Sony’s movie censorship initiative is a middle finger to art



Sony is giving away clean versions of its movies, as a free extra, in a blatant cash-grab. The free part makes it sound like the company is doing us a favor; you don’t have to watch it but it’s there if you want it.

That sounds great when you think of it in terms of watching Spider-Man 2 with my child. The website, Clean Versions, reveals that there are seven instances of language removed from the edited version. Awesome, now I don’t have to worry about bad language when I watch the movie with my kid right?

That may sound like a solution, but what’s the problem? Who needs movies that have already been made to retroactively be made safe for kid-viewing?

Sony is taking something meant for public consumption and, instead of rating it for what it is, changing it so that it can be rated for maximum profit. A representative for Adam McKay, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, intimated that the director wouldn’t have agreed to anything like that when he made movies for Sony.

Judd Apatow isn’t too keen on the idea either:

You wouldn’t snap David’s penis off so that your child could gain a greater appreciation of the human form without being exposed to male genitalia – you’d find a different piece of art to show them until you felt it was appropriate for them to see Michelangelo’s work for what it is.

Only the artist responsible for a piece’s creation can change the art without destroying it. After that, every change brings it one step removed from the original. Movies may often be released with different versions, but again the distinction is that these are agreed to ahead of time.

The artists who create the movies deserve to be aware of how their work is being interpreted for audiences. Sony is wrong here, for no other reason than creating new versions of movies without consulting the creators beforehand. Whether you think Step-Brothers is art or not is up to you.