the BBC should give due consideration to not re-commissioning Top Gear until these matters are addressed.

The show attracted 10 other complaints from viewers.

Update: Top Gear's producer grovels over trivial quip

24th April 2014. See article from

BBC logoTop Gear's executive producer, Andy Wilman, has expressed regret for supposed offence caused by a quip on the show made by presenter Jeremy Clarkson that some easily offended viewers found racist. In a statement, Wilman said:

When we used the word "slope" in the recent Top Gear Burma special it was a light-hearted wordplay joke referencing both the build quality of the bridge and the local Asian man who was crossing it.

We were not aware at the time, and it has subsequently been brought to our attention, that the word 'slope' is considered by some to be offensive and although it might not be widely recognised in the UK, we appreciate that it can be considered offensive to some here and overseas, for example in Australia and the USA.

If we had known that at the time we would not have broadcast the word in this context and regret any offence caused.


24th April

 Offsite Article: Fancy becoming a BBFC 'compliancy' officer?...

Link Here
BBFC logo Well just fill in a form, write a novel, and the nearest to the mantelpiece wins

See article from


23rd April

  Marked as Scaredy Girls...

Melon farming Fresh
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ASA whinges that an advert for The Marked Ones appeared on Girls Go Games website
Link Here

Paranormal Activity Marked Ones Blu Ray An online trailer for the film Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones , which played before games on, began with a woman saying, What is this? and a man replying, It's some black magic stuff . A number of brief scenes from the film followed, including a sheet flying quickly towards the camera, a man pulling a long thread from his eye, something smashing through the window of car, objects flying around a living room as a woman screamed, arms breaking through a door, a girl looking through a trapdoor and being grabbed by the arm, a close-up of a woman looking frightened, and two young girls with a ghostly appearance and no eyes speaking in demonic voices. The ad also featured night vision clips of cinema audience members screaming, shielding their eyes and looking frightened. On-screen text interspersed between scenes stated NEW YEAR ... NEW FEAR . Issue

The complainant challenged whether the ad had been responsibly targeted, because it was likely to be seen by children and would cause them harm and distress.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA considered the overall tone and the content of the ad, including in particular the scene of two young girls with a ghostly appearance and no eyes speaking in demonic voices, was likely to cause harm and distress to children.

We acknowledged Paramount Pictures UK had instructed their media buying agency to buy online advertising space aimed at 16- to 24-year-olds, and that the ad should only be served between 8 pm and 6 am. We considered, however, that the Girls Go Games website was, due to its overall design and the type of games it featured, likely to have strong appeal to children, and to young girls in particular. We noted that according to SPIL Games BV, 32% of users of the Girls Go Games website were 12 years of age and under, which we considered to be a significant percentage of the website's users. We also noted that 61% of website users were between 13 and 22 years of age, and we considered it likely that a significant portion of websites users in that age group would fall into the lower end of that age range, given the design of the website and types of games featured.

Because the ad had been targeted to a website which was used by a significant proportion of children, and we considered the ad was not suitable for children, we concluded it had not been responsibly targeted.

The ad must not appear again in its current form.


23rd April

 Update: Unchecked Censorship...

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Russian Dumas approves law to extended news media censorship to bloggers
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Poland...In the name of dangerous gambling

Russian Duma logoThe Committee to Protect Journalists has called on President Vladimir Putin to veto a new bill that would subject popular bloggers to the same restrictions as traditional media in Russia. The bill was approved by Russia's parliament, the State Duma, in its final reading.

The bill would apply to blogs with more than 3,000 daily visitors. As with other laws recently adopted in Russia, the language of the bill is broad and open to wide-ranging interpretation and selective implementation by government agencies. It bans bloggers from using their platforms for committing crimes, divulging state secrets, publishing extremist materials, as well as propagating pornography, the cult of violence, and cruelty, according to local press reports . They would also be banned from using swear words, the news agency Itar-Tass reported.

The bill would also require the bloggers to publish their real names and contact details, news reports said. They would be allowed to publish only confirmed information and could be punished for distributing unchecked facts , the news website Lenta reported. Punishment for violating the law would range from a fine of up to 500,000 rubles (US$14,000) to suspension of blogging activities for up to 30 days.

CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said:

We call on President Vladimir Putin to veto this restrictive bill that, if passed, will censor the remaining independent voices in Russian media. The broad restrictions laid out by this legislation invite both its abuse by Russian authorities to silence their critics and self-censorship on the part of bloggers in order to avoid potential repercussions.

If signed into law, the new bill will go into effect on August 1, the Russian press reported.


23rd April

  Playing the Shanghai Shuffle...

