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Steven Spielberg participated in a master class at the Time 100 Summit and announced he regrets editing guns out of “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.” The film’s 1982 theatrical cut includes a scene of officers chasing young kids with firearms. Spielberg edited the guns out for the 20th anniversary release of the film and replaced the firearms with walkie talkies.

“That was a mistake,” Spielberg said. “I never should have done that. ‘E.T.’ is a product of its era. No film should be revised based on the lenses we now are, either voluntarily, or being forced to peer through.”

“‘E.T.’ was a film that I was sensitive to the fact that the federal agents were approaching kids with firearms exposed and I thought I would change the guns into walkie talkies… Years went by and I changed my own views,” Spielberg continued. “I should have never messed with the archives of my own work, and I don’t recommend anyone do that. All our movies are a kind of a signpost of where we were when we made them, what the world was like and what the world was receiving when we got those stories out there. So I really regret having that out there.” 

Spielberg’s regret over censoring “E.T.” led the Time 100 moderator to bring up recent news about Roald Dahl and other authors’ books being censored for offensive language and republished with language considered more inclusive by today’s standards.

“Nobody should ever attempt to take the chocolate out of Willy Wonka! Ever!” Spielberg joked. He added on a more serious note: “For me, it is sacrosanct. It’s our history, it’s our cultural heritage. I do not believe in censorship in that way.”

— Zack Sharf in Steven Spielberg Regrets Editing Guns Out of ‘E.T.,’ Says ‘No Film Should Be Revised’ for Today’s Standards: ‘That Was a Mistake’

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  1. All our movies are a kind of a signpost of where we were when we made them…

    Great – now do civil war statues. LOL

      • All the statue tearing down reminds me of community countries tearing down statues of their former dictators. It is history and is needed to remind people of that history. Without reminders we slip back into old mistakes. Someone a lot brighter than I said something about learning the lessons of history or forever repeating its mistakes.

    • Yes, most of those statues are a product of their era, the reconstruct period and the early 20th century are both times when systemic racism reared its ugly head, just ask Little Debbie about the Jim Crow laws.

      • No, they aren’t, but thanks for playing.

        Scared of a few statues of old white men?

      • And knowing that you still support the gun control laws that were supported by other notables in history, miner. Such as the klan. Where in the 2a does it specify ubc’s? Permits? Lifetime prohibitions?

        I miss the days when we had good trolls around here. Now we just have miner and his spin off dacian.

      • MajorLiar,

        Oh, you mean when the Dimocrats, and their direct action wing, the KKK, were imposing segregation, gun control, etc. on our recently-freed black population????

        F*** right the hell off, you lying liar of a lying propagandist, who lies about his lies.

    • Steven Spielberg, as a director, and storyteller, is amazing. His formula (directly applied or subconsciously) of having ordinary people, in extraordinary circumstances, makes for great heroic tales. But would I vote for him for any kind of office governing me? Absolutely not.

      When his daughter came out saying she wanted to do porn as a career, I thought to myself, WTF kind of parenting is going on in this home??? Then when I couldn’t think it could get any worse, they asked the parents – and they replied with “We support whatever she wants to decide to be.”


  2. “Product of its era” – what a lame excuse! Are LEOs less likely to be armed in 2023 than in the 80s?

    • Like sneaky history rewriting democRats doing their best to take the racism and genocide out of Gun Control.

      I.E. Mention the democRat Party and what Does Not come to the minds of history illiterates is the party that owns the legacy of slavery, segregation, the kkk, lynching, Jim Crow, Eugenics, Gun Control and other race based atrocities. Atrocities that occurred coast to coast and not just in the South as history rewriting democRats want people to believe.

      As sneaky as the democRat Party is it is easy to see how they took their Jim Crow Gun Control Playbook and erased their N-word and inserted Gun Owners…Clearly in the minds of today’s demented pompous democRat Party Gun Control zealots anyone who owns a firearm should be picking cotton.

      • OMG, Deb. Give it a rest and play a different song on your radio for a while, will you? What you don’t seem to realize is your incessant pounding of the same “raycis, slayvery, Jim KKKrow” drum (as true as some of those points may be in certain conversations) in every comment has caused readers to stop listening and roll their eyes. Your voice is losing its potency because you don’t know when to say something, and when to save it for a more appropriate time.

