Lamentable PG-13 Cut of 'The King's Speech' Sadly Will Be Released
Harvey "Scissorhands" Weinstein wins again. I'm only going to write about this once, because I don't think this sad, mutilated version of what was once a great Oscar winning film deserves to be seen - by anyone. It doesn't deserve the attention or effort I'm even giving it, which is ironic because a mere three months ago, I was rooting for The King's Speech to win Best Picture (and it did anyway). The Weinstein Company has announced (via Deadline) that they will be releasing a new PG-13 cut of Tom Hooper's The King's Speech, minus the scenes with "fuck" used in them, in theaters on April 1st. It will open on 1000 screens in the US.
Apparently $360 million in worldwide box office earnings just wasn't enough for the Weinsteins, as they had to go back and recut this as a PG-13 film and re-release it. What an absolutely disgusting and deplorable travesty in the world of film. It frustrates, angers, and saddens me that Americans can't simply handle a few historically accurate and appropriately used "fucks" that are necessary in the context of the film. And don't get me started on the MPAA. The King's Speech, in its original uncut form, received a rating of "12A" in the UK - suitable for 12 years and over and a rating of "PG" for Parental Guidance in Canada. So how was it rated R in the US?!
Please, If you want to see a truly great film - the won that won all the Oscars - don't see the PG-13 version of The King's Speech. In fact, I would start a campaign to boycott this release, but I realized that would be wasting too much time on something that doesn't deserve the attention anyway. I don't know whether my complaints with this should be aimed towards the MPAA for slapping it with an R-rating to begin with, or towards The Weinstein Company for making such a careless decision to alter an otherwise fantastic, Best Picture winning film. This may be the first time in history a Best Picture winning film and script has been edited simply to thwart the MPAA and make more money (but I'm not entirely sure). To be honest, both of them probably deserve the flack, as it's a combination of everything.
TWC's Distribution head Eric Lomis stated in the press release: "The action enables those to whom it speaks most directly - young people who are troubled by stuttering, bullying and similar trials -- to see it." If you've seen the film, you'll know that one of the techniques Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush) uses to help Berty overcome his stuttering is cursing. And what if that's the same technique these young people who are troubled by stuttering need to try in order to overcome their problems? How will they see that it's acceptable if they're watching an inaccurate and edited version? They're going completely against their own statements!
At this point, I feel like this rant is already long enough. I'm sure many oblivious people will still go see the PG-13 cut not knowing why it was edited or how much this is hurting the film, but there's not much I can do about that besides bringing this news to your attention. So please, if you haven't seen The King's Speech yet, wait until the R-rated Blu-Ray is released on April 19th and watch that instead. Anyone else outraged?