A keen Marvel fan noticed that a scene from the Marvel short The Mandarin on Disney Plus had a swear word that was present in the original version removed. Is that a mistake or is there calculation behind it?
At the end of March, we already reported that some violent peaks were subsequently removed from the Marvel series “The Falcon And The Winter Soldier” on Disney+, but this was later described by Disney as a mistake and reversed. Now, however, there is the next case of an MCU adventure that only runs on the streaming service in a somewhat defused version. Disney+ has had a swear word removed from the official MCU canon short The Mandarin, centered around Ben Kingsley’s Iron Man 3 quasi-villain Trevor Slattery.
The discovery made an attentive reader of the US website The Direct made and shared them with the magazine. It’s about the moment when incarcerated Trevor Slattery meets a character named White Power Dave in prison. As he threatens the pseudo-Marvel villain (who is actually an actor and only ended up in jail for playing the role of a terrorist too convincingly), an African-American character named Herman yells from the background in the original version: “Hey crackers! What’s up?” (We have checked this, but for legal reasons we cannot show you the relevant video material here.)
But at Disney + “cracker” was simply removed, all you can hear is: “Hey… What’s up?” The relevant point is in the short film from 2:17. You can listen for yourself via the following link:
» “Marvel One-Shot: The Mandarin” on Disney+*
In fact, the removed word hasn’t entirely disappeared from Disney Plus. Because if you turn on the English subtitles, you can still read it there. Incidentally, there is no German soundtrack for “The Mandarin”, but there are German subtitles in which the sentence was translated as follows: “Hey pale face. What’s up?”
Why did Disney+ defocus the Marvel short?
At the term crascal is a term for white people, which is sometimes used in a neutral context, but sometimes also as an insult. For Disney, which places great emphasis on being seen as ethical and family-friendly, that might have been enough to ban the word from the MCU short.
But it could also be a mistake: In the case of “The Falcon And The Winter Soldier” mentioned above, where the blood in the series was reduced, Disney said that the wrong file was accidentally uploaded. Then you uploaded the original again, which can now be streamed again in its original form. But honestly, we don’t think that’s the case with The Mandarin.
Streaming services have tremendous power to change their content even after it’s released. Especially with such small things as a single deleted word, the temptation could be great to simply change it in the hope that nobody would notice. Disney+ may have tested how far self-censorship can go before people get wind of it with The Mandarin, but also with The Falcon And The Winter.
However, we do not want to accuse the streaming provider of anything here. But should such incidents become more frequent, the suspicion could be confirmed that Disney subsequently adapts its own products at will to adapt them to current social moods. That would be a shame, especially for content that is not available on physical data carriers such as DVD and Blu-ray (like the MCU series). Because as a consumer you would have to come to terms with the updates, even if you preferred the original version.
In any case, we will be watching and listening very carefully in the future when we tune in to well-known films and series on Disney+…
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