        I’m beginning to wonder if you’re in the same camp (employ?) as the likes of Miner, Lil D, Vladdie, PeeGee, et al.

        • I agree, Haz. She reminds me of an old record player that keeps skipping backwards to the same phrase. I stopped reading Debbie’s posts a long time ago. Same with Dacian and Miner49. With those two, I just don’t feel like reading from stupid people who suffer from diarrhea of the mouth.

        • “Deb….Your voice is losing its potency because you don’t know when to say something, and when to save it for a more appropriate time.”

          Kinda locking the audience into a time when Deb first made her Dim history comment, isn’t it?

          There are always new readers/visitors who may not know the history of gun control.

          Not to mention that there are many here who actually use the same mantra over and over….”Shall Not Be Infringed!”

          And there is always the tiresome Sam He Am, constantly ranting incomprehensibly about not supporting “echo chambers”.

        • “There are always new readers/visitors who may not know the history of gun control.”

          Damn straight… 🙂

        • His rants are so numerous and varied, depending on his alcohol intake for the day, who really pays attention to Sam?

      • Debbie W,
        I’ve been here on TTAG a long time.
        As long as I’ve seen your comments, they are always the same.
        We agree with all your points about the history of gun control.
        Why don’t you try to add something besides those same points to the conversation?

        • “As long as I’ve seen your comments, they are always the same.”

          Debbie’s input is turning Alinksy’s Rule 4 back on the Dims.

          There are always new readers arriving in this forum.

      • Pickin cotton is at least HONEST work, which is a lot more than can be said about what our so-called “elites” do for a living. Like for instance the old bastage and his son in the White House these days. Crime family de luxe, bought and paid for in red Chinese yuan and Ukrainian hryvnia.
        Deb- keep the faith, baby!

    • The only difference, between then and now, is Hollywood is much more overt about spreading the message compared to years ago. Now they admit they’re pushing their “not so secret gay agenda.”

      • I agree that Hollywood is more overt, but there is another difference, and it has clearly moved in the exact opposite direction from Spielberg’s smokescreen non-apology.

    • In 2023, the SWAT team would be chasing the kids in their armored personnel carrier. They would get out with plate armor and full auto rifles. ETs glowing finger would probably strike one of them with fear for his/her life and they would all dump their mags.

      Definitely different times.

  3. i saw this version. LEOs raising their arms and pointing radios at the kids was funny in a pitiful way.

  4. Oh look, after caving to temporary whims an artist is rethinking his choice to shred his own work. At least Spielberg is still alive to feel like a dumbass. Sucks for all the dead writers who don’t have a say in what publishers are doing to their work.

    Artists used to bitch and moan to no end about the sanctity of their work and the ideological purity of their message. Now “art” is just another mainstream product for consumption not only affected by gov/corp censorship but actively seeking to comply with it.

    Art has never been more dead.

    • “Art has never been more dead.”

      They are marching us right into ‘1984’. *ALL* of it.

      “Doublethink is a process of indoctrination in which subjects are expected to simultaneously accept two conflicting beliefs as truth, often at odds with their own memory or sense of reality.”

      Such as, claiming “Tolerance and Inclusion” while silencing 50 percent of the nation.

      Editing author’s works, tearing down statues. The ‘Ministry of Truth’…

      • My understanding is, SS has one of the most comprehensive machine gun collections in the west.

        • Rad Man,

          OK, so he’s a hypocrite AND a sycophant. Got it.

          If Spielberg spontaneously combusted in front of my, I wouldn’t p*** on him to extinguish the flame. He’s an idiot Hollywood Leftist/fascist (a breed I am quite intimately familiar with), and has about as much insight into how the world actually works as dacian the demented. Will admit the man has some talent – make movies and STFU. I give exactly zero s***s about your opinions.

          You bowdlerizing your own work??? Comedy gold.

  5. Just want the kids to be like “fuck off, what you going to do with those talk us to death?”

    I mean you can’t out run a motorola but that’s rediculous.

  6. Haven’t seen a Spielberg movie since he went to Cuba to fellate the murderous Castro brothers. Screw Spielberg and ANYTHING associated with him.

