A movie writer cannot fathom why their indie horror movie was pulled from Amazon Prime because it showed a penis, when the film is full of nude women.
The user “littletoyboat” posted in the Dreadit forum on the social media site, to proclaim that the movie “Other Halves” they co-wrote was pulled, then was made less accessible to viewers because of a seven-second full-frontal shot of a nude male.
The “micro indie” film, about a dating app which unleashes the violent and unpredictable id within the person who uses it, contains female nudity in line with the film’s narrative.
“We liked the idea of playing around with horror movie tropes,” the co-writer posted in the forum. “Frequently, there’s a hot girl who takes off her top and then gets stabbed. Instead, we have a hot guy (played by Carson Nicely, and yes, that’s his real name) walking around shirtless for most of the movie. Whether or not he gets stabbed is something you’ll have to watch the movie to find out.”
Throughout the film female nudity is abundant, but this tactic is coupled with exposé on major plot points.
This “my eyes are up here” approach was applauded by some reviewers saying it “sort of made nudity cool again.”
Other Halves had been made available to Amazon subscribers for months before the retail and digital streaming giant decried it offensive.
The company said the filmmakers would have to edit out seven-seconds of the film before it could be re-added to the catalog.
“Why? Because we showed a man’s penis in the opening scene,” wrote the filmmaker. “We also showed a nude woman full-frontal in the same shot, but Amazon didn’t mention her, nor the fact that they were both covered in blood. Shower scene? That’s cool. Scalping? Totally okay. Dick pic? NO WAY.”
They eventually complied with Amazon’s demands, however those changes cost them feedback and word-of-mouth in the comments section, the life’s blood of a VOD nuanced title.
Further they claim that the streaming service put the edited film behind an “age gate.”
“Meaning, if you searched for “Other Halves” on Amazon Video, it wouldn’t show up,” they write. “There was a tiny line of text reading ‘Excluding adult and mature items,’ followed by a link that read ‘Show all results.’’’
Doing this made the film almost obscure to searchers, “I didn’t even know it was there when I was searching for my own movie,” the filmmaker said.
The filmmaker says many have asked them why other films which do show male nudity are still available on Amazon, to this they have no answer.
“…there was nothing sexually explicit about the shots in question,” they said. “The two characters weren’t even touching each other. They were just lying on their backs.”
Reddit users also questioned Amazon’a actions in the comments.
One user even posted Amazon’s policy on what they deem appropriate:
What we deem offensive is probably about what you would expect. We reserve the right to determine the appropriateness of all content and to accept or reject any videos because they are offensive or otherwise at our discretion. In addition, we do not allow titles containing persistent or graphic sexual or violent acts, gratuitous nudity and/or erotic themes (“adult content”) to be included in the Amazon Prime catalog or made available as a Free with Pre-Roll Ad offer.
Sexually Explicit Content:
Content containing depictions of pornography or explicit depictions of sexual acts or nudity.Content that glorifies illegal sexual acts.Content primarily intended to sexually stimulate.”
Mostly, reddit users were supportive of the filmmaker and pointed out the double-standard.
“A lot of American men are not comfortable with their sexuality and cannot accept any male nudity. It’s really sad,” said welcome2primetime
“Yeah that’s crap and it’s censorship. Amazon should have taken the better road. I wonder if “The Greasy Strangler” would get the same treatment? I haven’t seen your film but just knowing they made you cut it feels wrong. Perhaps this could give you some publicity though… sorry to hear.” DLConspiracy
iHorror recently devoted an article to female nudity in horror films and how that has changed over the years.