Popular erotic comedy-drama film Shortbus has received critical acclaim since its release in 2006. However, despite its popularity, Amazon’s Prime Video refuses to stream it because of “offensive content”.
The movie, which was written and directed by John Cameron Mitchell, does feature unsimulated sex – which means the actors actually perform the sex scenes. However, Lars von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac” and Vincent Gallo’s “Brown Bunny” are two movies that also feature unsimulated sex and are currently streaming on the platform.
“There’s no shortage of dicks readily available on Amazon, and apparently, there are plenty behind the scenes too,” Shortbus distributor Oscilloscope Laboratories president Dan Berger told IndieWire. “The prudishness and utter hypocrisy of refusing to carry this film — one that is the height of healthy representation, inclusiveness, and support for a community often persecuted — only further perpetuates abuse and they should be ashamed.”
While Amazon has clarified that the official reason the movie won’t be listed on Prime Video for containing “offensive content”, it also claims that the “captions are out of sync”. The full Prime Video error response reads: “We aren’t making your title available on Prime Video as it violates our Content Policy Guidelines.”
The Independent film company, Oscilloscope Laboratories, who distributes Shortbus uploaded a post to their official Instagram account calling out Prime Video’s censorship. “SHORTBUS is the movie @jeffbezos doesn’t want you to see! Despite there being plenty of other films on Prime with dicks & real sex, #ShortbusMovie has been BANNED from the platform. So if you want to watch @johncameronmitchell’s 2006 masterpiece in stunning 4K, please do so via a more open-minded VOD service,” they captioned a post.
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Director Cameron Mitchell told IndieWire earlier this year in honour of the film’s re-release that sex in a positive way in the film.
“From the beginning, I said, ‘Guys, I want to go places that film hasn’t gone…in a way that I like,'” he said. “Certainly, a lot of films had used sex, but they were pretty grim, and I wanted something more fun and funny, but still emotionally deep…In terms of sex being presented on film, mainstream or even independent film has foresworn it. They’ve given it up, because it’s too scary.”
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