    • Wow. I had forgotten about this. Hollywood has always supported the Socialist Progressive agenda. Which always ends up becoming total communist.

      But it all depends on Whose Ox is gored. The Libertarians have been calling for the lifting of the economic blockade against Cuba as well.
      But they were quite happy to support a diplomatic boycott against the Philippines. When the president there told drug addicts to turn themselves in for drug treatment. Or they would be shot by their fellow citizens.

      Because he was going to sign an executive order to allow it to happen.
      In the P.I. Many citizens are Crime Victims of drug addicts. Who rob, rape, and steal, from the law abiding to pay for their drug habit.

      From 2004

      “Spielberg in Cuba Says Time for U.S. to Bury Grudges”

  7. Wonder if he thinks the same thing abut his revisions of the “Star Wars” originals.

      • Removing the guns was “editing,” not censorship, despite the statements made to the contrary in the article. Censorship more properly applies to the situation with the Roald Dahl novels.

        “I should have never messed with the archives of my own work, and I don’t recommend anyone do that. All our movies are a kind of a signpost of where we were when we made them, what the world was like and what the world was receiving when we got those stories out there.

        So why not leave “Star Wars” as it was when it was released in 1977? That was the state of the art of special effects at the time. Editing (adding a scene where Jabba the Hutt slithers along as he speaks with Han, a scene not in the original) changes the essence of the initial version.

        • The Jabba scene had been shot, but not completed. It is a typical thing to include in a extended cut/special edition, as are updated effects, IMAX version, etc. What’s unusual is to change the Greedo/Han shot first scene, which changed the outlook/disposition of a main character.

        • The Greedo scene was changed several times during the original 77 production. The actor wearing the Greedo suit said very different lines from the subtitles in the finished film. In the original lines the suit actor said, Greedo was going to take Han to Jabba to explain the spice dump personally to him. The subtitles changed the lines to that Greedo was going to shoot Han right there and then at the table.

          As for Speilburg feeling sorry for changing ET. That is really old news as he has been apologizing for removing the guns for well over a decade now. They never even show that version of the film anymore, its been memory holed.

      • The ET edits and the Star Wars changes were both products of a time when computer graphics were starting to be capable of some amazing things, and there was quite an urge to go back and “improve” past works using new technology. Lucas is a big reason this was even possible at all, and of course he and Spielberg have been friends for decades. Lucas did much the same with Star Wars and the infamous Greedo scene.

        I’m glad Spielberg has admitted his revisions were a mistake, and I wish Lucas would do the same. Spielberg is right about all of it – just not right enough. One thing he leaves out is that the changes weren’t just tampering with a movie that should have been left as a representation of its era, but they also completely ruined the ending. The guns added tension, danger, and drama. Radios… stole all of that away. The end of the special edition of ET is lame, and this edit is the reason why.

        Another thing Spielberg misses is that including the guns never had the evil overtones he seems to think. Police carry guns. The military carries guns. The alien visit depicted in ET is an extraordinary, chaotic, complicated experience, and everyone WOULD be carrying guns. The guns are just a natural part of the events as depicted, and moviegoers never stopped to think, “gosh those agents are gonna start shooting those kids.” That’s not the kind of movie it is, and it’s not the kind of country we are. Removing the guns “fixed” a problem that didn’t exist.

        It’s heartening that Spielberg has admitted he shouldn’t have made those changes – he’s my favorite director, and while I think his reasoning doesn’t go far enough, it’s a good start. We should all push back on censorship, including self-censorship, wherever it occurs.

        • The ET edit also happened shortly after 9/11 which likely affected Speilberg’s decision at the time. I remember for a while after 9/11, tv channels would cut out most of the terrorist chase scene at the Pine Mall in Back to the Future 1 to the extent that the whole sequence made no sense. I remember some hotels making guests pop their car trunks for security inspections before being allowed to park.

          One time Spielberg claimed Drew Barrymore asked him to remove the guns from ET because she didn’t want her kids yo see govt agents point guns at children. How true this is I don’t know. Either way, post 9/11 was a very weird time.

