Outrage after Disney 'accidentally' censors ‘Falcon and Winter Soldier' one year after release

Show edited to remove blood and violence on Disney Plus, company blames software error for the change, leaving the internet fuming


                            Outrage after Disney 'accidentally' censors ‘Falcon and Winter Soldier' one year after release
A still from Marvel Studios' 'The Falcon And The Winter Soldier' (Marvel Studios/Disney)
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Ever so slowly, Disney is moving away from its family-friendly image to include more mature, diverse, and modern themes. The Mouse House recently brought over its Netflix Defenders show to Disney Plus, adding parental controls to keep concerned parents reassured that the violence isn't for everyone. As part of that shift, Disney Plus also accidentally censored 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier', one year after its release.

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The Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie-starring show was Marvel's first major attempt at mature themes, offering commentary on racism and patriotism. It also offered Marvel's first depiction of blood on screen, with a brutal death featuring Captain America's iconic shield that became the most-talked-about moment in the show. Interestingly, it also became one of the first Marvel properties on Disney Plus to receive a trigger warning

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However, all that was back in 2021. The show was followed by 'Loki', 'What If?' and now 'MoonKnight', alongside movies like 'Black Widow' and 'Spider-Man: No Way Home'. Even though the show is over a year old, eagle-eyed fans noticed a small change that quickly blew up into a major controversy.

A still from episode 6 of 'The Falcon And The Winter Soldier' (Marvel Studios/Disney)

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Disney blames software for toned-down violence

On March 30, Reddit user u/MooninMoulin noticed that Disney made two minor changes to episode 3 of 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier'. The first is during the death of Wilfred Nagel, where the episode scrubbed the blood visible on his shirt, and closed his eyes instead of leaving them open as they were in the original cut. Minutes later, a bounty hunter gets pinned to a shipping container by a pipe thrown by Bucky Barnes. In the edited version, the pipe simply bounces off her. 

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The changes are certainly small, but were quickly picked up and hard to unsee. Screenshots and videos instantly went viral, forcing Disney to respond. Hollywood Reporter senior staff writer Ryan Parker tweeted, "Eagle-eyed fans were right, an episode of 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier' had been altered on Disney+. I hear from a reliable source it was a software control issue and the wrong file was recently published accidentally. It’s being corrected immediately."

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It appears that the edited version was meant for censored versions of the show, but accidentally got uploaded before the parental controls feature was fully launched. Irrespective, Marvel fans were furious that Disney would even consider making the edits, given the brutal violence later depicted in the show. 

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'This is SO stupid of Disney'

"The very idea that Bucky could miss impaling someone with a rod is an insult LOL," one user tweeted. Another asked, "How do you accidentally censor something a year later?" A third slammed, "The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is also censored in France.... this is SO stupid of Disney???? I want the original back And the pipe Bucky throws to someone?? There is still the sound of it penetrating a human body, this sound dumb now." One user retorted, "So now the show is even more boring than it was before? NICE love that censorship disney."

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The backlash was also visible on Reddit, with users leaving comments like "Hopefully media attention forces Disney to back down and undo the censorship" and "Damn, that's frustrating. Thanks for drawing attention to it. I really hope someone asks Feige about this during his next interview." A third replied, "Oh, that suuuuucks. I want physical releases even more now to make sure that this stuff gets documented."

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