Saturday, 3 January 2015

US Distributors Remove all References to Homosexuality From 'Pride' DVD

The cast of 'Pride' celebrate the success of the film.
In a surprise move by American distributors all references to homosexuality have been removed from the US DVD cover for the critically acclaimed film 'Pride'.

The widely successful film tells the true story of a group of gay and lesbian activists, whom in 1984 rallied to support striking miners in Thatchers Britain.

The US cover for the film, however, has made a number of changes that completely remove all references to homosexuality in the story.

The newly altered version of the synopsis reads,

'Pride is inspired by an extraordinary true story.  It's the summer of 1984 and much of blue-collar Britain is on strike.  For one tiny Welsh village, the strike brings unexpected visitors - a group of London-based activists who decide to raise money to support strikers families and want to make their donation in person.'

Compare this to the original version of the synopsis and it's quite clear just what's missing,

'Pride is inspired by an extraordinary true story.  It's the summer of 1984, Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers is on strike, prompting a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists to raise money to support the strikers families.  Initially rebuffed by the Union, the group identifies a tiny mining village in Wales and sets off to make their donation in person.'

Add to this, one of the main images on the back of the DVD case features a group of activist holding a banner that reads 'Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners' has been digitally altered and the sign has been completely removed.

Original unaltered image.
Gay free version of the image.
This obvious attempt to hide what the core focus of the film is about, and in a way edit away a part of history is completely baffling.  Anyone who actually watches the film will become quickly aware that the film contains a heavy LGBT theme.

There are only really two outcomes I see from removing all the references to homosexuality, one is that people in the LGBT community and their supporters might miss out on the film because they're not fully aware that the films content is something that would interest them.  Secondly, people will pick up the film with no knowledge of the LGBT content and be taken by surprise when they're suddenly faced by it.

I don't know what the intention of the distributors is, whether they want to hide the fact that half the cast in the film are playing gay and lesbian characters so that the film falls under the radar and slips into obscurity in America, or if they are trying to sneakily get people who are against LGBT culture to end up buying a film that shows LGBT activists in a positive light.

Either option is possible, and there are negative consequences to both scenarios.  Whatever their intention I believe that it was wrong.  To not only remove reference to homosexuality from the synopsis, but to edit the images on the cover is just wrong.  The film is trying to tell an amazing, real life story of a part of the LGBT community and should be represented in that way.  It just seems like another example of censorship gone completely mad, with a one sided view dictating policy.  Ironically, much like the mad censorship laws in the era of Britain the film is depicting.


Amy.
xx

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1 comment:

  1. It doesn't seem to mention miners explicitly, either!

    ReplyDelete