Toy Story 2 Home Video Release - Retro-Censoring Being Done

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by BILLONEEG, Jul 10, 2019.

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  1. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I think your statement makes a lot of sense and you correctly point out the difference between state-sponsored and private censorship.

    However, there is still something rather ignoble about it. It has been a long time since Disney was a family-owned, innovative studio in Hollywood. The company is a huge entity encompassing a great deal of broadcast and media assets. Sure, it's not Uncle Sam, but it still yields a great deal of power and influence. And that makes the slippery slope all the more slippery.

    Can Disney do it? Sure. No question. Should they? Debatable.
     
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  2. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Forum Resident

    I suppose it depends on what state-sponsored censorship means but it has been decided by the Supreme Court that the 1st amendment is not an unfettered right.
     
  3. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Indeed. One cannot yell fire in a crowded movie theater if there is no fire. However, no state or government entity is forcing or even asking Disney to remove the scene. Thus the subject is moot except in pointing out what this is not.
     
  4. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Resident

    Location:
    new york city
    After reading this whole thread, a few points:

    There are some issues here with really huge distinctions that seem to be missed. First pertains to my other post, which is really just about how the creator of something can later alter it however they like. That's not "censorship," it's artistic license. IMO, this distinction is very important, especially considering the reasons we are talking about. It's not as if there was a government agency that forced scenes to be cut for rebroadcasting, or because of some general "offense." This is the owner of the product doing the altering. They have some degree of embarrassment/regret over the content of one of their creations and they want to modify it. That's completely their right and there is nothing "wrong" with what they are doing. I would vociferously disagree with any law that forced creative content producers to alter content to fit some official stance of morality or "values" but nobody is forcing Disney to do any of this.

    So, now that it's clear that there are no Constitutional/free speech/censorship issues, we can get to the two remaining issues that do remain, which is the artistic value of the modifications and the social value.

    From an artistic standpoint, that's in the eye of the beholder. For example, I do not think that George Lucas' modifications of the original Star Wars trilogy were for the overall good, but he chose to do them and that's his choice. I do think that there is a legitimate aesthetic viewpoint that considers something "finished" upon publication, and that altering after the fact - even if only a little - has an inherent negative effect because the works' authenticity is compromised, even if only a little. But there is also an aesthetic viewpoint that works of art are never wholly separable from the artist/s who made them, and altering them over a lifetime based on changed perspectives is a worthy pursuit.

    Then there's the social standpoint, which is really where most of the objectors are coming from, even if they might claim to be in the camp of aesthetic purity. And on the social issue, there are really two distinctions; the idea that these modifications are good or bad in and of themselves, or because of the larger perspective that they represent. For example, one can disagree with the removal of a scene because doing this *represents* the viewpoint that offending a group of people (almost never a group that the objectors actually belong to, conveniently) is a severe enough of a social injustice that popular media from the past should potentially be altered to accommodate public evolution on certain social issues. The other side is nothing more or less complicated than objecting to the removal of a scene because they actually liked the scene and the values that scene represents, and would rather it be there.

    I think anybody objecting to the removal of certain scenes or dialog from a film on the social basis should at least figure out what camp they're in. Take the scene in isolation and ask yourself if making a movie - today - with that in it could reasonably be found objectionable. If so, then right there is the reason why it might be removed from an existing work.

    Do the owners of films that continue to have a large audience and which are targeted to children have a social responsibility to monitor them for objectionable content as the public's social consciousness evolves and become more inclusive/less racist and sexist? If they decide that they do, it's hard to find much fault with that philosophy in general, even if we might quibble a bit here and there about a single instance or two in how the philosophy is applied.
     
  5. GregM

    GregM Ready to cross that fine line

    Location:
    Daddyland, CA
    Interesting points, but wasn't it purely social pressure, e.g., the expectations of the metoo movement, that prompted this in the first place? If your position is that artistic choices ought not be impacted by social pressure, you may want to revisit this issue entirely. Again, the character stooping to this behavior (with barbies) was Stinky Pete. Not Buzz or Woody or any character developed to have integrity. And given the fact that Stinky Pete was attempting this with barbies, I can think of many teachable moments for my kiddo, who probably could teach us all some things as well about the stupidity of grownups.
     
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  6. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Forum Resident

    You’re probably right about the Me too movement being a factor in Disney deciding to self-censor this short clip from Toy Story 2.

    Whilst the Me too movement re emerged due to allegations of sexual assault, a criminal offense, it also aims to get down to those more common and nuanced issues of gender harassment.

    I’ve heard more than one radio phone-in were men are concerned that talking to a female work college may bring an allegation of sexual harassment due to the Me too movement being so prominent at the moment.

    But really this is about respect not the looming terror of an anti- men movement.

    None of these subtle issues are new and during my previous job where 70% of the workforce was female I never considered the gender of the person I was talking to.

    With regard to this matter we need to consider could a reasonable women view this joke as offensive at this particular point in time.