China outlines the censorship process for foreign companies to release console games
Link Here
GTA Chinatown Wars Nintendo DS Foreign companies will soon be able to produce and sell game consoles in China , although they do have to work with a local partner and operate out of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

All games will have to be approved by the "culture department in charge" . Happily, this refers to the local Shanghai government culture department, not the probably-more-strict national Ministry of Culture.

Games that are not approved will be returned with the reason for their rejection clearly stated. That certainly suggests that rejected games may be easy to fix and resubmit. Content that won't be allowed in games includes:
  • Gambling-related content or game features
  • Anything that violates China's constitution
  • Anything that threatens China's national unity, sovereignty, or territorial integrity.
  • Anything that harms the nation's reputation, security, or interests.
  • Anything that instigates racial/ethnic hatred, or harms ethnic traditions and cultures.
  • Anything that violates China's policy on religion by promoting cults or superstitions.
  • Anything that promotes or incites obscenity, drug use, violence, or gambling.
  • Anything that harms public ethics or China's culture and traditions.
  • Anything that insults, slanders, or violates the rights of others.
  • Other content that violates the law

Obviously, many of these can be interpreted broadly or very selectively, but there's reason to hope that the Shanghai local government will take a less broad approach than the Ministry of Culture might have. However, it seems highly unlikely that the likes of Grand Theft Auto will be available any time soon.


23rd April

  No to Censorship...

Mexicans protest against proposed law enabling government censorship
Link Here
Mexico flagHundreds of students and activists marched in Mexico's capital Tuesday to protest a telecommunications law being debated by the Senate that they say will allow the government to arbitrarily censor Internet content.

Protesters carrying signs that read No to Censorship and Freedom of Expression marched to the Senate building after organizing the demonstration on social networks.

One of the most controversial articles in the proposed law allows the government to request that internet providers block access to certain content, applications or services, including cutting off cellphone service or Internet access if it considers there is a risk to public safety.

If they can block Internet and cellphone signals whenever the government wants that will leave us very vulnerable and go against our own security, said protester Carla Sandoval.


23rd April

 Offsite Article: UK Filters And The Slippery Slope Of Mass Censorship...

Link Here  full story: David Cameron's Internet Porn Ban...Attempting to ban everything on the internet
techdirt logo From the slip-slip-sliding-your-freedoms-away dept

See article from


22nd April

  I Shall be Released...

Bob Dylan cleared of a supposed hate crime of a throwaway link between Croatians and Nazis
Link Here
Times They Are  Changin cd A French judge has dismissed charges that Bob Dylan incited racial hate by making a comparison between Croatians and Nazis in an interview with Rolling Stone. Prosecutors are now said to be pursuing the magazine's French publisher, Michel Birnbaum, for his decision to print the remarks.

In the interview Dylan compared the relationship between Jews and Nazis to that of Serbs and Croats. He is reported to have said:

Blacks know that some whites didn't want to give up slavery - that if they had their way, they would still be under the yoke, and they can't pretend they don't know that.

If you got a slave master or [Ku Klux] Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood.

After the interview was published, the easily offended Council of Croats in France (CRICCF) filed a complaint.

According to the AFP, a judge ruled that Dylan had not given his consent for his Rolling Stone statements to be published in France.


21st April

  Cutting Edge Quick Trims Episode 8: Braveheart...

A YouTube video of the BBFC cuts
Link Here
Cuts to Braveheart

Quick Trims: Braveheart on YouTube

Braveheart is a 1995 USA action war biography by Mel Gibson.
Starring Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau and Patrick McGoohan. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

Censorship History

Cut for an MPAA R rating.

This was then further cut by the BBFC for cinema, VHS and DVD.

The BBFC cuts were waived for 2009 Blu-ray.


21st April

 Update: I Spit on Your Grave Again...

Producers announce I Spit on Your Grave 3, surely it will be censored, just like the previous 3
Link Here  full story: I Spit on Your Grave...Remake enjoys some good publicity
i spit on your grave again All 3 of the I Spit on Your Grave films so far have been censored in the UK, so it looks a fair bet that the 4th will also invoke similar censorial ire.

CineTel, who produced the two recent offereings, have decided to go into production for a 3rd time. The story:

Will focus on a serial killer that uses a crisis hotline to target rapists. One of the counsellors has a dark past, which sends detectives sniffing in her direction -- but is she the killer they're looking for?

There's a good chance that Steven R. Monroe, who helmed the last two instalments, will return for this latest effort.


21st April

 Updated: Rouh's Beauty...

