The Internet’s Freaking Out After Netflix Censors Back To The Future Part II

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Streaming services always raise eyebrows when they edit the movies on their platform, usually because they never inform viewers as to when they’ve done it. The most recent high-profile example was Disney+ censoring Daryl Hannah’s butt in Splash! by putting some extremely fake-looking CGI hair over it. Now, it’s Netflix’s turn to get fans grumbling, as they’ve inexplicably censored a scene in Back to the Future Part II.

The edit comes during the 1955 sequence where Marty McFly believes he’s finally gotten hold of the Sports Almanac. If you’ll recall, he excitedly opens it, only to realize it’s actually a French girlie magazine called Oh LàLà. In the original, he flicks through it, getting increasingly upset and saying “Oh LàLà?” before ending on the cover. In the Netflix version, he briefly flicks through it, though the scene cuts before we see the cover page. To add insult to injury, it’s an extremely clumsy and obvious cut.

Reactions to this on Twitter were brutal, with many furious users holding it up as an example of why physical media like DVDs and Blu-rays are so important. Here’s just a selection of the responses:

So, what’s going on here? Well, my first thought was – like Disney’s treatment of Splash! – that Netflix were concerned that the original cover was too explicit for a younger audience. But having looked at the original, the cover is a fully-clothed (albeit suggestive) image of a beautiful woman. I can’t think that even the strictest prude would have a specific issue with the flash we see of it.

My next theory was that Oh LàLà magazine had returned to publication recently and are now enforcing their trademark, but they were invented for the movie. Another long-shot was that the model in the picture, actress Venetia Stevenson, has an issue with her image being used. But she’s 81 and living in London and…well, why would she start caring now? Fans have wondered whether this might simply be chalked up to a technical problem with the file Netflix used, which would at least explain why the edit is so bad.

In any case, while this is a small moment in Back to the Future Part II, it’s still disappointing to see Netflix altering their movies without so much as a hint of explanation. Let’s hope it’s fixed as soon as possible.

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