Seth Rogen has criticised a new Sony Pictures initiative to make family friendly versions of its films available to viewers.
Sony’s Clean Version initiative allows home entertainment customers to purchase films that have been edited for broadcast television and in-flight entertainment systems. Under the scheme, “scenes of graphic violence, offensive language, sexual innuendo and other adult content” will be censored or removed from some PG-13 and R-rated movies. So far, “clean versions” of 24 films, including Captain Phillips, Step Brothers and the Spider-Man movies, have been made available to purchase.
Rogen criticised the initiative on Twitter: “Holy shit please don’t do this to our movies. Thanks.
Holy shit please don’t do this to our movies. Thanks. https://t.co/0lpoESaIQd
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) 6 June 2017
The actor, who has made adult-themed comedies such as Knocked Up and Sausage Party, has produced and appeared in a number of Sony Pictures films. One of the most notorious of these was The Interview, a satire about North Korea that prompted a cyber-attack on the film studio.
None of Rogen’s films have been been included in the initiative, but the studio’s website states that additional “clean versions” of films will be made available in the future, adding: “The Clean Version allows viewing for a wider audience, giving people the chance to watch their favourite films together.”
The initiative is the first attempt by a major studio to offer censored versions of its films. However, some third-party streaming services, including ClearPlay, VidAngel and Pure Flix, have provided their own filtered versions of movies.
Such services are controversial in Hollywood. Last year Warner Bros, Disney and 20th Century Fox won an injunction against VidAngel that ordered its closure. In February, ClearPlay stopped providing edited versions of movies to customers. CEO Matt Jarman said the issue would be resolved “later this year”.