Film banned from Egyptian cinemas and under duress in Qatar
Link Here
rouhs beautyRouh's Beauty is a 2014 Egypt drama by Sameh Abdelaziz.
Starring Salah Abdallah, Nagwa Fouad and Mohamed Lotfy. YouTube icon IMDb

Egypt's interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahleb has banned a recently released Egyptian film, Halawet Rooh (Rouh's Beauty) . It will now be withdrawn from movie theatres and resubmitted to the country's censorship board.

The decision comes after the for-adults-only film, released on 3 April, was hit with a wave of moral indignation accusing it of containing heavy sexual connotations that violate the Egyptian moral code .

The film, which revolves around Rooh, played by Egyptian/Lebanese diva Haifa Wahbe, who becomes the object of desire of all the men in her working class neighbourhood while her husband is away.

A review published last week in the Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm took aim at Halawet Rooh under the title of How to Make an Egyptian Porno , which accused the film of unsuccessfully posing as drama while it was only concerned with sexually arousing the audience .

Other morality campaigners have joined the crusade against the film. The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) claimed:

The film includes language and scenes that negatively affects the morals of children.

Meanwhile the easily offended in Qatar have also been campaigning against the film.

Supposedly, the indecent nature of the film has caused social media outrage due to the x-rated content, which was deemed inappropriate to the norms of the conservative Arab culture. The hashtag #banbeautyofthesouldmovie was trending on Twitter in support of banning the film from screening in Qatari cinemas.

They claim the film was banned in some of Qatar's neighbouring countries for its brazen display of nudity, and the sexual undertones. 'Concerned' Qatari citizens said:

How could they have approved such a movie, we need new regulations to ensure that such unconventional movies are kept out of our islamic society.

Update: Censor resigns

20th April 2014. See article from

The head of Egypt's censorship board has resigned after the country's prime minister overruled his decision to allow the screening of the film Roh's Sweetness .

Ahmed Awad, undersecretary to the culture minister and head of the censorship authority, told The Associated Press that he had submitted his resignation in response to Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab's decision to stop the film from being shown. The censorship board is meant to be an independent body that gives the final say on whether a movie can be seen by Egyptian audiences. Awad said:

Of course I'm not happy with what happened  I did this out of respect for myself.

Update: Censorship reviewed

21st April 2014. See article from

Egypt flagEgypt's Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb has decided to form a panel tasked with restructuring the Censorship Authority following a controversy over his earlier decision to ban Lebanese star Haifa Wehbe's latest movie, which was deemed as supposedly sexually provocative.

The PMs decision came after he had met with a number of actors, directors, authors and film critics. A Cabinet statement said:

The panel will be comprised of representatives of artistic associations and syndicates, as well as specialists, in order to introduce a developed ideology for the authority.

The panel will also review art censorship laws.


20th April

 Update: Gagging for Easy Offence...

Posters for the play, Charles III, are censored on London Underground
Link Here  full story: Transport for London Censors...Advert censorship
charles iii A poster advertising a satirical play about the Monarchy and, showing Prince Charles gagged, has been censored by London Underground because it fears it could cause offence.

The advert for the critically acclaimed production of King Charles III features a punk-style portrait of the Prince with his mouth covered by white duct tape.

But despite the fact that the poster has been displayed across London since the play opened nearly three weeks ago, a nervous Transport for London has decided to pixelate Charles's face.

There appeared to be confusion over exactly why the poster had been censored. TfL laid the blame on the company that deals with adverts on the Tube:

We work with a company called Exterion Media, which handles our adverts on the Tube network and offers advice. They may say this or that could cause offence. Exterion may have said the poster doesn't fit with part of their policy. The decision was made without reference to us and does look to have been a little over-enthusiastic. We will speak to them about it.


20th April

 Update: Parent's TV Council Recommends...

The Easter Bunny's Coming, a promotional trailer for Animation Domination High-Def
Link Here  full story: Parents TV Council...US moralists whinge at TV sex and violence
easter bunnys coming video The Parents TV Council writes:

The Parents Television Council is calling on Fox Broadcasting to immediately remove the explicit video, Easter Bunny's Coming, from its YouTube Channel for its Animation Domination High-Def (ADHD) programming block.

The video short, which is produced and copyrighted by Fox Broadcasting Network, contains graphic cartoon images of fornicating rabbits, multiple unbleeped f-words, harsh references to male sexual anatomy and vulgar slang for ejaculation.

PTC President Tim Winter said:

Nine months ago we issued an urgent warning to parents, as well as a harsh condemnation to Fox Broadcasting and potential sponsors, regarding the network's new 'ADHD' programming block. Fox has now validated our concerns by creating the most explicit material we've ever seen produced by a broadcast television network. Though still being distributed by Fox only via the Internet, the network is using its weekly broadcast to promote the website, and children are clearly in the cross hairs. And the recently tarnished retailer, Target, appears to be underwriting explicit material on the 'ADHD' website.

