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Prison official disciplined over ‘Brokeback’

A Massachusetts correctional officer is being disciplined for showing the gay cowboy movie ”Brokeback Mountain” to inmates at the state’s largest prison because his boss determined that the film includes content inappropriate for a prison setting.
/ Source: Reuters

A Massachusetts correctional officer is being disciplined for showing the gay cowboy movie ”Brokeback Mountain” to inmates at the state’s largest prison because his boss determined that the film includes content inappropriate for a prison setting.

Massachusetts Department of Correction spokeswoman Diane Wiffin said Saturday that the action was not related to the critically acclaimed film’s plot involving a gay love affair.

“It was not the subject matter. It was the graphic nature of sexually explicit scenes,” Wiffin said.

She said the officer, whom she declined to identify, failed to follow prison guidelines that require staff who schedule films to review them in advance for excessive violence, nudity or sex, as well as scenes involving assaults on correctional staff.

The officer showed the film on Thursday afternoon, two days after its American release on DVD, to inmates at a prison in Norfolk, Massachusetts, about 25 miles southwest of Boston.

Wiffin declined to discuss his punishment.

Based on Annie Proulx’s short story, “Brokeback Mountain” is about two men who meet and fall in love while wrangling sheep in Wyoming in 1963. It won raves from critics and garnered three Oscars last month, including one for director Ang Lee.