entertainment

God's Own Country gay sex scenes 'butchered' by distributor, not Amazon Prime, says director

Director Francis Lee has accused Samuel Goldwyn Films of censoring his 2017 drama to increase revenue.

2020-05-21

God's Own Country director Francis Lee has revealed that cuts to gay sex scenes on the Amazon Prime streaming version of his film were made by the distributor, and not by Amazon itself. 

Lee, who yesterday urged viewers to avoid watching God's Own Country on Amazon Prime after complaints that key sex scenes had been edited, confirmed that the film had in fact been "butchered" by distributor Samuel Goldwyn Films.

"Dear USA friends, after investigation God’s Own Country was not censored by @PrimeVideo (Amazon USA) but by the US distributor @GoldwynFilms who butchered the streaming version without consultation to get more ‘revenue’," Lee wrote on Twitter.

Adding that Amazon Prime had been "incredibly supportive in rectifying" the issue, the filmmaker went on: "The rental version of God’s Own Country on @PrimeVideo is the correct version of my film.

"I would like to thank Amazon Prime for being supportive and I would caution any film maker of working with the aforementioned ‘distributor’.

"Thank you EVERYONE for all your support."

Partly based on Lee's own experiences, God's Own Country tells the story of a young Yorkshire sheep farmer (O'Connor) whose life is transformed when he begins working with a Romanian migrant worker (Alec Sec─âreanu).

Also starring Gemma Jones and Ian Hart, it was the only British film to form part of the world drama category at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Lee's latest project is upcoming period drama Ammonite, which stars Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan as a 19th century lesbian couple. 

The film also stars Killing Eve actress Fiona Shaw and reunites Lee with God's Own Country stars Jones and Sec─âreanu.