BBFC cites Natalie Portman lesbian sex scene as Black Swan receives most complaints of 2011

But while the encounter between Portman and Mila Kunis did ruffle some feathers, the number of objections remained relatively small

Black Swan, the Oscar-winning psychological thriller, rated 15 in the UK, received more complaints to the British Board of Film Classification than any other movie in 2011, according to the BBFC’s annual report.


The film stars Natalie Portman as a rising ballerina, but viewers expecting to see a light-hearted film about classical dance were treated to what the Board called “the story of a young woman’s disintegration”.

The scene that ruffled the feathers of most complainants was a sexual encounter between two female characters, played by Portman and co-star Mila Kunis.

“While the scene is visually discreet, narratively justified and within the 15 guidelines criteria, some correspondents felt it was pornographic in nature,” said the report. 

“That it was a sex scene between two women was an aggravating factor for some who argued that portrayals of homosexual activity should either be restricted to the 18 category, or not shown at all.”

But BBFC director David Cooke acknowledged that while Black Swan was the most complained about film in 2011, the 40 objections it received added up to “a very small number”.  

To put that in perspective, the most objected to film of 2012 so far is Daniel Radcliffe thriller The Woman in Black, which has already elicited 120 protests at its 12A rating – three times last year’s figure.


2011 saw a trio of films classified 12A by the BBFC receiving a relatively high level of complaints. Hanna, starring Saoirse Ronan as a teenage assassin, was objected to 29 times, while The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 and Sucker Punch received 16 and 15 complaints, respectively.