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Dan Barrett is an industry commentator & TV critic. He does radio - 4BC & ABC GC and co-hosts the Screen Watching podcast. He's a former Mediaweek deputy editor and content creator for SBS.
Censorship on Disney+: Exposed like Daryl Hannah's bottom
ALSO: The Peep Show movie. AND: A new Mandalorian TV show
There’s a lot about 2020 that has been unexpected. Probably the biggest surprise (and I’m sure you’ll fully agree with me) is that we’re again talking about 1984 romantic comedy mermaid fantasy film Splash.
The film has landed on Disney+ where the film is not being presented with digitally altered hair long enough to run down Daryl Hannah’s back to hide her exposed bottom. The alteration has annoyed a number of people who have criticised Disney for censoring its movie. My biggest issue with it is that there’s now a massive continuity error regarding the length of her hair from scene to scene.
Drew Taylor at Vanity Fair argues that there is an inconsistency to what is censored by Disney and what is not:
So what determines which program gets which treatment? Well, Splash’s biggest sin is nudity—although, Disney+ warns, it also contains some brief language and “tobacco depictions.” But there is actually a fair amount of nudity elsewhere on Disney+—including bare bottoms in Pixar’s Brave, Bart’s penis in The Simpsons Movie, and most of Brendan Fraser’s rump on full display in George of the Jungle. In the “Night on Bald Mountain” section of Fantasia, you even see the bare breasts of some demonic ghouls—nipples and all.
Basically, from all of the examples cited in Taylor’s article - low-level to medium violence is okay, animated nudity is okay, and a male non-sexualised bottom in a live-action film is okay. But sexy nudity and bad language is not.
I’m having it difficult being bothered by this. Yes, Daryl Hannah’s 1984 behind is delightful, but the film isn’t damaged for not being able to see it.
Also: it’s Disney. They’re a family-focused American general entertainment platform. American culture has an issue with sexy nudity and naughty words - Disney just reflects this.
Perhaps a happy compromise might be to release uncut versions to its Hulu streaming service which features more adult fare.
Realising that they have done something really dumb, new streaming service Quibi is working to allow users to watch Quibi content on their larger TV screens. Currently it is only available on mobile phones.
“It’s quite an engineering lift -- it’s not easy -- but the engineers are trying to think about how to do this on an accelerated time scale,” said [Meg] Whitman, a Silicon Valley veteran who previously ran EBay Inc. and Hewlett-Packard. “We’ve had a lot of requests for it.”
Ian Failes has this great article at Before and Afters about creating the matte painting used in the scene from The Empire Strikes Back where Han Solo’s frozen body is loaded onto Boba Fett’s ship, Slave 1.
In one week Parasite has become the second-most watched film ever on Hulu.
“Parasite” is now the second most-watched movie overall on Hulu ever among titles currently available to stream. What that means is that in one week “Parasite” out-streamed the lifetimes of popular titles such as “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” “A Quiet Place,” “Transformers: The Last Knight,” and “Creed II,” all of which have been available to stream on Hulu for several months.
Australian ABW readers should note that the film is available on streamer Stan.
What will it take to re-open Hollywood for business following the stupid virus shut-down? A lot. And it begins with talent and crew having to sign insurance waivers.
Starting again in this brave new world is going to be very difficult to navigate. For one thing, insurers are unlikely to cover productions for COVID-19 cases when business resumes, according to multiple sources in the know. Producers all over filed multimillion-dollar claims triggered when civil authorities — governments — prevented filming from continuing and forcing production shutdowns. When the business starts up, that will now be considered an identified risk, and insurers will not cover it, sources said.