An uncensored sex scene from a Jackie Chan film, “Shinjuku Incident” (2009), cost a regional head of the Islamic Republic of Iranian Broadcasting (IRIB) his job.
Despite tight censorship rules, the raunchy scene aired all over the country’s Kish Island on Monday, shocking viewers who are not even permitted to see men and women shake hands on TV.
Aside from physical contact, Iranian censors block the exchange of “tender words or jokes” between men and women, unveiled women, close-ups of women’s faces, exposed necklines and negative portrayals of police and bearded men, according to BBC.
Aliasgari Ali Askari, the head of IRIB, which is the the largest media corporation in the country, immediately ordered an investigation into the incident and vowed “to seriously deal with the offenders and report them to the relevant authorities.”
As a result, IRIB’s director-general in Kish was sacked, along with other station employees responsible for letting the “immoral” scene slip.
“Clips of immoral scenes of a film featuring Jackie Chan have been circulating on social media which was apparently shown by Kish IRIB,” the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reported, according to AFP.
“These scenes, which are in total contradiction with the principles of IRIB, have ultimately led to the dismissal and reprimand of some of the employees of IRIB in Kish.”
In his morning show, IRIB TV presenter Reza Rashidpoor joked that the saga could have been avoided if the regional broadcaster added a caption saying that Chan was married to the actor who played the prostitute.
Rashidpoor was referring to a recent program in which IRIB added a caption explaining that a couple holding hands were married in real life, according to the Independent.
While some Iranians found the sex scene offensive, others criticized IRIB’s move to fire the employees, citing a recent bus crash that killed 10 students but held no one accountable to date.
“Buses turn over, planes crash, ships sink… no one is dismissed… A few seconds of Jackie Chan making love on IRIB and immediately all staff in that section are sacked,” one wrote on Twitter.