Steven Spielberg Speaks Out Against Censorship, Admits Mistake

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With endless calls for bans, edits, and trigger warnings for movies, books, and other entertainment, Steven Spielberg has emerged as a rare voice of reason, speaking out against the insane censorship of works of art. Spielberg even went so far as to admit to his own mistake, regarding his hit movie “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.”

Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

When it comes to film, iconic director Steven Spielberg is a legend, having directed such blockbuster hits as “E.T.,” “Jurassic Park,” and “Jaws.” So, with the filmmaker speaking out about the censorship that seems to now plague what most would call classic works of art, perhaps others in Hollywood should listen to what the longtime supporter of Democratic candidates across the country had to say.

To the shock of many, Spielberg, who has donated large sums of money to the Democratic Party, became a brave defender of free speech while speaking at Time’s 100 Summit in New York City. In the now-viral interview, the director blasted the freedom-snuffing, woke mindset and mocked efforts to revise classic art, going so far as to express his own regrets about a controversial change he made to one of his most beloved and iconic films, Yahoo! News reported.

Looking at this screenshot from Steven Spielberg’s 1982 classic “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” can you guess what change was made? (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

According to Spielberg, art should not be revised to reflect changing political views or even a creator’s own changing perspective once it is put out in the world. This, of course, is much different than what we’ve seen in entertainment, where anything that’s deemed “offensive” demands calls for it to be “canceled,” “censored,” or altered in some way. At a minimum, the woke crowd requires that even the classics should come with a warning if there is any risk that the material might be upsetting to viewers today.

Sadly, we’ve seen many examples as films, books, and other entertainment are lumped into the rancor of politics. The Southern classic “Gone With The Wind” was slapped with a trigger warning amid concerns over its depiction of 19th Century slavery while Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels had now-racist words changed to show more sensitivity. Classic literature, such as the works of Roald Dahl, has been controversially edited to eliminate terms that modern readers might find offensive — such as removing words like “fat” and “ugly” from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” And, even one of Spielberg’s own iconic films fell victim to a redo, way back in 2002.

Can you spot the change that was made for the 20th-anniversary edition of Steven Spielberg’s iconic film “E.T.”? (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

For those who may not be aware, when preparing to release the 20th-anniversary edition of 1982’s “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” in 2002, the iconic director infamously decided to edit guns out of government agents’ hands, digitally replacing them with walkie-talkies. The move was widely mocked at the time, including being ridiculed in an episode of South Park, HiT explained. Decades later, Spielberg openly admitted that it was a decision he regretted and went on to explain why.

“That was a mistake. I never should have done that. ‘E.T.’ is a product of its era. No film should be revised based on the lenses we now are, either voluntarily, or being forced to peer through,” Spielberg admitted as he went on to express the “disappointment” he felt with himself. “I should have never messed with the archives of my own work, and I don’t recommend anyone do that,” Spielberg warned. “All our movies are a kind of a signpost of where we were when we made them, what the world was like, and what the world was receiving when we got those stories out there. So, I really regret having that out there.”

“Nobody should ever attempt to take the chocolate out of Willy Wonka!” Steven Spielberg joked during the interview before turning serious and making a remark that the rest of the Hollywood crowd should heed. “For me, it is sacrosanct. It’s our history; it’s our cultural heritage. I do not believe in censorship in that way,” he added. And, the NY Post seemed to agree, calling such censorship “wacko” and “historically destructive.”

Indeed, it does seem ludicrous to endlessly rework the classics to align with society’s ever-changing mores. Sadly, however, the obsession with reshaping works of art has become the expectation as futile attempts are made to appease vocal mobs of “activists” who seemingly insist that nothing should be permitted to exist if it offends the so-called sensibilities of the “woke.” Thankfully, Steven Spielberg seems to understand that hacking away at history doesn’t change it. Instead, leave it alone so that we can learn from it.