The Hollywood action-thriller is embroiled in controversy in the Philippines.
After being criticised by several politicians for its supposed negative portrayal of the Philippines, the country’s movie classification board has pledged to ban the screening of Gerard Butler’s film, “Plane”.
The movie follows a commercial pilot dealing with a rebel group after his fictional Trailblazer Airlines flight sustains damage from a storm in the South China Sea, forcing an emergency landing on Jolo island in the southern Philippines.
Senators Robin Padilla and Juan Miguel Zubiri led the condemnation, stating that the film insulted the nation by depicting it as overrun with rebels and militia. Padilla’s office met with the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), which promised to alert the film’s producers and block the movie from being shown in the Philippines.
In addition to calling on his fellow Filipinos to stand up for their nation, Padilla received support from Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, who agreed that the film should have maintained its fictional nature and avoided naming the country.
The Director’s Guild of the Philippines, however, opposed the proposed ban. The organization claimed that it would be worse than the issue itself, setting a precedent for films to be held hostage by imagined slights to the country’s reputation. The guild also argued that the film was a mindless B-movie, not a reliable commentary on the country’s affairs, and that banning it would amount to censorship.