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HBO Max Just Censored Margot Robbie's Birds of Prey Movie

harley-quinn-hbo-max
By Klein Felt

There is a lot that can be said about the DC Extended Universe, but with recent projects garnering mostly positive sentiment, it seems Warner's super-powered ventures may be back on the right track after a bit of a rough patch. 

The studio has had a few critical successes in the past couple of years with titles like The Suicide SquadShazam!, and Aquaman.

One other movie that felt like a breath of fresh air for the studio was the Suicide Squad follow-up Birds of Prey. The Margo Robbie-starring adventure brought true dark comedy to the universe for the first time, presenting something akin to a James Gunn film before the Guardians director ever got his chance to take on a DC property. 

Well, it seems that WB could not even leave its successes alone, as it seems the studio has meddled a bit with the R-rated comedy. 

Bird of Prey Gets an Edit

DC Comics fans are noticing that the version of Birds of Prey on Warner Bros.' streaming service HBO Max has been edited for adult content. 

The film now opens with the following disclaimer:

"This film has been modified from its original version: it has been edited for content"

Bird of Prey Censored Message HBO Max
HBO Max

Some edits include toned down swearing throughout and a fairly obvious cover-up on a shirt worn by Rosie Perez's Detective Montoya:

Birds of Prey Censor Shirt Rosie Perez
HBO Max

This seems to be the HBO TV-14 version of the film made for the HBO television network. 

Harley Quinn: Made for TV?

This surely has to be some sort of mistake. Someone, somewhere had to have pressed the wrong button when updating the app on Warner's end, right? 

It is not like HBO Max has anything against more adult content, as other R-rated superhero films like Batman vs Superman: The Ultimate Cut are already on the service. This year's The Suicide Squad (which also happened to feature Margo Robbie) even debuted on the streamer, so something must be up. 

This is one of the weirder stories to come out in some time. Rarely has something like this happened. Back in 2020, a similar made-for-TV edit of Back to the Future II made its way onto Netflix for a brief time, but it was quickly corrected. In that case, Universal Studios had provided the wrong cut of the film to Netflix, and they were quick to fix the issue. 

It is particularly puzzling here, as Warner is the studio behind both the movie and the streaming platform. So this was all done somehow in-house at WB.

Surely, this likely won't be permanent as more fans see the edits and make their concerns known to the powers that be. HBO Max has quite the year coming up; it would be a shame if something as simple as this were to make people turn their backs on the platform.