Film classification chiefs have seen “a spike” in the number of people complaining about a controversial film portraying Jesus and his disciples as gay – even though it does not exist.
The British Board of Film Classification’s (BBFC) senior examiner Craig Lapper said there was a “constant issue” with rumours that a movie version had been made of a controversial play called Corpus Christi.
The play, by Terrence McNally, is set in modern-day America and deals with issues including gay marriage but has never been made into a film.
Mr Lapper said: “I think it was a bit of an internet hoax several years ago suggesting a film was being made of the play in which Jesus and his disciples were portrayed as homosexuals, and I can remember replying to people concerned about this blasphemous film back in the late 1990s.
“And this year again, for whatever reason, there was another spike in people writing to us to insist that we ban this terrible blasphemous film. We just had to write back and say: ‘This film doesn’t exist’.”