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Seth Rogen's 'Sausage Party' Triggers Outrage in France

A Catholic group tried to get the film banned or re-rated

Sony Pictures

A French court has rejected attempts from a conservative Catholic group to get Seth Rogen’s animated film Sausage Party either barred from the country, or re-classified to keep it away from the eyes of young audiences.

French newspaper Le Monde reports that the Paris Administrative Court rejected complaints lodged by the group Promouvoir, which has previously petitioned against films before on moral grounds. This means the film’s original rating from the French Ministry of Culture stands — anyone aged 12 or older will be able to see anthropomorphic hot dogs speaking in dubbed French, rubbing themselves suggestively on bread.

Promouvoir had two main requests in its court filing — that the film be re-rated so only people 16 or older could see Sausage Party, or that its visa for distribution in France be revoked.

Much of the complaint centered around whether the film would “corrupt” 12-year-olds, with depictions of cereal boxes performing frottage on each other, among other mature scenes. In court, Promouvoir pointed out that “it shows illegal practices — of rape, drug use, crime, and mischief in a humorous manner.”

The original text of the court decision has possibly the most straight-faced descriptions of a movie featuring sexed-up groceries you’ll ever read: “the interest in the contents of a fruit juice container on the part of a douching implement cannot be interpreted as constituting a sexual aggression on the part of spectators with a capacity to distance themselves from what they see on screen.”

Also a fun declaration on the part of the court: “The scene showing the douching kit and a sausage attached to the pants of a supermarket employee, which are not realistic in character and are devoid of any violent or degrading connotations, are consistent with the proposed work’s aim to depict, in a humorous and deliberately outrageous tone, the rebellion of consumer products against human domination and its interdictions. Furthermore, stylized images of products related to bodily intimacy, such as tampons or condoms, or the tenderness of a taco towards a hotdog bun, do not have the character of a sex scene.”

For comparison, Sausage Party received an R rating in the United States, meaning it was barred to anyone under 17, unless accompanied by an adult. But it’s not unusual for American films to receive much more lenient ratings abroad — other movies open to French kids 12 and up include Showgirls and 50 Shades of Grey.

Le film Sausage Party reste interdit aux moins de douze ans [Tribunal Administratif de Paris]
Le film « Sausage Party » reste interdit aux moins de 12 ans [Le Monde]
‘Sausage Party’: French Court Rejects Bid To Strip Film’s Operating Visa Over PG Rating [Deadline]
‘Sausage Party’ Review: Seth Rogen’s Dark Search for Meaning [E]

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