Sony is scrubbing its clean movies initiative.
The movie studio has backtracked on plans to release clean, family-friendly versions of some of its most popular films after filmmakers, including Judd Apatow, complained.
Man Jit Singh, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, said in a statement that Sony would heed requests to cease the sale of edited versions of select movies, and that the plan only came about because the studio thought it already had permission thanks to the pre-approved edited cuts that air on TV.
“Our directors are of paramount importance to us and we want to respect those relationships to the utmost,” the statement read. “We believed we had obtained approvals from the filmmakers involved for use of their previously supervised television versions as a value added extra on sales of the full version.”
The move comes after multiple stars, producers and directors expressed their outrage at the plan with expletive-laced social media posts.
“This is absolute bulls— and @Sony and @SonyPictures is gonna get hell for F—ING with our movies,” Judd Apatow tweeted Wednesday. “Shove the clean versions up your a-es!”
Apatow produced several films in the initial lineup that have since been removed, including “Step Brothers” and “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.”
Seth Rogen, whose “The Interview” and “Sausage Party” are both Sony films, also tweeted his discontent with the plan, writing, “Holy s— please don’t do this to our movies. Thanks.”
The films are available for purchase on a Sony-owned website called Clean Version, and after the complaints, the list of titles has dwindled from 24 to 17.
A number of Adam Sandler flicks were also removed, including “50 First Dates,” “Big Daddy,” “Grown Ups,” “Grown Ups 2” and “Pixels,” though the star has remained mum on social media.
After Sony acknowledged the issue, the Director’s Guild of America, which had previously criticized the studio, released a statement praising the move, and revealed it had urged Sony to grant filmmakers the chance to edit their own films in the future, before releasing them in an altered state.
“The DGA has notified Sony that it expects the immediate removal of all ‘clean’ versions of affected films from availability until Sony secures permission from each and every director, and provides them with an opportunity to edit a version for release in new media,” the statement read. “As we have throughout our history, we are committed to fighting the unauthorized editing of films.”
The clean version titles that remain available for purchase include Ivan Reitman’s “Ghostbusters,” Bennett Miller’s “Moneyball” and Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man.” Cuts to the films include one instance each of violence, language and nudity in “Spider-Man,” while the edited “Ghostbusters” cuts out 11 instances of language and one of sexual content.
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