Nigerian govt. slams District 9 which portrays Nigerians as criminals

Regulation & Policy

One of the summer's biggest blockbusters — a sci-fi morality tale about aliens and apartheid — is not welcome in Nigeria because of its portrayal of Nigerians as gangsters and cannibals, Nigeria's information minister said Saturday.

Information Minister Dora Akunyili has asked movie houses in the capital of Abuja to stop screening "District 9" because the South Africa-based sci-fi movie about aliens and discrimination makes Nigerians look bad. "We have directed that they should stop public screening of the film," she said. "We are not happy about it because it portrays Nigeria in bad light."

Akunyili said she has asked Sony for an apology and wants them to edit out references to Nigeria and to the name of the main Nigerian gangster Obesandjo, whose name closely resembles that of former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

"We have written to the producer and distributor of the film, Sony Entertainment, expressing our displeasure and demanded an apology," she said. "We have asked that the areas where Nigeria and Obasanjo are mentioned should be edited from the film."

She and other government officials first saw the movie Wednesday during a private screening. In one scene, Obesandjo tries to cut off and eat the arm of the film's protagonist, in an attempt to gain his supernatural powers. In others, Nigerian prostitutes are seen courting alien customers.

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