Product placement has always been a part of the movie business, especially when it comes to big budget blockbusters looking to generate extra income by featuring a well known brand. Obviously, in some cases, the subliminal messaging is handled much better than others, and in several Michael Bay productions, the characters come dangerously close to simply turning to the camera and shilling whatever they’ve got in their hands like a completely unironic version of the famous Wayne’s World scene.
Rian Johnson once hilariously revealed that while Apple are happy to have their technology featured on the big screen, villains are strictly forbidden from using iPhones, just in case any audience members make the connection between bad guys and the tech giant’s pricey range of handheld devices. Now, Seth Rogen has taken to social media to reveal that he was denied permission to feature a PlayStation in Pineapple Express, despite the fact that the cult classic stoner comedy was produced by Sony.
Fun fact: Sony would not clear the #Playstation for use in Pineapple Express (a Sony movie.)
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) November 19, 2020
Perhaps the higher ups were concerned about having one of their flagship products associated with such rampant recreational marijuana use, but it wasn’t like the console would have been integral to the plot. If anything, it would have no doubt been a throwaway scene of Rogen’s Dale Denton and James Franco’s Saul Silver casually playing video games while doing some of their signature improvisational riffing.
Product placement is a necessary evil that can often be mutually beneficial to both parties, with the company providing the items in question getting a bit of free publicity while the production shaves a few pennies off the budget, but Sony clearly drew the line when it came to associating the PlayStation with an R-rated action comedy like Pineapple Express.