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Rant Control

Editing Movies for Content

By Jesse Fruhwirth
Posted // November 10,2010 - Editing out naughty words and sexiness from movies to suit conservative Mormon tastes seems a bit distasteful to Dr. Phil Gordon [see “Scrubbed to Death,” Nov. 3, City Weekly]. Online commenters mostly talked about who has the power to put in the edits, and under what circumstances.

“The entire ‘artistic vision’ argument falls apart pretty quickly once you factor in the TV and airplane versions of movies,” wrote Jesse Harris.

BlackMamba responded that it’s not the editing that’s immoral, but doing so without permission, artistic or legal. Jim Hayes likened that to theft.

New Yorker Fern wondered whether anti-Mormon bigotry is involved.

If “Asian Buddhists were trying to accomplish the same thing,” Fern wrote, “Hollywood and the rest of us would look at them more sympathetically.”

“[Gordon] makes a great point,” wrote Ben. “Editing to suit morality is here to stay. I propose that, in fact, it never left.”

Indeed, in reading Gordon’s story, Rant Control thought of the Thomas Jefferson Bible in which the esteemed third president cut out all references to miracles—no virgin birth, no water into wine, no raising Lazarus. Jefferson believed he was removing corruptions added after Jesus’s death. The editor became the artist with his own overlapping vision. Whether Jefferson or CleanFlicks, that has appeal.

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