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Sony won't release clean version of movies if their directors object

Step Brothers Clean Version

Last week Sony announced their "Clean Version" initiative, which would allow "viewers to screen the broadcast or airline versions of select Sony films, free from certain mature content." These edited-for-content versions of Sony's movies would be made available as one of the extras included with the theatrical version when you purchased the film on iTunes, VUDU, or FandangoNOW. The response to this initiative was, shall we say, less than clean. Not only did many fans object to this move, but so did members of the entertainment industry such as Seth Rogen, Judd Apatow and Adam McKay.

Sony Home Entertainment president Man Jit Singh said that they had run this plan by the directors whose films would be effected, saying that the studio "discussed this program, and the use of these pre-existing versions, with each director or their representatives." However, it seemed that not every director had been consulted, as a rep for Adam McKay said that "the Clean Version initiative is news to Adam McKay. He would not have agreed to this." McKay's STEP BROTHERS and TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY are part of the Clean Version project. THR reports that Sony is now revisiting the promotion and touching base with each of the eighteen directors whose films will fall under the Clean Version banner.

Our directors are of paramount importance to us, and we want to respect those relationships to the utmost. We believed we had obtained approvals from the filmmakers involved for use of their previously supervised television versions as a value added extra on sales of the full version. But if any of them are unhappy or have reconsidered, we will discontinue it for their films.

The Directors Guild of America is also keeping a close eye on the Clean Version initiative to make sure that it doesn't violate any contractual agreements. "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," the DGA said. "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."

Not everyone's response was quite so proper, as Judd Apatow tweeted that "this is absolute bullshit and @sony and @SonyPictures is gonna get hell for F**KING with our movies.Shove the clean versions up your asses!"

Source: THR

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