We thought we had seen the worst of 'ADHD' when Fox aired a segment several months ago with high school characters gleefully taking cell phone pictures of their genitals and texting the photos to other students. That content pales in comparison to the material in this new video.

The animated Easter Bunny clip, which runs 2 minutes and 19 seconds in duration, features over a dozen unbleeped 'f-words;' depictions of dozens of fornicating rabbits; more than a dozen instances of a vulgar slang term for ejaculation; a depiction of a male character eating rabbit feces; and music lyrics that are grotesquely sexualizing and misogynistic. An overt reference to Christians and Jews only adds to the offensive nature of a video being promoted during Holy Week and Passover.

The 'ADHD' Easter Bunny segment isn't some random Internet video, it's easily X-rated material that directly targets, and appeals to, children. The content is produced and copyrighted by one of the major commercial broadcast television networks and they're using the publicly-owned airwaves as a promotional vehicle to drive traffic to the 'ADHD' website. The suits at Fox will need to explain how such a use of their broadcast licenses fulfills their statutory public interest obligation.

Update: A day later, the nutters win

20th April 2014. See article from

The Parents Television Council welcomed the news that Fox Broadcasting has decided to cancel its Animation Domination High-Def (ADHD) programming block, and praised the efforts of parents and families across the country for raising their voices.

According to Broadcasting & Cable: Some [Fox affiliates] had tired of fielding calls from upset viewers.

PTC President Tim Winter said:

Parents and families across the country rose up and called on their local Fox affiliates not to air 'ADHD' because of the violent and sexually explicit content, which routinely used familiar and beloved children's characters as tropes. We congratulate our members on their activism which has led Fox Broadcasting to make this wise decision.


19th April

 Update: One Million Moms Recommend...

NBC's About a Boy
Link Here
about a boyThe US religious campaign groups ethuses:

NBC's newest program, About A Boy , could be misleading to parents with this title, but with a TV-14 rating you can be assured this will not be for family viewing. The name of the show along with the age of the primary cast member will attract young viewers. The content in this program, and even its commercials, is inappropriate for young viewers.

The show uses foul language and includes sexual encounters and innuendos throughout the entire thirty-minute program.

NBC's newest show is irresponsible and tasteless. It is appalling that NBC intends to air a show that features immoral behavior in a positive light while attempting to draw in young viewers with the title and adolescent plot of the program. The network should be ashamed of themselves for also exposing this young male actor to this filth and crude humor.

New episodes air on Tuesday evenings at 9:00 p.m. EST/8:00 CST.


19th April

  Searching for every last penny...

Google makes it clear that it snoops on the contents of incoming and outgoing emails
Link Here
gmail logoGoogle has clarified its email scanning practices in a terms of service update, informing users that incoming and outgoing emails are analysed by automated software. The revisions explicitly state:

Our automated systems analyse your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customised search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored.

Google's ads use information gleaned from a user's email combined with data from their Google profile as a whole, including search results, map requests and YouTube views, to display what it considers are relevant ads in the hope that the user is more likely to click on them and generate more advertising revenue for Google.


18th April

  Fed Up...

Documentary producers fend off MPAA poster censorship
Link Here
fed upThe MPAA almost banned the documentary Fed Up poster. The artwork featured red and blue M&Ms branded with the letters F and U.

The documentary claims that fast food and junk food industries exploit Americans at the expense of their health,

Fed Up, produced by Laurie David and Katie Couric, with commentary from Bill Clinton and Michael Pollan, hits theaters -- with the original artwork -- on May 9.


18th April

  No Shit...

UK theatre censor forced changes to Joe Orton's Entertaining Mr Sloane in 1964
Link Here
Entertaining Sloane Modern Plays Classics A psychopathic murderer character in a play had his age raised by censors as gay sex was considered too shocking at the time, new research reveals.

Gay British playwright Joe Orton's Entertaining Mr Sloane , which first premiered in 1964, was forcibly changed by the Lord Chamberlain's Office.

Emma Parker, a professor from the University of Leicester, came across several letters when she was researching for the 50th edition of the play.

Orton wrote in his letters he wanted the main character Sloane, a psychopath, to be 17 in first edition. He was made into a 20-year-old man in the later editions, making Sloane's sexual encounters with two siblings less provoking.

In Orton's letters, he also stated the Lord Chamberlain's Office had forced him to change words like shit and bugger in the play. Orton was told the actors playing Kath and Sloane were expressly forbidden to simulate copulation.

