Film

‘Lady Bird’ Has Been Censored For Its Australian Release

They cut out the dick!

Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird is one of the best reviewed films of the year. But it turns out Australian audiences are seeing a slightly different version of the movie than everybody else because the Oscar-nominated coming-of-age tale has been edited in order to receive a more favourable rating from the Australian Classification Board.

As reported by Media Censorship in Australia, the first time the film’s distributor, Universal Pictures, submitted Lady Bird for classification, it received an MA15+ rating, meaning teenagers under the age of 15 would not be able to see the film without a guardian. A modified version was subsequently submitted by Universal and given the far less restrictive M rating.

When contacted by FilmInk, the Classification Board confirmed that the film initially received an MA15+ for containing “brief strong nudity”, in a scene in which the title character purchases a copy of Playgirl magazine.

Apparently the scene in the original version of the film features “explicit genital detail”, whereas in the version screening in Australia it does not.

That’s right. They cut out the dicks.

The Board stressed that it does not edit films for release, but that “the production company or distributor of a film may decide to make a modification to a film and re-submit it for classification in order to obtain a particular rating and consumer advice”.

Questions have also been asked about a scene in which Lady Bird badmouths a nun. According to people who have seen the original cut of the film, the character is referred to as a “cunt”, whereas in the edited cut she is referred to as a “cooze”.

‘Cooze’, like ‘cunt’, is a vulgar term for a woman’s genitals. But it can also be used to refer to a woman who is promiscuous. So… it’s arguably more offensive?

It also seems sort of ridiculous to remove the word ‘cunt’ from a film in Australia of all places, giving our famous affinity for the word.

When contacted by Junkee, Universal declined to comment on the matter.

Lady Bird (or at least, a version of it) is in cinemas now.