Birds of Prey Being Censored on HBO Max

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DC Comics fans who found themselves wanting to revisit their favorite superhero films over the holiday earned an unexpected surprise when attempting to watch Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on HBO Max, as a disclaimer in the front of the film confirmed that it was edited for content. The R-rated film had its language and violence toned down to a degree that might not have been immediately apparent, though one scene featuring Rosie Perez’s Detective Montoya sees a phrase on her shirt being clearly edited, confirming the censoring of the outing. The version of the film being made available on HBO Max appears to be the TV edit of the picture that touts a TV-14 rating.

While it’s unclear why the streamer is only offering the tamer version of the film, it wouldn’t be the first time that a streamer has had a behind-the-scenes mix-up that resulted in fans being frustrated.

Just last year, fans noticed that Netflix’s library contained the TV edit of Back to the Future II, which edited out a few seconds of Marty McFly looking at an Ooh La La magazine. As some fans thought the streamer was intentionally censoring the sequence, it was confirmed that they had been given the TV edit of the title, with the error ultimately being corrected.

birds-of-prey-streaming-edited-hbo-max.jpg(Photo: HBO Max/Warner Bros.)birds-of-prey-movie-edited-shirt-rosie-perez.jpg(Photo: HBO Max/Warner Bros.)

“The blame is on Universal who somehow furnished Netflix an edited version of the movie,” writer Bob Gale shared with The Hollywood Reporter about the mix-up at the time. “I learned about it some 10 days ago from an eagle-eyed fan, and had the studio rectify the error. The version now running is the uncensored, unedited, original version.”

How the mistake with Birds of Prey has happened is unclear, though hopefully after enough fans notice the issue, the streamer can correct the mistake.

At the time of its release, Birds of Prey marked the first major DCEU title to officially earn an R rating, despite Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice earning an “Ultimate Edition” that was rated R, making the Harley Quinn adventure somewhat of a gamble. Since then, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad has also earned an R rating, as did Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

Stay tuned for details on the future of the DC Extended Universe.

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