US director Steven Spielberg
US director Steven Spielberg poses near a special Thalys train, in the colors of Tintin, to take the crew from the premiere in Brussels to the premiere in Paris, October 2011. An overzealous employee at a movie theatre in Lebanon has been blamed for blacking out the name of Hollywood producer Steven Spielberg from posters featuring his new movie Tintin. © Thomas Samson - AFP/File
US director Steven Spielberg
AFP
Last updated: November 10, 2011

Steven Spielberg briefly censored in Lebanon

An overzealous employee at a movie theatre in Lebanon has been blamed for blacking out the name of Hollywood producer Steven Spielberg from posters featuring his new movie Tintin.

The employee, acting on the fact that Spielberg was blacklisted by the Arab League's Central Boycott Office in 2006, covered the movie maker's name at the weekend on posters advertising the film, a theatre official told AFP on Thursday.

But once word and pictures of the censored posters got out, theatre officials immediately removed the tape placed over Spielberg's name, he added.

"This was a mistake made by an overzealous employee," said Bassam Eid, theatre coordinator for Circuit Empire, which operates a chain of cinemas in Lebanon.

"He knew that Spielberg was blacklisted and he took it upon himself to black out his name," he added, pointing out that the incident concerned only one theatre.

Spielberg was blacklisted by the Arab League after he donated one million dollars to Israel during the 2006 war between the Jewish state and Lebanon.

An official at General Security, which handles censorship matters in Lebanon, said that while technically Spielberg's film should be banned in Lebanon, that would be futile considering new technology and the wide availability of movies on the local black market.

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