Sony Pictures Decides To Offer ‘Clean’ Versions of Select Movies
By Ben Kayser, Managing Editor
Movieguide® has long subscribed to the idea that the best form of regulation is self-regulation, which the Bible lists under the Fruits of the Holy Spirit in Galatians, under “self-control.”
In the Golden Age of Hollywood, the studios worked with organizations like the Protestant Film Commission to regulate the content and messages allowed in their movies, which not only protected moviegoers, but also led to great financial success. In the 1960s, however, the church abandoned Hollywood, and this self-regulation ceased. The result is that the size of the movie audience plummeted, along with revenues.
Eventually, however, the Protestant Film Commission eventually inspired Movieguide® and the Christian Film & Television Commission® founder, Dr. Ted Baehr, in 1985 to revive the mission of the Protestant Film Office and the Catholic League of Decency: To encourage Hollywood and its decision makers to pursue the Good, the True and the Beautiful, and make wholesome entertainment. At the same time, Movieguide® tried to convince the studios to release on home video the edited airline and television versions of their movies, to make them more accessible to family audiences. The studio decision makers balked, however, often citing the contracts they had with writers, producers and directors.
Now, however, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment just announced a “Clean Version” service that allows families to rent movies on iTunes, VUDU, and FandangoNOW, and choose edited versions free of charge. Other companies have sprung up to attempt the same goal, such as Cleanflicks, VidAngel, and ClearPlay, but most have had to close due to lawsuits filed by the major studios.
Filmmaker Seth Rogen, who’s notorious for making extremely vulgar movies, has already expressed his disapproval of Sony’s decision in a tweet, stating, “Holy [expletive], please don’t do this to our movies.”
Sony is beginning with these 24 movies, with plans to expand to more:
• Easy A
• Ghostbusters II
Of course, Movieguide® can’t recommend all of these movies, even if edited, due to dangerous or anti-Christian messages inherent in the story, so please still read the reviews. That said, Movieguide® commends Sony for taking the step in the right direction of providing families with safe entertainment.