A petition has been launched to protest the fact that “Love, Simon” has received a rating of R21 in Singapore, meaning that no one under the age of 21 will be permitted to see it. Given that the drama concerns a gay teenager coming to terms with his sexuality, that includes much of its target audience. The Infocomm Media Development Authority’s (IMDA) classification information specifically cites the film’s “homosexual theme” as part of the reason for its advisory.
The central theme of the film revolves around a homosexual character coming to terms with his identity as “a homosexual and his attempts to gain acceptance from his family and friends,” according to the film’s classification.
“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. According to the R21 Classification Guidelines ‘stronger and more explicit portrayal and exploration of mature themes are allowed,'” it continues.
Nearly 12,000 people have signed the petition, which calls upon the IMDA to give “Love, Simon” an NC16 rating instead. “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,” reads 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.”
“Love, Simon” is rated PG-13 in America.