    If such a women feels this joke is offensive, men should respect and support that view.
     
  7. TheLazenby

    TheLazenby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Song Of The South is unavailable *forever*. (At least in the US.)

    That one, I mean, I'm not going to debate Disney over.
     
  8. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Forum Resident

    Different issues but I'm interested, where has that info come from?
     
  9. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I was responding to Jim B's post, but you came in and made this statement:

    I suppose it depends on what state-sponsored censorship means but it has been decided by the Supreme Court that the 1st amendment is not an unfettered right.

    You may not have been the first to raise it, but you seem to have some thoughts on it.
     
  10. lightbulb

    lightbulb Not the Brightest of the Bunch

    Location:
    Smogville CA USA
    #2
     
  11. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Forum Resident

    It's certainly not about something, which would offend every single person but a 'reasonable person', if this was achieved we'd still have funny jokes.
     
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  12. showtaper

    showtaper Concert Hoarding Bastard

    There is one other "rights" issue: the fact that no one has a "right" to not be offended.

    The world seems eager to jump from one hot button item after another in search of the latest "outrage". They spin a few thousand people up and move on to the next crisis. They have created fear in businesses who trip over each other to become the most politically and morally correct friends of whatever cause has the country's attention today.

    You can argue either side of this particular issue, but who is to say what is right? It's Disney's property, if they wish to revise history that is their risk to take. I think a lot of people read too much into this issue and extrapolate a future outcome that is really unpredictable.........



    (Clarification: I edited both quotes above to respond to the portions I thought were relevant. Apologies to both Pastafarian and NettleBed in advance.)
     
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  13. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Resident

    Location:
    new york city
    I don't understand how this point is relevant.

    First of all, there *are* situations where people have rights to not be offended.

    But secondly, I don't understand how anyone's rights are at issue? Nobody has suggested that X or Y person or group's assertions of rights are the reason why film editing has taken place.
     
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  14. showtaper

    showtaper Concert Hoarding Bastard

    You were the one that brought up "Constitutional/free speech/censorship issues" (your words). There were others calling the removal of the clip censorship. I don't agree with that view, I just questioned Disney's motives. The PC world is using "I'm offended" as a hammer to strike down any thing that doesn't agree with their views. We have wandered far from the intent of this thread so I'll leave it at that.
     
  15. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Resident

    Location:
    new york city
    I did not bring them up - I said that others had, but that they were inapplicable to the present topic.

    And it's true - they are inapplicable to the present topic, because there is no government action occurring.

    So again I do not understand why you would reference "right to not be offended here," and then say that it doesn't exist - especially since there are many areas where people actually do have affirmative rights to not be offended by certain conduct or words (in the workplace, for example).
     
  16. intv7

    intv7 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA, USA
    The gag isn't meant to teach anything, really, unless the lesson is simply that even toys in a position of power will act like jerks to women. It's a funny scene, I think -- but I also think it's one that doesn't really fit into a family movie in today's culture.

    I honestly believe that the removal wasn't simply a knee-jerk reaction to the Me Too movement, but the direct result of the John Lasseter allegations specifically. That's where this is coming from. If he hadn't been forced out, that little scene likely would've continued to fly under the radar as a harmless joke, and it's possible that no one would've said anything, even in an era of heightened awareness.

    I'm convinced they self-censored as a precaution, to head off anyone who potentially could've called them out specifically as hypocrites for having a cute laugh at that behavior in the film, while their chief creative officer is forced to step down from the company for the same type of behavior.
     
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  17. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Resident

    Location:
    new york city
    Yes, I absolutely agree with you there. I never suggested otherwise. In fact, I have on numerous times stated that I don't understand how *any* human rights are involved here. The only "rights" literally involved are the IP rights of Disney, who has elected to modify one of their own works - something that they are fully in the right to do.
     
  18. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Then we are in agreement.

    Sure, Disney has every right to do it. I merely ask, should they?
     
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  19. audiomixer

    audiomixer As Bald As The Beatles

    I laugh loud, hard & sarcastically at the energy that’s put into these “non-issues” compared to all of the other “real issues” going on in society.
     
  20. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Forum Resident

    Power cables and fuses:D
     
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  21. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    No, it's not the equivalent of book burning. It's more like the equivalent of a TV network removing swear words when they rebroadcast a film on TV. Comparing it to book burning is hyperbolic and minimizes the true harm and impact of actual book burning. It's like today's common practice of comparing any politician who is not a genocidal dictator to Adolph Hitler.

    I've never seen this movie before, but I'm kind of surprised that such a blatant sexual innuendo joke was put into what is ostensibly a children's film in the first place. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised though. But I'm wondering why all you guys who are outraged about changes in society were not outraged about this. Walt Disney would never have allowed such a double entendre into one of his films back in the good old days.
     
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  22. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Location:
    Livonia, MI
    Thread wandered far afield and deteriorated into a distressing number of ad hominem attacks. I think we are done here.
     
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