The studio announced on June 7 that it was making the broadcast TV or airline version of these 24 titles available when a consumer purchases a film in its original form on iTunes, Vudu, and FandangoNOW. The DGA said in a statement Tuesday that Sony is violating the guild’s master contract with the major studios.
“Directors have the right to edit their feature films for every non-theatrical platform, plain and simple,” the DGA said. “Taking a director’s edit for one platform, and then releasing it on another — without giving the director the opportunity to edit — violates our Agreement. Throughout the years, the DGA has achieved hard-fought creative rights gains protecting our members from such practices. As creators of their films, directors often dedicate years of hard work to realize their full vision, and they rightfully have a vested interest in protecting that work. We are committed to vigorously defending against the unauthorized alteration of films.”
Apatow wasn’t as, um, censored on Twitter: “This is absolute bullsh– and @sony and @SonyPictures is gonna get hell for F—— with ourthe clean versions up your asses!”
For its part, Sony has asserted that the program’s offerings are pre-existing airline or TV versions of films, which were not edited specifically for this program and are not sold separately. The clean versions are available as extra features only when a customer buys the original theatrical version from one of the select digital retailers.
The films include all five versions of “Spider-Man” along with “50 First Dates,” “Battle Of The Year,” “Big Daddy,” “Captain Phillips,” “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon,” “Easy A,” “Elysium,” “Ghostbusters,” “Ghostbusters II,” “Goosebumps,” “Grown Ups,” “Grown Ups 2,” “Hancock,” “Inferno,” “Moneyball,” “Pixels,” “Step Brothers,” “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” and “White House Down.”
“This is a pilot program, developed in response to specific consumer feedback, that offers viewers the option of watching an airline or TV version of certain movies when they purchase the original version,” said Sony Home Entertainment President Man Jit Singh in statement. “We discussed this program, and the use of these pre-existing versions, with each director or their representatives.”
Seth Rogen, who produced and starred in Sony’s “The Interview” and “Sausage Party,” objected to the initiative following the June 7 announcement with his own profane Tweet: “Holy s— please don’t do this to our movies. Thanks.”