Dr Parker's new edition of Entertaining Mr Sloane will be launched at the University of Leicester's Bookshop on Tuesday 6 May at 12 pm.


18th April

 Offsite Article: In bed with Bollywood...

Link Here
Jism DVD Regions Bollywood 2012 Sex and censorship in Indian cinema Bollywood may be the blushing ballerina to Hollywood's brazen pole-dancing stripper, but, as the history of film censorship in India reveals, its screen stars are no stranger to the lip lock

See article from


17th April

 Extract: Hammer Girl...

Director of Raid 2 speaks of cuts for an MPAA R rating
Link Here
Poster Raid 2 2014 Gareth Evans The Raid 2 is a 2014 Indonesia action crime thriller by Gareth Evans.
With Iko Uwais, Julie Estelle and Yayan Ruhian. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

In an interview with Hypable, director Gareth Evens has provided a few more details about what was cut for an MPAA R rating:

Hypable : After seeing this finished version of the film and the previous unrated cut at Sundance, I barely noticed any changes. How were you able to get through the MPAA ratings board with so few changes?

Gareth Evans: We were very lucky because the changes were minimal. We did make some changes but they're so subtle like cutting a couple of frames here and there. Also, there were some issues with Hammer Girl where she impacts to the flesh. Impacts to the flesh are okay but impacts to the flesh and dragging the body are not. I trimmed here and there and thankfully you didn't notice, which is great for me.

...Read the full interview


17th April

 Update: Black Days in Burma...

Newspapers blacked out in a protest against the jailing of 5 journalists
Link Here  full story: Press Censorship in Burma...World leaders in oppressive censorship
Burma flag 2010On April 11, several Myanmar newspapers and journals blacked-out their front pages to protest the jailing of journalists by the national government.

The Myanmar Journalist Network says five journalists are currently detained in Myanmar, despite the government's commitment to further expand media freedom in the country.

The protest was organized right after a multimedia reporter for the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), an independent online publication, was sentenced by a local court to one year in prison for trespassing on government property and disrupting the work of a government official. The case involved Zaw Pe, a reporter covering a Japanese-funded scholarship program in 2012. He was accused of trespassing after attempting to visit and take footage at an office of the national Department of Education in central Myanmar during office hours.

In an interview with, DVB bureau chief Toe Zaw Latt called the sentence outrageous :

He was taking the video recording during office hours. It's outrageous that he is being sentenced for trespassing...We have to question the degree of press freedom in the country.

These are not good signs for press freedom, if journalists have to face a lawsuit for covering news during office hours. We are worried that these actions might be a sign of restrictions in press freedom again, as it was in the past.


17th April

  Oxford Council Plays Herod in Church Passion Play...

Incompetence sees Easter church play banned on a misinformed whim
Link Here
oxford city council logoAn Oxford church has had to cancel its Passion play after a council worker in charge of censorship apparently thought that it was a sex show and could cause grave offence .

The performance, telling the story of the crucifixion of Christ, had been planned for Good Friday by St Stephen's House Theological College and Saints Mary and John Church in Oxford.

The worker in question apparently did not know that a Passion play was a religious affair, and thought it was an obscene production.

The Oxford performance was previously held in 2012, without a licence, when an audience of some 200 watched Jesus, haul a wooden cross from Cowley Road Methodist church to Saints Mary and John. This year, the organisers decided to stage a repeat, but were told they must apply to the council's censors for a licence, and were astonished when they were turned down.

A church source told MailOnline:

A council official didn't read the paperwork properly and didn't realise it was a religious play, so told us we needed an events licence when we didn't. If they'd told us 24 hours earlier, we would have had time to apply for and get one, but we ran out of time. It's frustrating because we didn't need one in any case - they just hadn't read what the play was about.

LMPs and religious groups criticised the unbelievable actions of Oxford City Council. Local government minister Brandon Lewis said:

This is typical health and safety bureaucracy that one can sadly expect from a Labour run-council.

Julian Alison, licensing team leader at Oxford City Council, apologised:

I would like to apologise for a wrong decision that I made late on Friday afternoon in relation to the planned Passion play on Cowley Road.

At the time of processing the application, I did not appreciate that this was a religious event. I made a mistake and by the time I realised my mistake, the organisers had cancelled the event. Such a mistake will not happen again.

This statement surely asks a lot of questions about how one person is given the power to censor productions on a personal whim, and without due consideration, just because she thought there was a sexual connection. She should be forced to pay compensation for her gross negligence to all those participants who have wasted their time and effort.