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Sony Bosses Cutting 'Clean Version' Scheme After Filmmaker Outrage
Jun 15, 2017 by: WENN
Sony Pictures bosses are to cut back an initiative releasing tame versions of movies after protests from filmmakers including Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow.
Executives announced the 'Clean Version' scheme earlier this month, offering 24 movies edited to remove "scenes of graphic violence, offensive language, sexual innuendo and other adult content" for sale to customers.
The scheme provoked an angry response from Directors Guild of America officials who claimed the scheme violated their members' agreement with major studios.
After it emerged that two of the director Adam McKay's films, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and Step Brothers had been included in the scheme without his knowledge, Sony bosses acted to curtail the initiative.
"Our directors are of paramount importance to us and we want to respect those relationships to the utmost," Sony Pictures Home Entertainment president Man Jit Singh told The Guardian in a statement. "We believed we had obtained approvals from the film-makers involved for use of their previously supervised television versions as a value-added extra on sales of the full version. But if any of them are unhappy or have reconsidered, we will discontinue it for their films."
Apatow and Rogen led filmmakers' opposition to the Clean Version, with Knocked Up director Apatow writing on Twitter, "This is absolute bulls**t and @sony and @SonyPictures is gonna get hell for F**KING with our movies.Shove the clean versions up your a**es!"
Rogen, who in recent years into directing and producing as well as acting, wrote on the social media site, "Holy s**t please don't do this to our movies. Thanks."
DGA officials cautiously welcomed Sony's move to consult directors before editing their films, but called for the removal of all the edited versions from sale until agreements were reached with filmmakers.
"While we're pleased that Sony is acknowledging its mistakes in this area, the DGA expects the immediate removal of all 'clean' versions of the affected films from availability until Sony secures permission from every director, and provides them with an opportunity to edit a version for release in new media--consistent with the DGA agreement and directors' individual contracts," a statement from the directors' union read.
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