A Russian YouTuber known for his film reviews has hit out at his country’s Ministry of Culture with allegations of censorship, RIA Novosti reported.
In a video which has been viewed almost 4.5 million times, Yevgeny Bazhenov, known as BadComedian on YouTube, revealed he is currently being sued for copyright infringement by film studio Kinodanz for using too many clips in his film reviews.
However, Bazhenov alleges the real motivation is censorship and he has accused the Ministry of Culture, which funded Kinodanz’s film, Beyond the Edge, of being involved.
“You, me, we all should have the right to say what we think, especially when we critique something that was filmed on our money,” Bazhenov said in his video.
According to Russian media, the Ministry’s director of cinematography Olga Lyubimova has denied being involved in the lawsuit saying: “We provide support in producing and promoting films on the Russian market and abroad, but we do not provide support in court… these phrases and claims are 90% baseless.”
Bazhenov is not generally known for giving kind reviews and he made no exception for the 2018 film Beyond the Edge calling it “incredibly funny, pompous, pretentious” in a video in May last year. The lawsuit followed a few months later.
The YouTuber received the lawsuit from the film studio in January 2019 but he only made it public in his video on 3 June.