Yesterday, comic author Brian K. Vaughan reported that Apple had banned an issue of his SAGA comic because it included images of gay sex. However, ComiXology CEO David Steinberger has clarified that Apple didn’t actually ban the issue in question, and that his company self-censored it out of respect for Apple’s policies.
Steinberger also added that he had heard back from Apple that Saga issue #12 fit within the App Store guidelines, so the issue will arrive on the app soon.
Vaughan’s post sparked a controversy yesterday because some had assumed that Apple had objected to the sexual content simply because it was of a homosexual nature, but that apparently wasn’t the case. In its statement, ComiXology also noted that the decision to hold off on submitting the comic wasn’t related to sexual orientation.
As of 11:45am Pacific, Vaughan’s post had yet to be updated with a correction. It’s curious that ComiXology waited as long as it did to explain what happened especially after failing to properly communicate with Image Comics and Vaughan.
Comixology’s full statement:
To our customers –
In the last 24 hours there has been a lot of chatter about Apple banning Saga #12 from our Comics App on the Apple App Store due to depictions of gay sex. This is simply not true, and we’d like to clarify.
As a partner of Apple, we have an obligation to respect its policies for apps and the books offered in apps. Based on our understanding of those policies, we believed that Saga #12 could not be made available in our app, and so we did not release it today.
We did not interpret the content in question as involving any particular sexual orientation, and frankly that would have been a completely irrelevant consideration under any circumstance.
Given this, it should be clear that Apple did not reject Saga #12.
After hearing from Apple this morning, we can say that our interpretation of its policies was mistaken. You’ll be glad to know that Saga #12 will be available on our App Store app soon.
We apologize to Saga creator Brian K. Vaughan and Image Comics for any confusion this may have caused.
All the best,
CEO and co-founder
Image Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images