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Last week, Sony Pictures announced that it launching a new project that would provide "clean" versions of some of its movies on digital home media releases. In other words, if you bought on of these movies, you would also receive an edited version that would be more kid friendly, like the versions that are screened on TV or aboard an airplane. This initiative has been met with polarizing reactions, but producer Judd Apatow is particularly angry about this decision, recently turning to social media to voice his complaints.
Well he certainly didn't mince his words. Two of Judd Apatow's movies, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and Step Brothers, are on Sony's initial list of movies the studio plans to "clean up." The producer and occasional director went on Twitter recently to tell his followers how he felt about this plan following a report about the Directors Guild of America opposing the plan. Seth Rogen, one of Apatow's frequent collaborators, is also not a proponent of this idea, asking Sony not do that to any of his movies.
It's understandable that Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen feel this way. On the one hand, these guys are artists, and it would be frustrating for them to see their work censored, even more so than when they have to eliminate certain content to fit a PG-13 or R rating. On the other hand, Sony isn't taking away the "normal" copies of these movies and only making the edited versions available. Consumers can still watch the "regular" version whenever they want, it's just that the "clean" version comes as a digital bonus. So while Apatow by no means has to support what Sony is doing, at least he doesn't have to worry about fans not being able to watch his movies as they were originally released.
Fortunately for Judd Apatow, Sony has decided to adjust its policy on this initiative. The studio told THR that it is "touching base" with the 18 directors whose movies are on the list, and if any of them are unhappy with this idea or have changed their minds about it, those movies will not be "cleaned up." One would imagine that Judd Apatow's public displeasure would mean that Sony will make sure to discontinue Talladega Nights and Step Brothers from the program. So if you plan on buying either of these movies for your digital collection, and Sony complies with Apatow's wishes, you won't be provided with alternative versions that have most of the profanity and sexual references taken out.
Judd Apatow's latest comedy movie, The Big Sick, hits theaters on June 23, and since it comes from Amazon Studios and Lionsgate, he won't have to worry about it being "cleaned up" when it's released on Digital HD.