This news has been widely reported, along with the unquestioned assumption, a glorious piece of received wisdom, that it was the right and noble thing to do. Next Movie put it thus: “the decision is no doubt a costly one for the studio, but it’s the right one”. Well, that’s that then. But hold on, cries the well-adjusted, isn’t anyone going to think about this? Would such scenes really provoke a riot in cinemas? It’s a sure fire bet that the relatives of those that died would not be seeking out a movie riddled with gun violence any time soon, so who does this re-tailoring serve? The answer, my friends, is you; the mock aggrieved.
Should art really flex to accommodate transient sensitivities? Could we not, were we of a delicate disposition, merely exercise our right to avoid troubling material, provided warnings were given? Aren’t we grownups? Intellectually, there’s no case for censorship, which may explain why the intellect is the last thing to be taxed when these decisions are made.
In Britain, where paternalism following high profile bad news is endemic, TV shows are regularly edited to accommodate reality, once it intrudes on sensationalism. When Madeleine McCann was kidnapped in Portugal, in 2007, the BBC hastily re-wrote episodes of its flagship soap, EastEnders, to remove a child abduction plot. The Raoul Moat murder spree, more deaths at the hand of a gun toting idiot, again prompted broadcasters to edit any reference to firearms from their scheduled programmes. In one instance this lead to the postponement of a comedy panel show, You Have Been Watching; watching no longer being an option. It’s not that normal, well-balanced people would take offence in these instances you understand, just the rest; an imaginary constituency of sub-normal flappers.Pages: 1 2 3