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Aardman Animations to remove a scene from The Pirates! Band of Misfits

01.24.2012

FishHatI sure hope you've seen the trailer for this film, because it emanates the kind of sheer delight I find is often missing from adventure films these days.

Now there is a moment in the trailer which, if you're anything like me, you found to be hilarious. The Pirate Captain, voiced by Hugh Grant, sets foot on a boat he and his pirates seek to plunder and demands that the crew turn over any gold that they're carrying. A crew member then speaks up, saying “afraid we don’t have any gold old man, this is a leper boat. See?” And then his arm falls off. It's absurd, it's irreverent, and it's a brilliant sight gag.  And now it has been removed after being deemed offensive to people with leprosy/people who work with people who have leprosy. 

The concern was expressed by leprosy organizations that the "such a scene could increase stigma and discrimination for disease sufferers." Which is fair, I suppose. A representative for Aardman Animations (WALLACE AND GROMIT, CHICKEN RUN) had this to say today on the matter: “'After reviewing the matter, we decided to change the scene out of respect and sensitivity for those who suffer from leprosy. The last thing anyone intended was to offend anyone and it is clear to us that the right way to proceed is to honor the efforts made by organizations like ILEP to educate the public about this disease.' Lepra Health in Action for its part said it was 'genuinely delighted that Aardman has decided to amend the film' and praised the filmmakers respect and sensitivity."

It's great that the studio was so open to changing something that would have alienated audience members (both with and without leprosy), and I know it was only one small joke in the grand scheme of what is sure to be a fantastic film, but... ah, I just found it really funny.  But maybe that's because I don't have leprosy.

Swashbuckling

Extra Tidbit: THE PIRATES vs. CORPSE BRIDE - which stop-motion animation style do you like more and why?
Source: Deadline

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