Disney+ Has A Bizarre Swearing Problem Unfolding
Presumably, so they can include it in their "Movies Featuring Thor" category, Disney has added the '80s family comedy Adventures in Babysitting to their streaming service in some regions. But don't get too excited because the version that's been uploaded has been "edited for content."
Yup, the iconic line "Don't f**k with the babysitter," a pivotal, cathartic moment for Elisabeth Shue's frazzled babysitter character, has been replaced with an awkwardly-dubbed "Don't fool with the babysitter." So Disney's apparently cool with the movie's occasionally heavy-handed racism, but they draw the line at a brief moment of profanity.
That's because swearing (not unlike bare mermaid butts) isn't allowed on Disney+, which is also why Hamilton was forced to drop its F-bombs. Apparently, winning a Pulitzer Prize doesn't afford you the right to curse like a sailor on the same platform as Doc McStuffins. Purportedly, Disney+ doesn't feature content more extreme than PG-13 – which is weird for a few reasons. For one thing, there are parental controls on Disney+ that allow adults to moderate what their kids can or can't access. So there's no reason why the entire service needs to restrict its content beyond a misguided desire to create some kind of anti-vulgar virtual utopia.
And also, for many regions outside the U.S. that don't have Hulu, there's now a "Star" section of Disney+, full of R-rated material; which creates this weird incongruity where non-Americans can watch, say, David Cronenberg's The Fly, but can't be subjected to the horrors of two swear words in an '80s babysitting comedy. Hell, outside of the U.S., Hulu's Pam & Tommy, a series about the making of a literal sex tape, is being marketed as a Disney+ show.
Making all of this even more infuriating, Peter Jackson's Beatles documentary Get Back does contain swearing because Jackson insisted on leaving it in. Don't get us wrong, we're all for unleashing Ringo's potty mouth loose on the world, but now this has created a weird power imbalance within Disney+. Certain titles are have been altered and censored to satisfy some ill-defined moral code, but others are allowed more freedom purely due to cultural clout. The fact is The Beatles are allowed to swear, but Elisabeth Shue isn't. And that just plain sucks.
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Top Image: Disney