Russia enacts law against profanity in the arts

September 2014

Artistes, broadcasting, theatre


Russia has enacted new laws targeting publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theatre prompting fears that the new provisions may be used to target free speech. The new law

provides for fines of up $1,400, however for works which may include profanities and words deemed inappropriate. However some say the new law will promote culture: Moscow State University History Professor Anna Kuzmina reportedly said the law will help promote a better artistic culture, telling VOA “My personal opinion, and I support this law, is that profane language has almost become the norm and even has acquired a certain charm. Frequently, people do not take the trouble of finding the words, but speak emotionally expressing themselves with five or six, four-letter words”. The profanity law also bans the public showing of films with swear words and forces music and books to have warning labels. Many see the law as part of a conservative movement to shape Russia’s youth into a more nationalistic culture distinct from the liberal West.

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