Cigarettes Are Being Censored Out Of Classic Movies

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HBO Max is editing out cigarettes from classic movie posters on the streaming app.

By James Brizuela
| Published

In an odd campaign to stifle the tobacco companies once again, classic movies are being edited on HBO Max to remove any form of cigarettes, cigars, and cigarillos from its prominent stars. Two of the biggest cases of this happening are from two old Western films called McCabe & Mrs. Miller and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, which you can see in the above images. We know that the war on smoking has raged on for many years, but we would assume that young children aren’t actively seeking out old Westerns to watch from the 1970s.

More Twitter users began to also share more movie posters being altered to remove cigarettes, though it is not all of them. One user stated that there was “no rhyme or reason” to how the movie posters were being altered. Though the old Westerns mentioned above had been altered, there are several others that have not been touched, like The Two Jakes which prominently shows star Jack Nicholson smoking on the poster.

Naturally, if HBO Max was attempting to edit out all the smoking imagery, there would not be so many other posters that have gone untouched. However, it could be that the streaming platform is slowly working its way to remove every single poster that is showcasing cigarettes in some manner. We would say that this is an odd occurrence, but there have been plenty of odd choices made at Warner Bros. Discovery, so this could just be another in the long list of choices made by current CEO David Zaslav.

HBO Max is set to disappear in less than a year, and it is going to be joining Discovery+ in becoming some new super streaming app. This is one of those odd choices that is being made by Warner Bros. Discovery. Based on this choice to combine apps, WBD could be wanting to showcase a more family-friendly image, so editing out cigarettes would be one of those steps in creating that image.

We are just speculating about this, and have no idea if HBO Max is editing out cigarettes to showcase a more family-friendly image or not. Quite honestly, editing out smoking should be the last thing to worry about, as there are plenty of programs on the streaming app that offer up some very adult themes. Still, smoking has become a taboo subject for most of the world, as people are not wanting to now die or see others die from ingesting the harmful effects of smoking.

Editing out cigarettes, cigars, and cigarillos does look quite odd on many of the posters, as the fingers of the stars are now closed without grasping anything. It’s not as bad as the edited-out mustache of Henry Cavill, but it still looks quite bad.

We would say be on the lookout for more movies that have cigarettes edited out of the movie posters, but really, how many are there? Smoking was widely more accepted in classic movies, sure, but we don’t think there are going to be an overwhelming number of classic movies on HBO Max that also feature the star smoking.