Disney He’s altered some of his films over the years to fit today’s sensibilities, but that doesn’t stop me from being quite a surprise to discover that he’s censored ‘French Connection: Against the Drug Empire’ to remove a brief scene in which the character played by Gene Hackmann says the word Nigger.
It happened months ago but it is not clear when
The alarms went off when it was discovered a few days ago that this moment did not appear in the version of the film that could be seen on Criterion Channelbut later it was learned that the same thing happened in a screening in theaters that took place this past May and also in two screenings of the film directed by William Friedkin aired on TCM two and four months ago. It is unknown when exactly it happened for the first time because it is a change that has never been announced by Disney, but it is known that in another television show eight months ago in the United States that scene was still preserved.
The funny thing is that the film can still be seen unaltered on Disney + Spain. You only have to go to minute 10 and 16 seconds to see that moment that does not even last 10 seconds in which during the chat between the characters of Roy Scheider and Hackman, the latter states that “never trust a black“. There is no confirmation in this regard, but no one doubts that all this controversy is due to Popeye Doyle saying Nigger in the original version of it. Obviously, its rough removal makes the new version look a bit seedy there.
However, there is also no guarantee about the possibility that Disney has simply forgotten to upload this new version of the film in other markets and that soon the censored version will also be the only one available -because from the United States they also warn that the digital copy which can be purchased through iTunes is also of the censored version. Obviously, that will not happen to you if you bought the blu-ray of ‘French Connection: Against the drug empire’ at the time which, unfortunately, is currently discontinued.
I remind you that Disney became the owner of the film when it bought Fox a few years ago, hence any alteration of it has had to have his approval. It has been of little use here that using that expression is something that totally fits the character who says it or that the film won the Oscar more than 50 years ago.
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