Ever since I heard the news that the Best-Picture winning film The King’s Speech was edited to change the rating from R to PG-13, I have been upset about it. If you haven’t seen this movie, there is one scene where King George VI (Colin Firth) is very frustrated during one of his speech therapy sessions and drops a ton of f-bombs. When I first heard about the change, I didn’t understand who’s idea it was or how they changed it, but in this article I just found, apparently the film company decided to change the f-bombs to shits. (Apologies, if I offend you with my cursing. I guess this is a PG-13 post.) The reason for the change? So it could be re-released to wider audiences and make more money. Because now it’s “the family event of the year!”
UGHHH. I really disagree with this change for a few reasons. For starters, I don’t feel people should mess with other people’s writing. If the f-words were written into the screenplay, they’re important. And really, they are. It’s more evidence how frustrated he is BECAUSE he curses at that level – if curse words have levels, which apparently they do. Usually the words that make people uncomfortable are there BECAUSE they make people uncomfortable. (Don’t get me started on the altered version of Huckleberry Finn.) This is CENSORSHIP.
Also the reason for changing the scene is awful. To make more money?? Really? They may hide it by saying they want more people to see it – but with the change, they’re adding in the 14-17 crowd. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know too many teens who decide to see a period piece about a guy who stutters. Yes, it’s an awesome movie about a guy who overcame a difficulty, which is a great message for kids and teens, but most of them are NOT going to sit through that movie. Plus, trust me, teens already know that word you’re taking out.
*Sigh* My thoughts won’t change the minds of the people at the film company. Even Colin Firth and Tom Hooper, the OSCAR-WINNING actor and director, couldn’t change their minds. I’m just hoping that when the movie comes out on dvd and I get to watch it again, they’ve at least kept the R version for that, but I’m a little concerned, since the first article I linked to says, “In other words, folks getting on “The King’s Speech” Oscar bandwagon in the coming weeks won’t have a choice about what version they see. It’s PG-13 or bust.” Hopefully that just applies to the movie in theaters.
P.S. I just added the tag “cussing” to this post and it reminded me of the line “What the cuss?” from the movie Fantastic Mr. Fox. That’s an awesome movie too.