Stores bow to Christians and ban Jerry Springer DVD

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The Independent Online

Major retail chains have bowed to pressure from a tiny fringe Christian group by withdrawing copies of a DVD of Jerry Springer: The Opera from stores around the UK.

Woolworths and Sainsbury have both taken the unprecedented step of removing the film from shelves because of "customer" concerns about the content of the musical, released three weeks ago. Sainsbury has admitted it received just 10 complaints.

The move has been condemned by those who see free speech being abandoned to self-appointed censors. Joan Bakewell, the chairman of the National Campaign for the Arts, said the withdrawal was "deplorable". The composer of the musical, Richard Thomas, said: "I think this is worrying for any artist."

The satirical production has been targeted by the campaign group Christian Voice since the start of the year after the BBC agreed to broadcast a performance of the show.

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