The French Connection censored by iTunes, Criterion Channel, and repertory screenings


The Criterion Channel, iTunes and more are offering a censored version of 1971’s Best Picture winner The French Connection.

More than a half-century after its release, 1971’s The French Connection is facing censorship over racist and offensive language. It’s not the edits but who is encouraging them. The Criterion Channel and iTunes, among others, are offering the censored versions of The French Connection for streaming, live viewing and download. The moment is less than 10 second but involves Popeye using a racial insult. Who is to blame? Criterion and TCM, two of the purveyors and preservers of classic films, must have noticed, yet nothing was done to stop the promotion of a censored work. It’s clear that TCM and Criterion, two of the most respected and renowned purveyors of classic films, were aware of this, yet they did nothing to stop the promotion and distribution of a censored film. Why not include a disclaimer if there is a consensus that certain words or phrases should be removed? (HBO) Max did this for

Blazing Saddles with an accompanying introduction that stated, in part: “Racist attitudes and language pervade the movie.” Characters who are shown to be ignorant, small-minded bigots, espouse those attitudes. Objectively, it is probably the best way to deal with this. Censoring one of the most popular films in history is a shame and those responsible should be held accountable. Criterion and company have yet to make statements.

What are your thoughts on The French Connection being censored online? What, if anything, do you anticipate the aforementioned services saying on the issue?

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