'Sex and the City' ads banned in 2 Israeli cities

/ Source: The Associated Press

There's going to be "sex," but not in two Israeli cities.

Forum Films, the Israeli distributor of the soon-to-be-released "Sex and the City" movie, won't be hanging advertising posters and billboards in Jerusalem and Petah Tikva because officials there don't want the word "sex" on display, said company spokesman Arye Barak.

Both cities have large religious populations.

Municipal officials there asked to have the word "sex" removed from the posters, Barak said. "We told them, the way you don't remove the word "Coca" from "Coca-Cola" and just leave "Cola," we can't do it in this case," he said. "It's ludicrous."

Ads for the movie, based on the popular TV series, were to go up elsewhere in Israel on Tuesday night, said an official at Maximedia, the Israeli company that is handling outdoor advertising for the movie.

Alternative outdoor ads will not be hung in Jerusalem and Petah Tikva, though the movie is heavily advertised on TV, the Internet and in newspapers, Barak said.

The worldwide release of the movie is scheduled for May 29.

Loincloth controversy
This isn't the first time movie advertisers have come under pressure from the religious. When the animated Disney movie "Tarzan" was released here, Tarzan's loincloth created an uproar among religious Jews who found it provocative, Barak said. The outdoor posters that were already hung were taken down so the cloth could be enlarged, he said.

Nor is this the first time that "Sex and the City" has run afoul of Israeli religious sensibilities. Several years ago, a poster and billboard campaign showing star Sarah Jessica Parker in a skimpy, sequined dress was quickly pulled and replaced with new ads of her in a dress that covered her arms, back and thigh.