If you watched the staging of the musical Les Misérables in Singapore lately, you might’ve noticed a brief peck on the lips between two men at Cosette and Marius’ wedding in the second last scene of the show, during the song ‘Beggars at the Feast’. Maybe you missed it (there was nothing erotic about it, just a really quick kiss to make a point), or maybe you saw it and shrugged and went on with your life.
Oh wait — ha, you probably didn’t see it, ’cause the same-sex kissing scene got cut in performances since June 3, just days after the musical’s opening night on May 31. Fingers have been pointing to Facebook user Alvin Ng, who complained about the scene to the Media Development Authority. This claim was made public in a post in the ‘We Are Against Pink Dot in Singapore’ group on June 1 — a post that has since been deleted.
Ng said that the kiss “was never in the original production but now it’s been included here”, and called for others to file complaints as well. On June 10, he wrote another now-deleted post that MDA had liaised with the show’s producers to remove the scene. According to the MDA, the kiss (planted by villain Monsieur Thénardier on a “queer”) was “not highlighted in the script” when it was submitted for classification, and a failure to remove it would mean a rating change from “General” to “Advisory”.
Despite a reply from Moses Lye, head of the musical’s organiser MediaCorp VizPro, about how the kiss and the entire scene was intended to be comical, apparently it has since been replaced by… a long hug.
Naturally, an uproar ensued. These Facebook posts below explain the hoo-ha best — we’ll let them take it from here.
(If you can’t see the embedded post below, click here to view it on Facebook).