Indian government's rule on mandatory anti-smoking disclaimer is the reason

Woody Allen’s latest film, Blue Jasmine, was pulled out ahead of its release in India over the weekend after he refused to take on board the Indian government’s rule on mandatory anti-smoking disclaimer. Specifically, he was said to have objected to the requirement that anti-tobacco message be inserted in scenes having characters smoking and refused to make “customisations”.

This was said to have led to distributor PVR Pictures cancelling the release. A spokesman for Mr. Allen (in picture, with film's lead Cate Blanchette) confirmed this to Reuters, saying, “Due to content in the film, it cannot be shown in India in its intended manner. Therefore, the film is not scheduled to play there.”

Deepak Sharma, COO of PVR Pictures, was quoted saying, “Allen has the creative control as per the agreement. He wasn't comfortable with the disclaimer that we are required to run when some smoking scene is shown in films. He feels that when the scroll comes, attention goes to it rather than the scene.”

The film Blue Jasmine stars Cate Blanchett as a wealthy New York socialite struggling to adjust to reality after her husband is arrested for financial fraud.

In 2012 another major Hollywood director, David Fincher, reportedly refused to cut some scenes in his film The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo after India's censor board “adjudged the film unsuitable for public viewing in its unaltered form.” Consequently the film’s distributors, Sony Pictures India, did not release the film.

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