New censorships at Disney. By mistake this time?

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The Disney+ streaming platform is attacking the “Falcon and the Winter Soldier” series to tone down some violent and bloody passages

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A case of modification spotted by a picky Internet user.

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Another case in the same episode

Another case in the same episode

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And now Disney + is back! After being accused a few weeks ago of having censored a lesbian kiss even before the release of the work in question, the streaming platform is now attacking its series already online. With this time scenes of graphic violence in the line of sight, apparently more up to date, according to Uncle Walt.

It was American users of the Reddit platform, a few days ago, who identified the problem. So far, only two scenes seem to have been adapted for a wider audience, but others might have slipped under the radar of these eagle-eyed temple guardians.

Redacted Violence

A certain “u/MooninMoulin” had first explained that he had been struck by a detail: “I was re-watching “Falcon and the Winter Soldier”… In episode 3, at 37 minutes and 45 seconds , Bucky throws a metal bar at a woman. At the time of the first broadcast, the bar came to freeze in the shoulder of this one, nailing it to a container. Now it’s just bouncing off his shoulder.” He then added to fear that other scenes would be struck by the same evil elsewhere in the series… And that had not failed: a few hours later, another Internet user unearthed a second modified sequence, moreover from the same episode . This time, we saw one of the characters, Baron Zemo, shoot a Hydra scientist before he fell to the ground. In the original sequence, a shot showed the latter on the ground, bloody chest, neck and mouth, eyes open and glassy, ​​leaving little doubt as to his fate. But in the new version (35’27”), the blood has completely disappeared, the character’s eyes are now closed and there is no longer any indication that the character is really dead.

Strangely, in the same episode, another more violent scene seems to have escaped this censorship for the moment. The one where we see John Walker, Captain America’s replacement, cut an enemy in half using the superhero’s shield.

The Gay Kiss Affair

As we pointed out at the beginning of the article, it is difficult not to make the connection with the recent controversy over the gay kiss of the next Pixar film, “Buzz Lightyear”, whose release is set for June. Last month, Disney employees sent an open letter to all studio employees, reporting that the studio had demanded that “virtually all openly gay displays of affection” be removed from their films. And faced with the outcry that this had caused, the firm had agreed to reinstate this famous kissing scene from “Buzz Lightyear”, cut at first.

And this is not the first time that Disney has announced that it wants to “protect” our young darlings. Two years ago, the launch of its streaming platform was an opportunity for the big-eared firm to modify a large number of its works, in particular by removing a sequence from “Dumbo” deemed racist, as well as a post scene. -generic of “Toy Story 2”, she accused of sexism. We even looked specifically at the “Splash” case, this 80s siren whose bare buttocks had been modestly covered with a graphic palette.

Censorship by mistake…

To return to “Falcon and the Winter Soldier”, Disney did not respond to requests from the American press to explain this sudden change in policy, barely a year after the series went online. But it could be linked to the platform’s new parental controls implemented on March 15, just after the addition of the Marvel series designed a few years ago for Netflix, “Daredevil”, “Luke Cage”, ” Jessica Jones”, “Iron Fist” and “The Defenders”, they are much more adult oriented. From now on, the user must effectively specify whether he wants to access the entire library, thus including more mature content, or limit himself to a more restricted list, but also more family-friendly. Two weeks ago, the IGN site had also embarked on an exhaustive comparison of the 135 episodes of these ex-Netflix series, noting that nothing had been modified, whether it be sex scenes, violence or swearing. But maybe the result would be different today…

Still, Disney adopting the policy of the ostrich about this episode of “Falcon and the Winter Soldier”, a journalist from the “Hollywood Reporter” risked last week an explanation for the less incredible: that of the technical bug. “A reliable source confirmed to me that it was a computer problem, that the wrong file had been downloaded by mistake and that the error had been immediately corrected”, explained Ryan Parker on Twitter. However, at the time of writing these lines, it is still the censored version that appears on the menu of the platform. In any case on its Swiss counterpart.

AI to the rescue?

So is Uncle Walt actually conducting censorship tests in secret? Or is this modified version part of one of the alternative montages that could have been made at the time to deal with all decisions of the age classification committee, and which would have actually ended up there by mistake? Unlikely… Especially since as it stands, the modified sequence of the first of the two scenes isn’t really believable. At first, only the image has been modified, not the sound, and we therefore clearly hear the pipe planting itself in the woman’s shoulder while it merely bounces. And then the character finds himself still nailed to the container, as if by an invisible force. For a bit, it would almost look like the work of an artificial intelligence, capable of performing certain tasks but without necessarily understanding the context of the situation…

One thing is certain, in the era of streaming and digital on demand, nothing seems to exist in a definitive form. If the practice is not in itself new (see the multiple versions of the films of the “Star Wars” saga, the different montages of “Blade Runner” or those of “Apocalypse Now”), it is now extremely easy, for the studios, to adapt their content to the fashions and moral orders of the moment, even to the predominant ideologies. Result: the notion of art fades a little more in favor of eminently commercial criteria. Let’s see where all this will take us…

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New censorships at Disney. By mistake this time?


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