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Will More Classic Films Get the ‘French Connection’ Treatment?

Did Disney quietly censor a Best Picture winner, and are more edits on the way?

Publishers hire sensitivity readers to do more than sanitize upcoming books.

They also censor classic tales we’ve read for generations. Beloved authors like Ian Fleming, Agatha Christie and Roald Dahl have had their works tweaked to appease modern audiences, and the lack of sizable outrage means more editing will surely follow.

Is Hollywood getting on the censorship bandwagon?

A disturbing report from Hollywood Elsewhere, magnified by Breitbart News, shares how the 1971 Best Picture winner “The French Connection” lost a nine-second sequence because the film’s lead utters the “n-word.”

The French Connection | #TBT Trailer | 20th Century FOX

The censorship isn’t just on one platform showing the Gene Hackman classic. Hollywood Elsewhere commenters said the edit appeared at a public screening of the film held at the American Cinematheque’s Aero Theater along with Turner Classic Movies.

Even worse? If you buy the film from iTunes it’s reportedly giving consumers the newer version. Will future Blu-ray editions of the film follow suit?

The more alarming question is unavoidable.

What classic films will be tweaked next? And will consumers be notified about the changes, or will these stealth edits permanently alter classic works of pop art?

It took a rebellious film web site to blow the whistle on the “French Connection” edits, and it’s likely mainstream Hollywood news outlets will ignore the matter. Clearly, the source of the censorship isn’t firing off press releases to share the news. Censors often work in darkness, hoping to avoid blowback for their efforts.


It’s why many Big Tech platforms go silent when they shadow ban or delete material that allegedly clashes with its “community standards.”

It may be up to eagle-eyed viewers to spot the next censorship attack. By then, of course, it’s too late.

The “n-word,” considered universally offensive with a corrosive history in the U.S. and elsewhere, is commonly uttered on screen. Director Quentin Tarantino has taken heat for his heavy use of the word in his work, but he hasn’t backed down on the matter.

“If you have a problem with my movies then they aren’t the movies to go see. Apparently I’m not making them for you.”

Will the studios that own his films excise some of those slurs without his approval?

What about other offensive phrases, like the “f-word” for gay people? It’s not nearly as incendiary as the “n-word,” but it’s still considered offensive and hurtful by modern standards.

The 1999 football drama “Varsity Blues” used the term in one sequence. Will that be snipped next?


Breitbart News suggests Disney is the source of the “French Connection” censorship. The company has owned the 20th Century Fox film lineup since 2019, and that’s the studio behind the Oscar-winning film.

Censorship is on-brand for the Mouse House, no doubt.

Disney routinely apologizes for its past “problematic” content, slaps warning labels on older films that a very small minority may find offensive and embraces the woke ideology across its content platforms.

The company also canceled theme-park attractions that it now considers offensive, like the Splash Mountain ride.

Disney is closing Splash Mountain. Hear why some fans aren't happy about it

In recent weeks we’ve seen some mild pushback on the censorship front. Both Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks spoke out against sensitivity readers and attempts to censor past films.

Spielberg blamed himself for doing just that when he digitally removed the guns out of the hands of FBI agents in “E.T.”

Will other actors stand up and denounce the “French Connection” edit, or will they be too afraid to risk crossing the woke mob?

“The French Connection” director William Friedkin, 87, could weigh in on the matter. Hackman, at 93, remains retired from acting and isn’t likely to comment.

It’s up to modern actors to speak out against censorship and demand great films remain untouched by both time and the censorship mob.

UPDATE: Forbes contributor John Archer throws water on the theory that Disney is behind the censorship.


  1. REply from Criterion:


    Thanks for reaching out to us regarding FRENCH CONNECTION, which is currently streaming on Criterion Channel (

    This is a 20th Century Fox film title that we have under license from Disney, its current owners. This is the only version that has ever been available to us for streaming. According to our licensor, this is a “Director’s Edit” of the film.

    We do not censor any content presented on Criterion Channel, though in some instances we include a content warning in the description of select films. We also frequently present films in directors’ cuts and other alternate versions as their makers and our licensors may require.

    Even if you’re disappointed with this title, we hope you find something else that you enjoy in our Method Acting collection!

    I hope this is helpful!

    Criterion Channel Support Team

  2. “In the Heat of the Night” running on TCM cable channel had the n-word removed–this was several years ago. Watched on Amazon Prime more recently, there was no erasure. Censoring or altering dialogue seems pointless. There will always be words, whether a slur or vulgarity, or in the historic vernacular, that is misunderstood or changes the meaning or impact of the scene when censored. It alters the creativity of the artist.

  3. “But I just checked the version of The French Connection on Disney+ in the UK, and the ‘offending’ scene still appears in its uncut form.”

    Disney sold Song of the South in Europe long after they were pressured to remove it in the US.

  4. “The “n-word,” considered universally offensive with a corrosive history in the U.S. ”

    NOT BY YOUR RACIST FOLLOWERS!!! They love it and are BUTT HURT that THEY can’t use it publicly! We all know they use it privately!

    An enlightened person would realize that many movies and books were made and written during times when this country and others were committing grievous SINS on their own citizens. A person who gave a fk would realize that the only reason all your movies , tv and books WERE ALL WHITE was BECAUSE of your history of racism and filth! Not because you were better at it !!!

    Only TRULY SATANIC fake “christian” with the smallest “C” on the keyboard scum WOULD BE BUTT HURT AT ATTEMPTS TO ACTUALLY REPAIR THEIR FILTHY PAST. But the sad reality is that racist scum posing as christians and conservatives, have long ago “gotten over” racism, since it never affected their lousy asses in the first place and expect their VICTIMS to do the same. fk u all.

    1. Hate much, Keith?
      I’m a pretty right-wing guy, but I hardly ever hear the n-word at all, whether publicly or privately. On the other hand, black rappers seem to be in love with the word. Why is that?

      1. Because they’ve taken ownership of the word. Which is ridiculous. Words cannot be owned.

  5. This started years ago on radio. The first time I noticed it was when they removed “fag” from Money For Nothin’

  6. Marxists have always been pro-censorship. It’s a necessary tool for their spread of suffering.

  7. While we’re considering removing “Offensive words’ from all movies, the removal of words that offend Christians should be recognized. I look forward to the day when the brave directors and actors begin to equally offend ALL religions be screaming out “Prophet Effing Muhammad” or “Allah Damnit”. Yeah, it’s never going to happen because mocking or slandering the only true God is Satan’s passion and we know who runs Hollywood.

  8. I bet if someone used a derogatory word about White people, it would not only be left in, it would be enhanced.

  9. Take out the profanity and the gratuitous sex scenes, and people all over the world will buy more movies. I know I would.

    1. then you’re a fan of unrealistic movies. I like movies that reflect life. I guess then you’d take out all the crimes and murders and rudeness and only watch Sunnybrook Farm movies. I detest prudes.

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