God's Own Country director calls out film distributors for cutting gay sex scenes

Following an investigation into the cut sex scenes, Amazon Prime stated that distributors Samuel Goldwyn Films were behind the edits.

Sex scenes from God's Own Country have recently been cut from film distributors- 2 men about to kiss.

God’s Own Country director Francis Lee has spoken out against US distributor Samuel Goldwyn Films for cutting several gay sex scenes from the critically acclaimed film in order to “get more ‘revenue’.”

On Wednesday, May 20, the director called on Amazon Prime streaming service to investigate the editing of his film. Lee wrote, “Dear friends in USA, God’s Own Country appears to have been censored on Amazon Prime. Until this is investigated please do not rent or buy on Amazon Prime. It is not the film I intended or made.”

Against an unrelenting Yorkshire backdrop, God’s Own Country depicts an emotionally riveting and powerful exploration of the growing romance between isolated farmer, Johnny and the migrant worker he hires, Gheorge. The sex scenes are considered integral to the unfolding story.

Following an investigation into the cutting of several gay sex scenes, an Amazon representative stated that these edits were performed by the distributor, Samuel Goldwyn Films. Lee has expressed gratitude for the streaming service’s commitment in addressing this issue, “Prime Video were incredibly supportive in rectifying. The rental version of God’s Own Country on Prime Video is the correct version of my film.”

As Amazon Prime clarified, a film undergoes an algorithm to flag graphic content upon upload and assigns a rating, yet it can be re-edited and resubmitted for a different assessment.

Lee went on to call out Samuel Goldwyn Films, stating that they “butchered the streaming version without consultation to get more ‘revenue’.” Lee further wrote on Twitter, “I would like to thank Amazon Prime for being supportive and I would caution any film maker of working with the aforementioned ‘distributor’.”

Released in 2017, the captivating movie starring Josh O’Connor and Alec Secăreanu received widespread praise for its visceral and intimate portrayal of same-sex relationships. As one person commented, “God’s Own Country is an engaging watch, this version on Amazon Prime is missing the sex scenes which really takes away from the film.”

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