It has become a popular trend among streaming services to place warnings before “problematic” old movies. Disney+ has a mandatory 10-second disclaimer ahead of classics like Peter Pan and Dumbo, which some movie fans have found incredibly nurturing.
Among the caveats about content on the likes of Disney+ and Netflix for some movies and TV shows are violence, sex, insults and nudity, but smoking is now a common addition to such lists.
If that wasn’t enough, Warner Bros Discovery’s HBO Max streaming service has been spotted virtually censoring the depiction of smoking in classic movies by taking pictures of cigarettes and cigars out of existence.
Two prime examples on social media with evidence captured on screen are the posters on the HBO Max homepage for Warren Beatty’s McCabe, Mrs. Miller, and Paul Newman’s The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean.
In response to the censorship, one fan tweeted, “What a ridiculousness,” while another added, “I’m so glad I didn’t give a penny to HBO Max.” Another said, “Cowards,” while one wrote, “I am not a big fan of revisionist history. We must accept what is… and go from there.”
One tweeted: “FFS, it’s bad enough to have ‘smoking’ up there with the violence, and rape, in the film’s lifetime warnings.” The movie fan added, “It’s part of the movie’s history. Leave it alone!”