Has Tennessee Banned the Classic Movie Some Like It Hot?


The 1959 film Some Like It Hot was banned in Tennessee in March 2023 under a new state law banning “adult cabaret performances” with male or female impersonators.



on March 7, 2023, a Facebook post claimed that the film Some Like It Hot was banned in Tennessee. When Snopes readers emailed us about the claim, we investigated it and found insufficient evidence to categorize it as true or false. Therefore, we have classified the claim as “unproven” for the time being.

“Banned in Tennessee: Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot (1959)”, The Other 98%, op organization is committed to winning the “battle of history” by using viral original political content posted on its Facebook page. Some Like It Hot is a classic 1959 film about two men who dress up as part of an all-female jazz band to escape the mob.

When we reached out to The Other 98% for comment, the organization defended their post.

“Our post on Tennessee’s banning of the film ‘Some Like It Hot’ is social comment and criticism following the passage of Tennessee’s law criminalizing drag shows and public drag shows,” wrote site manager Mark Provost. “We believe that a reasonable interpretation of the law applies to the public filming of any show or film that features drag, particularly when children are present.”

We found the same claim repeated A number from just At Twitteras well as on Instagram. However, it’s unclear if a recent law passed in Tennessee would result in this film, or films like “Mrs. Doubtfire” will be banned.

Tennessee passed the law on March 2nd forbidden gender-affirming care for transgender minors. On the same day, legislation was passed restricting “adult cabaret performances” in public or in the presence of children.

This bill defines “adult cabaret performances” as:

SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated Section 7-51-1401 is amended by adding the following language as a new subdivision: “adult cabaret performance” means a performance at a venue other than an adult cabaret in which topless dancers, Go -Go, perform dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, male or female impersonators providing entertainment that appeals to a lustful interest, or similar entertainers, whether performed for remuneration or not.

SECTION 2. Tennessee Code Annotated Section 7-51-1407 is amended by adding the following wording as a new subsection: It is an offense for a person to participate in an adult cabaret performance: (A) On public property ; or (B) in a place where the adult cabaret performance could be viewed by a non-adult.

The law will come into force on July 1, 2023. A single violation is punishable by a $2,500 charge and/or up to one year in prison. Any violation after that would be a criminal offense punishable by up to six years in prison.

The expression “appeals to a lustful interest” comes from a 1973 Supreme Court case over profanity, Miller v. California. The case decided should be one of the guidelines for juries deciding cases of profanity whether the average person applying community standards would find it the work had a morbid, demeaning, and unhealthy interest in sex.

In analyzing the impact that the legislation could have, the Tennessee wrote: “While one governing body might believe that drag performances are not obscene or harmful to minors, another might disagree based on “contemporary community standards.”

Depending on the context, “adult cabaret performances” could only be interpreted as “live performances”. It can also be argued that mainstream popular films like Some Like It Hot or Mrs. Doubtfire do not “appeal to the lustful interest”.

When Snopes reached out to the legislation’s lead sponsors, Rep. Chris Todd and Sen. Jack Johnson, to clarify the status of such films, we didn’t receive a response in time for publication.


APA Dictionary of Psychology. Retrieved March 9, 2023.

Brathwaite, Les Fabian. “Hays’d: Decoding the Classics – ‘Some like it hot.'” IndieWireMarch 6, 2014,

Fiscus, Kirsten. “Tennessee Drag Show Bill: Will Drag Performances Be Banned? What We Know.” The TennesseeAccessed March 9, 2023.

Johnson, Jack. AN ACT amending the Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 7, Chapter 51, Part 14, Relative to Adult-Oriented Performances. SB0003,

Jr., David L Hudson. Miller test. Retrieved March 9, 2023.

Lytvynenko, Jane & Silverman, Craig. “The money is pouring in for liberal, non-partisan sites and tearing some of them apart.” BuzzFeed NewsMay 5, 2017,

Restrepo, Manuela Lopez. “The anti-drag laws sweeping the US are straight out of the script of history.” NPR, March 6, 2023. NPR,

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/tennessee-ban-some-like-it-hot/ Has Tennessee Banned the Classic Movie Some Like It Hot?

Brian Ashcraft

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