Sony starts offering "clean" versions of its movies

On June 6, 2017 Sony announced it is bundling "clean" versions of movies with the original "rated" versions sold through iTunes, Vudu and FandangoNow. Sony explains:

The Clean Version is created using the broadcast or airline versions to remove some scenes of graphic violence, offensive language, sexual innuendo, and other adult content...giving people the chance to watch their favorite films together.

The first set of twenty-four Sony films offered in a Clean Version includes twenty films originally released since 2002 and reviewed by Breathe California. Half of these Sony films feature tobacco content:

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) — 10-29 tobacco incidents, 486 million in-theater tobacco impressions, displays Marlboro brand

Captain Phillips (2013) — 10-29 tobacco incidents, 224 million in-theater tobacco impressions, displays Marlboro brand

Elysium (2013) — 10-29 tobacco incidents, 183 million in-theater tobacco impressions

Grown Ups 2 (2013) — 1-9 tobacco incidents, 33 million in-theater tobacco impressions

Moneyball (2011) — 10-29 tobacco incidents, 159 million in-theater tobacco impressions, displays Copenhagen brand

Spider-Man (2002) — 30-49 tobacco incidents, 2.3 billion in-theater tobacco impressions

Spider-Man 2 (2004) — 10-29 tobacco incidents, 1.4 billion in-theater tobacco impressions

Spider-Man 3 (2007) — 10-29 tobacco incidents, 832 million in-theater tobacco impressions

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) — 10-29 tobacco incidents, 339 million tobacco impressions

White House Down (2013) — 1-9 tobacco incidents, 9 million in-theater tobacco impressions

Sony's Clean Version program shows a major studio's eagerness to alter its own film content for commercial gain: sale of films to broadcast TV, the airlines and now to digital retailers. Studios also release "un-rated" and "director's cut" versions of films on home video, with more strong language, violence or sexual content than the original release. 

Out of respect for filmmakers and the First Amendment, Smokefree Movies policy solutions have never proposed altering existing films.* Tobacco imagery is not yet part of the MPAA's rating guidelines, network broadcast standards or airline film standards. Sony does not list smoking as an element in its Clean Versions program. 

Tobacco is the only film content proven to cause widespread, severe physical harm to young audiences worldwide. 

View examples of Clean Version edits of language and violence at Sony's new site, www.cleanversionmovies.com.

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* State Attorneys General have, on occasion, requested that tobacco companies ask Hollywood studios to remove tobacco product trademarks from home video versions of feature films that showed tobacco brands. On occasion, studios have complied.