Jennifer Lopez stripper crime film 'Hustlers' banned in Malaysia

Tom Beasley
Contributor
Jennifer Lopez has been attracting Oscar buzz for her work in crime film 'Hustlers'. (Credit: STX Films)

Malaysian cinema fans will not be able to see the widely beloved new Jennifer Lopez crime thriller Hustlers, as the country’s classification body has banned the film.

Local distributors Square Box Pictures confirmed the news on Instagram and apologised to fans who had been looking forward to the film’s release.

The Film Censorship Board of Malaysia has not yet issued an official statement on the ban.

In the UK, the film has been given a 15 certificate by the BBFC for “sexualised nudity, strong sex references, language and drug misuse”.

Read more: Sex workers upset over Hustlers

Based on a viral magazine article, Hustlers follows a group of strippers struggling for work in the aftermath of the financial crisis who decide to make some extra cash by drugging wealthy clients and maxing out their credit cards.

Lopez plays the seasoned stripper and charismatic centre of the gang, while Constance Wu portrays her best friend — the business brain of the group.

'Hustlers' made an impressive $33m (£26.5m) at the US box office in its opening weekend. (Credit: STX Films)

Malaysia has a history of censorship regarding films with nudity and sexual content, having cut gay sex scenes from Rocketman earlier this year and banned Fifty Shades of Grey in 2015.

Other films to have been banned in the country for sexual content include The Wolf of Wall Street and the 2014 Cameron Diaz comedy Sex Tape.

Read more: Horror film Hate Crime banned in the UK

Square Box Pictures wrote: “We regret to inform you that Hustlers movie release has been cancelled as it has been banned in Malaysia.

“We deeply apologise for the inconveniences caused to our beloved followers, fans of the movie, medias and partners.

“We certainly appreciate all the love and support from our fans and movie lovers for this title; yet it’s our loss that we are unable to carry on.

“Our sincere apologies that we have let you down.”

Hustlers has become one of the most talked about films in the world since it premiered on the festival circuit, with Oscar buzz quickly solidifying around Lopez’s performance.

Read more: Highs and lows of J-Lo’s career

The movie also features brief appearances from music sensations Lizzo and Cardi B.

Hustlers opened with $33m (£26.5m) at the US box office in its opening weekend, which is the largest live-action debut of Lopez’s career.