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HomeNEWSSome of the most ridiculous things ever banned

Some of the most ridiculous things ever banned

In light of award-winning Kiwi novel Into the River being banned by the Film and Literature Review Board, we’ve cast our eye around to find some other outrageous bans worldwide. Plus – what are the benefits of a ban?

Yesterday, the New Zealand public was shocked by a decision by the Film and Literature Board of Review to temporarily ban a book for the first time in 22 years.

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It banned Ted Dawe’s award-winning book Into the River from sale or supply after a complaint from Christian group Family First.

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They objected to the young adult’s novel sexually explicit content, drug use and a slang term for women’s genitals that were used in the book.

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It is now in the process of being yanked from schools, bookshops and libraries around the country.

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But as some have pointed out, the banning does seem a little excessive when you see what else is for sale on bookshop shelves.

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Others highlighted the fact that banning a product often ends up giving it more publicity than it started with, resulting in more people trying to buy it.

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rnTime Out Bookstore has taken advantage of this with its latest window display, which shows a variety of classic books which have been banned at one point or another.

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A criminal act! Our new window display is packed full of ‘offensive’ material that has been banned in various countries…

rnPosted by Time Out Bookstore on Monday, September 7, 2015

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rnSitting in the centre of the display is Into the River, cleverly disguised in a paper bag.

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Bookreaders and booksellers take note – the fines for distributing Into the River while it is banned isn’t funny business. 
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rnThe fine for distributing it without knowledge of the ban, is $3,000 for an individual, and $10,000 for a business.
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rnIf distributed with knowledge of the ban, is $10,000 or up to three months in prison for an individual, and $25,000 for a business.

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Here’s some other questionable bans that have taken place.

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Mannequins
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There’s really nothing more seductive than a scantily clad mannequin.
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rnApparently to some, their plastic, lifeless bodies are the epitome of sexy, which is why Iranian police cracked down on shopkeepers whose mannequins showed curves or bared skin.

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Reportedly, female mannequins’ breasts had to be sanded down.
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rnThe banning was part of Iran’s strict rules on “Un-Islamic behaviour”.

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Time travel
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If you’re in China and think you’re onto something that might be the world’s next Back To The Future film, you’re technically a criminal.

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China’s censors banned inappropriate use of time travel in TV and film 2011, as they deemed it a “frivolous” approach to history.

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A statement on the State Administrations of Radio, Film and Television’s site warns companies to avoid showing “incorrect” shows or movies.
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rnBarbie’s pregnant friend
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rnWalmart was forced to clear its shelves of Barbie’s friend with a baby bump after customers complained about seeing pregnancy enter Barbie’s universe.

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The doll had a detachable belly, which contained a curled up baby that could be delivered.
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rnIt was part of the “Happy Family” set, which also included a husband and son.

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Customers apparently had concerns about a pregnant doll, with one shopper saying it promoted teenage pregnancy.

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Superbad DVDs with fake IDs
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This teen comedy movie was a smash hit when it came out, thanks to its geeky, lovable character Fogell, who’s better known as ‘McLovin’.

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The character uses a fake Hawaii driver’s license in the movie to buy alcohol, so someone thought it’d be a good idea to include a replica of the license with the DVD on shelves.

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However, Hawaiian authorities were concerned it would actually be used as a fake ID and requested it be pulled from DVDs in store.

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Marmite
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rnMarmite has been known to get its fans in a flap when it runs out here in New Zealand, but it seems Denmark isn’t quite as into the black spread.

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The country removed the UK version of Marmite from its stores in 2011 because it contained added vitamins, which is illegal under Dutch law.

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Australian’s competitor spread, Vegemite, also got booted.

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However, a supplier had a license approved to sell the product again last year, so hope hasn’t yet been lost for its Dutch fans.

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Valentine’s Day products
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Saudi Arabia is known for its outrageous bans, such as that on female drivers.

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The day of love is also found to be a violation of Muslim beliefs.

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On February 14, the government orders all florists and gift shops to remove anything red from shelves.

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Anything that is a symbol of romance, such as heart shaped items, are also outlawed on the day.

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Apparently, the ban has backfired and created a thriving Valentine’s Day black market where lovers buy tokens like red roses at around six times the regular price.

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