In 1982, Steven Spielberg released the innocent movie ET, the story of a child alien who was accidentally left behind on planet Earth by his botanist parents. In his efforts to return home, the lovable alien befriends a human boy, Elliot, who helps “ET phone home.”
However, Sweden, Finland and Norway decided to ban anyone under 11, 8 and 12, respectively, from watching the movie … because, apparently, it taught kids to defy their parents!!
What were they worried about? Did they think that the movie would plant subliminal messages in kids’ heads and encourage them to turn against their parents in a Children of the Corn style uprising? … well yeah, as it turns out.
The Swedish Board of Film Censorship, which was backed by a group of child psychologists, claimed that ET portrayed adults as the enemies of children. The chief censor, Gunnel Arrback, argued that children would be left traumatised by the “threatening and frightening atmosphere” of the movie.
Whilst the rest of the world was allowed to enjoy the exploits of ET, we can only assume the government’s plan backfired as Scandinavian kids must have grown up resenting their parents for not allowing them to watch the film. Never mention ET to a Scandinavian!!