Too Sexy For the City
Date of Action: 5/20/2008
Region: Middle East
Subject: Explicit Sexuality, Religion
Medium: Commercial Advertising, Film Video
Confronting Bodies: Shai Keidar
Description of Artwork: The "Sex in the City" Poster featuring Sarah Jessica Parker was banned from two Israeli cities, Petah Tikva and Jerusalem, due to its sexual content and use of the word "Sex."
The Incident: Forum Films, the Israeli distributor of the "Sex and the City" movie, opposed advertising posters and billboards for the film in Jerusalem and Petah Tikva because officials there don't want the word "sex" on display. Both regions have a high population of religious individuals, and thus they find such depictions of both women and sexual activity apprehensible.
Results of Incident: While municipal officers attempted to have the word “Sex” removed, Arye Barak, Forum Films spokesperson argued that the word was essential to the title of the film, and should not be tampered with. Barak argued that the way you don't remove the word "Coca" from "Coca-Cola" and just leave "Cola," we can't do it in this case," he said. "It's ludicrous."
Maximedia CEO Shai Keidar, who receives a franchise from the municipalities, had previously signed an agreement, which had forbid him from posting posters, or advertisements that would offend the public. Keidar added that "Naturally, I don't ask the municipality to approve just any poster," he said. "Our decision was based on long years of work and acquaintance with the municipalities. The posters will appear in other cities."