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“Let Me Decide What I’m Offended By.”

Tom Hanks has been around long enough to see many changes in Hollywood. For that reason, he also had his own opinions on how certain ways the industry changes is not necessarily something he is fully on board with. Having written his first novel about a pompous movie star seen across generations, Hanks aired his opinion on the way censorship is being used to remove what is considered offensive material rather than allowing people to make up their own minds on what they are offended by.

Over the decades, Hanks has appeared in many family movies that may have some scenes considered a little icky by some standards today. The idea of a child in a man’s body getting intimately close with a woman old enough to be his mother sounds like something that would have many up in arms these days, but that was exactly what happened in the comedy movie Big, one of Hank’s early hits. When sharing his opinion on recent censorship of books by the likes of Roald Dahl and Ian Flemming, Hanks told the BBC:


“I’m of the opinion that we’re all grown-ups here. Let’s have faith in our own sensibilities as opposed to having somebody decide what we may or may not be offended by. Let me decide what I am offended by and what I’m not offended by. I would be against reading any book from any era that says ‘abridged due to modern sensitivities.’”

Related: Gabrielle Union Says Countries Censoring Queer Characters is Just ‘Denying Reality’

Censorship is Becoming a Hotly Debated Subject.

From certain countries banning Disney movies over their LGBTQ+ content, to cleavage being pixelated on streaming platforms, there are many forms of censorship being used to restrict the way certain things are viewed by the public. Although there are many reasons for this censorship, from religious, to concerns over child safety and in some cases just as a reaction to a small number of online Twitter complaints, there are two very divided opinions on the subject.

Recently, it was announced that literary work by authors such as Roald Dahl and Ian Flemming were being “updated” to reword or remove certain references that were deemed inappropriate, offensive or just not of modern standards. This caused widespread outrage across social media, with many questioning why older texts were being rewritten rather than be allowed to remain as they were created and discussed openly as to why they content may be now outdated.

This kind of censorship is certainly nothing new, and indeed the arrival of Disney+ instigated a huge wave of warnings, cuts and, in the case of The Song of the South, the complete eradication of offensive depictions mostly around race and culture. While there are many who have argued that removing this kind of reference also takes away the chance to discuss why it is now considered wrong, the initial way of dealing with such pieces is still to simply try to remove them from public view. Whether that is right or wrong, it is clearly a subject that has some way to go before finding a common ground.

This story originally appeared on Movieweb

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