After being in the top five at the box office and even having rumors of a sequel, the film Love, Simon has captured many hearts since its March 16 release. The drama centers around a gay teen, finding acceptance surrounding his sexuality, making it the first of its kind.
“Love, Simon was, in many ways, a calculated risk for its studio, 20th Century Fox,” according to The Atlantic. “There had never been a wide, major-studio release of a film centered on a gay teenager.” It’s safe to say Love, Simon was worth the risk, but it’s not open to just any age group in other countries. In fact, Singapore rated the film “R21,” so you must be at least 21-years old to see it in theaters because of the LGBT themes.
“The theme of homosexuality, therefore, forms the main narrative of the film as the protagonist is portrayed to overcome his fear of being rejected as a gay male; and coupled with the support of his friends, gradually gains confidence to seek out the real identity of his love interest,” the IMDA (Singapore’s Info-communications Media Development Authority), the organization who rates the films, said in a statement about the choice for an R21 rating. Basically, the entire plot is the reason it’s 21 and over, which sucks.
Then again, it isn’t terribly surprising because it’s still illegal to be a homosexual male in Singapore and LGBT rights are lacking there entirely. The whole situation is just unfortunate,TBH.
The decision isn’t going unnoticed, as a fan of the film started a petition on change.org to make the film N16, or 16 and over.
“By making Love, Simon NC16, I am positive that it will have a huge impact on young teenagers struggling to find acceptance from family and friends,” the fan, Thasha Monique Dharmendra wrote in the description for the petition. “It will also educate people that being free and accepted is just what everyone in this extensive community wants. Hopefully, it will also change people’s negative perception of the LGBTQ+ community.”
The petition needs 15,000 signatures and it’s almost there, with just a few hundred left to go. It’s nice to see fans making an effort to stand up for change with the things they believe in.
It’s a shame the film has the age limit. Hopefully the word will spread about the impact of the film to draw more attention to its message, whether or not Singapore changes the rating.