Disney, its streaming service, and more mature content have been hot topics as of late. Whether it's the new parental controls because of the Netflix Marvel series bringing their TV-MA rating to Disney+, or a darker MCU outing in Moon Knight finally seeing the light of day, a contingent of parents is worried about their kids falling into mature content on the largely kid-friendly service.
That is not to say the service has lacked any brutal violence or mature themes. Across the MCU, Star Wars, and elsewhere in the Disneyverse, there have been instances of some pretty shocking/adult sequences. Even Disney+ original series like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier have featured shots and scenes that would fall into the more adult bucket.
TFATWS specifically saw a man beat someone to death with one of the most iconic symbols in Marvel history, which came alongside a number of instances featuring blood and violence. Despite this, in an unprecedented move, Disney has gone back and edited the patriotic series to remove one of its darker scenes.
Scrubbing The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Clean
Brought to the attention of The Direct by Caleb Steel, eagle-eyed Reddit user u/MooninMoulin noticed that Disney has edited/censored The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, switching out a couple of bloody scenes with more family-friendly edits.
The first of these comes from the death of Hydra scientist Wilfred Nagel in Episode 3 of the series. Where there was once blood painted on Nagel's face and shirt, there is now nothing. Also, instead of Nagel's eyes remaining open, confirming his death, they are now closed.
Another altered shot focuses on a bounty hunter who, in the original edit, gets a pipe stabbed into her shoulder after Bucky Barnes throws it in her direction, thus pinning her to a shipping container. However, in the new version, that pipe bounces off the goon and goes flying, no longer piercing her flesh and the steel door behind her.
YouTube user Thomas Nute created a side-by-side edit comparing Bucky's pole throw before and after the censoring, which can be viewed below:
Update: The Hollywood Reporter's Ryan Parker shared that the reasoning behind the episode's censorship was due to a "software control issue" on Disney+. The Hollywood Reporter's Aaron Couch chimed in by confirming this, while also assuring that the original version of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's third episode will be reinstated on the streaming service soon.
Seems a Little Late
It is pretty safe to say this is an absolutely bizarre choice made on the part of Disney and Marvel. Yes, these two small shots were violent; however, they have lived in relative peace on the service for nearly a year with no consequence.
And these edits actually in moments break the reality of the world being set up. While the first shot of Nagel laying on the floor makes sense with other alterations, how is it that the goon in the second shot has their arm pinned to the shipping container without a pipe protruding from their shoulder? It makes no sense!
At the moment of writing, it also only seems to be these two shots. Moments before both of these instances of violence, Sharon Carter stabs a man, uses a body as a human shield from incoming gunfire, and fires off a couple of shots of her own.
One must not forget that this is also the very same episode of the series where John Walker bisects a man with Captain America's shield, one of the most brutal/violent moments in MCU history. And all of that remains unchanged. So why did these pass the test, and not the two altered sequences?
One reason could be that this is just the first of many edits coming to the series, and fans caught it early. But that seems rather unlikely at this point.
It just seems concerning that Disney is cleaning up at least a small part of its own programming, months after it debuted on the service.