Posted on June 12, 2023

Film Fans Fume as 1971 Classic the French Connection Is Censored Without Warning to Remove Racial Slur

Amelia Wynne, Daily Mail, June 8, 2023

Film fans are fuming after the 1971 classic The French Connection was censored without warning.

William Friedkin’s drama, which can currently be streamed via the US streaming platform Criterion Channel, now has a new edit approximately ten minutes into the film.

The scene involves a conversation between characters ‘Popeye’ Doyle (Gene Hackman) and Buddy ‘Cloudy’ Russo (Roy Scheider) when a racial slur is used.

Based on Robin Moore’s 1969 book, the plot centres around the the seizure of 246 pounds of heroin smuggled via car on a French ocean liner.

Disney, who owns the rights to the film following its takeover of Fox in 2019, have been accused of censoring the scene in the US.

On Disney+ in the UK and Canada, the film remains unedited.

Fans aren’t happy and one wrote on Twitter: ‘Disney Censor ‘The French Connection’ (1971) In cases such as this, ‘Censor’ takes the place of ‘Vandalise’.

‘They have vandalised a piece of art. This is corporate vandalism no matter how said corporation spins the language.’

Another wrote: ‘The censorship of The French Connection is shameful if true. I really wish both those on the left and the right would see that one cannot be for this and against banning books and vice versa.

‘Most like censorship if it suits their politics not seeing how it can hurt them later.’

A third wrote: ‘Glad I’ve yet to see a single person endorse the censorship of The French Connection.’