Steven Spielberg Calls Out ‘CENSORSHIP’ In Movies And Says Classics Shouldn’t Be Altered For Modern Audiences, Adding That His Biggest Regret Was Editing Guns From ET
- Spielberg took a scene from ET with guns and turned them into walkie-talkies
- The edit ran in the 2002 20th anniversary re-release of the classic film
- The director called it “a mistake” and denounced “that form of censorship”
Legendary director Steven Spielberg admitted he regretted edited gun scenes from his classic film “ET” and said he now resists similar forms of censorship.
Spielberg took a scene from the 1982 theatrical version where police officers chase children with guns from the 20th anniversary re-release.
Instead, he chose to replace the guns with walkie-talkies in the new version that came out in 2002.
Speaking at the Time 100 Summit in what was called a “masterclass” interview and amid a climate where many ancient works of art face similar edits, Spielberg said he was wrong in doing so.
“That was a mistake,” Spielberg said. ‘I should never have done that. ‘ET’ is a product of its time. No film should be revised according to the lenses we are today, whether voluntarily or forced to look through it.”
Legendary director Steven Spielberg admitted he regretted edited gun scenes from his classic film ‘ET’ and said he now opposes similar forms of censorship
“ET” was a movie where I was sensitive to the fact that the federal agents approached children with naked firearms and I thought I would turn the guns into walkie-talkies…Years passed and I changed my own opinion,” Spielberg added please.
Spielberg previously admitted regretting the choice in 2011, but now doubled down, saying other forms of art shouldn’t be doing what he was doing back then.
“I should never have messed with the archives of my own work, and I don’t recommend that to anyone. All of our films are sort of a signpost of where we were when we made them, what the world was like and what the world received when we released those stories. So I really regret having that there.”
It’s because Disney, in particular, has spearheaded classic movies like Dumbo and Peter Pan, which helped forge the studio’s identity, is now tarnished by wakeful warnings about racism fears and deleted episodes of old TV shows.
Edits have even been made where lines have been ripped from beloved songs and changed to acknowledge the “damaging impact” of racial stereotypes.
Spielberg seems to strongly disagree with this kind of censorship, referring specifically to the effort to remove offensive passages from Roald Dahl novels.
“Nobody should ever try to get the chocolate out of Willy Wonka!” Ever!’ joked Spielberg. He added a more serious comment: “It’s sacred to me. It’s our history, it’s our cultural heritage. So I don’t believe in censorship.’
The legendary director was at CinemaCon on Tuesday to present a new remake of his classic film The Color Purple starring Oprah Winfrey.
The climax in the original 1982 version of the classic showed the kids being chased by government agents armed with guns, pictured here
“I should never have messed with the archives of my own work, and I don’t advise anyone to do that,” Spielberg said this week
“ET” was a movie where I was sensitive to the fact that the federal agents approached children with naked firearms and I thought I would turn the guns into walkie-talkies… Years passed and I changed my own opinion,” Spielberg added please
The film is based on the Broadway musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel about black women enduring trauma, sexual abuse and racism in the rural Deep South in the early 1900s.
“The reason it’s not your mom’s ‘Color Purple’ — but your mom will really like it — is because the musical factor is so dynamic and the magical realism here is so perfected,” said Winfrey.
Winfrey starred in the previous 1985 film, earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and is a producer on the new version.
In 2011, Spielberg promoted a 30th anniversary DVD and Blu-ray release, which contained both the original and adapted versions of the film, which won four Academy Awards.
“Many children only know ET from the digitally enhanced version,” he explained.
“So in order not to traumatize that entire generation, I’ll probably end up with the old version and the enhanced version, but sell them both at the same time, for the same price, so you can take your pick.”