The Directors Guild of America has officially objected to Sony's new Clean Version program, which makes available censored cuts of popular movies to protect your virgin eyes and ears. The clean versions of the movies are considered bonus content that comes with the purchase of the theatrical cut of the film, giving viewers the option of watching either the censored or uncensored version. According to the DGA, however, making Bill Murray say that Walter Peck is "some kind of rodent, I don't know which" rather then that he "has no d***" in Ghostbusters is a cut too far, violating the agreement the guild has with studios. The guild sent a statement to schedule-themed Hollywood gossip site Deadline:
Directors have the right to edit their feature films for every non-theatrical platform, plain and simple. Taking a director's edit for one platform, and then releasing it on another — without giving the director the opportunity to edit — violates our Agreement.
Throughout the years, the DGA has achieved hard-fought creative rights gains protecting our members from such practices. As creators of their films, directors often dedicate years of hard work to realize their full vision, and they rightfully have a vested interest in protecting that work. We are committed to vigorously defending against the unauthorized alteration of films.
Response to the Clean Version initiative has been mostly negative, with 100% of the persons involved in the 1999 NBC show Freaks and Geeks that have spoken out about the matter so far standing against it.
Holy shit please don't do this to our movies. Thanks. https://t.co/0lpoESaIQd
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) June 6, 2017
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) June 13, 2017
However, a few viewers are grateful for the option, with some pleased that they can finally watch Spider-Man 3 in under five minutes (most of the movie is censored for being so terrible), and others hoping that other studios like Warner Bros will come on board so that they can finally watch Eyes Wide Shut with their children. Others, like rival entertainment executive Tom Brevoort, sees the initiative as an opportunity to expand Pixar films into the R-rated realm.
Sony's Clean Version initiative launched with just 24 movies, but could expand if successful, so hopefully other Freaks and Geeks cast and crew members will speak out against it soon, though James Franco stands to gain the most from the initiative by having less of his Spider-Man franchise performance available for viewing.