James Franco is up in arms over a movie ban Down Under.
The actor has come out in support of the film I Want Your Love after the gay drama was barred by the Australian Classification Board from being screened at several film festivals in the country due to its explicit content.
The film, about a gay man's last hurrah in San Francisco the night before he moves back to the Midwest, was directed by Travis Mathews, with whom Franco collaborated on their Sundance project, Interior. Leather Bar. I Want Your Love reportedly includes a six-minute scene in which two actors engage in unsimulated sex.
Franco defended Mathews in a video posted on YouTube Monday.
"This is such a disappointment to me and just seems really silly," the Oz the Great and Powerful star says, giving props to the director's vision and how it spurred their eventual collaboration.
"The reason that I approached Travis to make a film that eventually was called Interior. Leather Bar. was because of the work he did on I Want Your Love. He was using sex in a very sophisticated way. Sex is such a big part of our lives, and even if it isn't a part of your life, that's a conscious choice to keep it out."
Franco noted that banning a film that explores sexuality was "very shortsighted" and "hypocritical," adding, "I don't think we'd be having this conversation if he had made a very violent film."
"Frankly, adults should be able to choose," 34-year-old actor said, wrapping up his video missive. "They're not going in blind. I don't know why, in this day and age, a film that is using sex not for titillation but to talk about being human is being banned. It's just embarrassing."
Meanwhile, the director the Melbourne Queer Film Festival is reportedly firing up a petition on behalf of the film, and in a statement, Mathews reiterated Franco's argument, saying, "This is a larger issue that an adult viewing audience should be able to make up their own mind about this."