Disney+ edits content in the interest of brand safety

The news: Disney's effort to prioritize brand safety and a family-friendly image for Disney+’s upcoming ad-supported subscription tier extends to its content. The streaming service recently removed a controversial word from a scene in a Marvel Cinematic Universe short, one of several posthumous edits made to content on the platform.

More on this: The edited scene is not the first on the platform. Disney+ has been modifying content from its original versions since the platform launched—and even more in DVD releases of films—often to remove insensitive depictions and scenes that could influence young viewers to do dangerous things.

  • Disney+ does not keep a changelog of edits, but fans have been quick to notice when scenes are edited. A scene from “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” which originally contained blood appeared to have been edited, prompting a response from Disney claiming an incorrect cut of the episode had been uploaded.
  • A list of altered programming from Newsweek in the months after the platform’s launch shows the type of content Disney is targeting for edits: Among them are scenes of nudity from the 1984 film “Splash,” an altered expletive in the climbing documentary “Free Solo,” and scenes from a 1932 animated Christmas short that contained racist imagery.
  • Content editing isn’t the only way Disney+ is preserving its family-friendly brand image. Disney has also said it will not allow any political ads or substance-related ads, on top of its already-tough rules about advertising targeting younger users.

The big takeaway: Altering old content helps Disney provide reassurance to parents and to assure advertisers that their products will not be shown alongside content that doesn’t fit their brand image.