Remember Brokeback Mountain, that simple tale of the close platonic friendship between two perfectly heterosexual cowboys? No? Well according to The Guardian if you were an Italian watching the movie on channel Rai Due this week that's the version you would've seen. The channel, which has previously faced accusations of censorship of “undesirable” content when it banned an anti-Silvio Berlusconi comedian, decided to remove all the explicit gay content from the movie.

In the face of criticism, Rai are claiming that these substantial cuts were “an honest mistake” and promised to air the full uncut version of the movie. According to them they had asked the Italian distributors for a version of the movie suitable to show before the watershed and that this version of the movie had accidentally ended up being screened post-watershed. However, considering the heterosexual loves scenes were left in the movie intact, this excuse isn't holding water with critics of the channel and some opposition politicians in Italy are calling for an inquiry.

Brokeback Mountain didn't win a bunch of awards and critical acclaim simply for convincing Anne Hathaway to flash her impressive rack, although it is a worthy achievement for which Ang Lee should be saluted. As a bonus her nipples probably helped a few people who were still jittery about all the gayness get through it with their masculinity intact, but to make such a hatchet job of a movie that was hailed for trying to break down the anti-gay barriers this seems like a silly step backwards.

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