Usually, the main reason for making a film is to get as many views as possible, which in turn brings in profits. However, there are a few filmmakers out there who are not afraid of being controversial and have gone full in. As a result, even though some controversial TV shows and movies become major hits, most end up being banned. Let’s take a look at some of the popular TV shows and movies that are no longer being aired in some parts of the world despite their prominence.

1. Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Texas Chainsaw Massacre was the real definition of a horror movie. It revolves around a group of friends driving in rural Texas but accidentally run out of fuel and start getting chased by cannibals. When it was released in 1974, Texas Chainsaw Massacre was so violent that it was banned in the UK and Australia. Germany and Ireland also banned it for a while, but it was made available to the public.

While it was not formally banned in the United States, many theaters just stopped showing it following complaints about its violence.

2. Brokeback Mountain

Romantic movies are rarely banned unless they showcase a lot of adult content; Brokeback Mountain was a special case. During the time of its release, 2005, homosexuality was a hotly contested topic. The film was about two cowboys who fall in love with each other as they herd sheep in the 1950s. Critics have complained about the ban on this film, saying it has portrayed nothing out of the ordinary.

3. Battle Royal

Battle Royal is a movie about a group of young Japanese students who are confined on an island and have to fight to the death. Though action-packed, the use of children in a violent film didn’t sit right with many countries and was banned in several regions.

4. Monty Python’s Life of Brian

Monty Python’s Life of Brian is a classic example of how filmmakers are not afraid of controversy. Released in 1979, this film is about a guy called Brian who was born in Bethlehem. The controversial part is that people used to mistake him for Jesus. Considering that it was released in the 70s, this movie received a lot of criticism, especially from the Christian community, and was banned in Norway, Chile, and Singapore.

5. Da Vinci Code

Despite being a hit, the Da Vinci Code was banned in many countries, including Egypt and Sri Lanka, because it was considered blasphemous. In this film, a group of educators find themselves digging through the history of Jesus Christ and his sexuality while investigating a murder. Obviously, this came as an insult to the Christian community and led to its ban.

6. South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut

This film was banned in several countries, such as Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and, most importantly, Iraq. In 1999, this film was banned in Iraq because it portrayed their then-president, Sadam Hussein, as being satan’s gay lover. Despite that, South Park was also controversial because it talked about the invasion of Canada.

7. Modern Family

Modern Family was everyone’s favorite sitcom from 2009 to 2020, and it is available in nearly all parts of the world. However, in Iran, the national broadcasting media banned the original Modern Family because of Mitch and Cam’s same-sex marriage. They recreated their version of Modern Family called Hafty Sang, where all parts with Mitch and Cam had been completely removed.


During the 70s, MASH was a popular TV show that revolved around Hawkeye and CO’s Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. Being a comedy film, MASH was cunningly humorous, but it was set in the backdrop of the Korean War. There were scenes showing how the Koreans were suffering after the war, and as a result, the country had no option but to ban it.

9. The Simpsons

The Simpsons was banned in different parts of the world for various reasons. For instance, in Venezuela, the show was considered not ideal for children. In China, it was banned because the government wanted to venture into its own production of animated films.

10. Cooked with Cannabis

Cooked with Cannabis is a reality show that revolves around making meals with Cannabis as the main ingredient. It was released in 2020, a time when Cannabis had been approved in many states. However, it was still a controversial show, and Netflix removed it from their Singapore audience. The authorities there have a very negative perception of Marijuana.

11. Fifty Shades of Grey

Romance movie enthusiasts had their minds blown when Fifty Shades of Grey was released in 2015. The movie was based on a book with the same title and had a lot of nasty adult scenes. As a result, it was banned in Cambodia and Indonesia, with the affected countries claiming that it’s more of an adult film than a romantic one.

12. Lightyear

Lightyear, a spin-off of Toy Story that follows the life of Buzz Lightyear as he fights a robot army, was banned in 14 countries. Everything about the show is perfect, except for a short scene where a same-sex couple engages in a kiss. There has been a lot of backlash about the ban on this movie, considering it was released in 2022, a time when the world is actively fighting for the rights of same-sex couples.

13. Barbie

Barbie was a hit in 2023 and was widely accepted in nearly all parts of the world. However, the film was banned in Vietnam because it shows the nine-dash line on the map, which China claims is theirs. To Vietnam, they considered the act of showing this map on Barbie as disrespectful and banned it.

14. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Fans of the Avengers in Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia were not able to watch Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness because of the presence of a same-sex couple in the scene. Fortunately, that did not affect its rankings. The film grossed over $900 million.

Categorized in:

Entertainment, Movies & TV,

Last Update: May 27, 2024