There’s been no shortage of commentary about Sony’s decision to halt the release of The Interview. From Obama to more than a handful of Hollywood’s finest, everyone has an opinion about whether the controversial film should be released despite the threats (no matter how spurious these threats are becoming). Of course, censorship is nothing new. These books, movies, advertisements, toys and ideas have all been banned in America at one point or another.
Due to its grisly violence and glorification of crime, the original Scarface was banned in five states and five additional cities. Based on a book by Armitage Trail, the 1932 film was directed by Howard Hughes, and was one of the original films to feature a Thompson submachine gun (aka tommy gun).
Gone With The Wind
Although Gone With The Wind won a Pulitzer Prize and was eventually made into an Academy-Award winning film, the book has been banned in America for accurately depicting the South before and after the Civil War. Written by Margaret Mitchell, Gone With The Wind has received great critical acclaim over the years. Still, some people find that the book’s usage of words like “nigger” and “darkies,” makes it unacceptable for certain audiences.
Heidi Klum’s Sharper Image Ad
Even Sin City has standards! Heidi Klum’s barely-there ads for Sharper Image were recently banned at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. The image were deemed “too sexy” because of the gratuitous view of her decolletage, which violates the county’s “standards”.
Two-Faced Woman (Movie)
Banned in Boston, Providence, and other parts of the United States, Two-Faced Woman was condemned by the National Legion of Decency for its sinful, immoral views of marriage—that is, for portraying adultery. Though the film’s directors attempted to re-shoot parts of the film before its 1941 release, the damage had already been done. According to TIME magazine, watching the film was almost as shocking “as seeing your mother drunk.”
Atomic Energy Laboratory
The U-238 Atomic Energy Laboratory was released in 1951. Produced by Alfred Carlton Gilbert, the toy was supposed to let children experiment and create chemical reactions with radioactive material. Since the kit contained real Uranium (read: radioactive elements) and required children to handle dry ice, it’s easy to see why it was eventually banned in America.