Japanese HIV awareness billboard banned for showing gay man's underpants

Published: March 21, 2014

 Local authorities in the Japanese capital repeatedly banned a HIV awareness billboard that featured cartoon gay men because one of the men’s underpants could be seen.

 
The billboard was erected in Toyko’s Ni-chome gay district in Shinjuku by ViiV Healthcare and designed by manga artist Poko Murata.
 
The billboard depicts a group of men lying down in a circle head-to-head resting against one another – and one of them, a body builder, is wearing just underpants. The rest of the characters on the billboard are fully clothed.
 
However the billboard was considered too racy by local officials who demanded that the billboard be redesigned after it went up in January.
 
Murata did as he was asked and produced a modified version of the drawing where the body builder is wearing a tank top and shorts but his underpants could still be seen through an open fly.
 
However this too was considered too racy by local officials at the Shinjuku Ward Office despite the Shinjuku area being full of hostess bars and nightclubs that advertise themselves with images of women wearing nothing but their underwear.
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