    • Why didn’t he remove the guns in “Saving Private Ryan”? (sarc) Another Hollywood hypocrite, he is.

      • The D-Day scene in “Private Ryan” with no guns, would be like the campfire scene in “Blazing Saddles” without the sound effects. (The way they are editing it now.)

  8. Merely saying “I’m sorry” without corrective action is pablum for the masses.

    I give him kudos for admitting he was wrong…but has he un-f$cked his early “wokeness”?

    Are the currently available versions with guns or handi talkies? Was the revision permanent for all succeeding copies or was his revisionist effort just a one-off?

    • They only show the original version of ET with the guns on TV anymore. They never show the walkie talkie special edition version from 2002 anymore, that version has been memory holed, a form of censorship as well. I believe part of the reason he removed the guns was because of the climate of post 9/11. The special edition of ET was released less than a year after 9/11 when the media was walking on eggshells.

      Spielberg also made an extended version of Close Encounters in the early 80’s which he disinvolved several years later. Seems to be a weird habit for him, make a alternate version of one of his films only to disinvolve it later.

  9. Spielberg was just following orders. Hollywood is controlled. People like him are not the controllers, they are the foot soldiers.

    Still, the ‘following orders’ excuse did not play well at Nuremberg.

  10. It all depends on whose ox is gourd.
    Jews will call a movie antisematic. If something that is factually true is portrayed about Jewish people.
    Same for homosexuals. They will call a film anti gay if something in that film portrays them in a negative light. Or it can be about blacks. Or insert whatever group that you’re sensitive about.

    Supposedly art is protected by the 1st amendment. But if your ox is being gourd those people will want it censored.

    • Or the race swapping of Cleopatra.

      Her dynasty was the Ptolemaic dynasty because they were descended from the Greeks.

      And definitely not black African

      • Yes, this Netflix show makes Americans look extremely uneducated to put it politely, in front of the rest of the world. To use an old phrase, Cleopatra was definitely not negro. But she was certainly dark-skinned. As people in that part of the world tend to be that way.
        And she would have been forced to ride in the back of a bus in 1950s Alabama.

        For those that don’t know it. American television such as Netflix, The Disney Channel, HBO, and so on are broadcast over much of the western world. They’re all subscription-based. Just like they are here in the United States.

        Now because of the up coming Hollywood screenwriters strike. I understand Netflix will be importing dozens of South Korean television shows and movies. The “squid game” was very very good.

        • What about people in that part of the world, but not from that part of the world? How many Greeks were J!m Cr0wed?


  12. “I do not believe in censorship in that way.”

    So in what way does he believe in censorship?

    • Of everyone the fuck else. You know, the little people like you, like me. If he had his way, your name would be “bunnygene,” and you’d have a weird fur suit.

  13. A Hollywood movie mogel that wishes he hadn’t taken guns out of a movie. That’s got to be a first. Of course, I suspect he’s happy to support taking ours. Maybe I’m wrong.

  14. Good thing Dizzney doesn’t have the rights to ET.
    The remake would have the government grooming and transitioning all the kids. POTUS would have a cameo where he shows up, sniffs all the kids hair, and takes a group shower with all the little girls.
    It would end with the little boy undergoing reassignment surgery and becoming a male alien so he can marry ET, who went through reassignment surgery itself. 🤪

  15. Massive hypocrite. Bad mouths guns but owns an armory. I stopped paying attention to this fraud over ten years ago.

    • 🤣
      Need some product placement too……”can I get a Butt Light?”.
      Cameo for Dylan Mulvaney-Schlong? 🤔

    • Haven’t watched ET in quite awhile. Bizarre Spielberg objects to gats in ET but sure had some “realistic” gun play in Schindler’s List & Saving Matt Damon er the private🙄 BTW I thought The Fabelmans should have been best picture instead of Everywhere all at once perversion fest. Fabelmans featured his very early war movie as a student filmmaker…

    • “Modern version of book burning” “Fascists, same as always.”

      I will steal that one.

      • Feel free. Just hope the ATF doesn’t try to tag you with a lifetime prohibition for that crime.

    • You are correct. Now it’s digital so will happen‘auto’. Seriously we should print our references for eventual court proceedings. Bookmark is the minimum.

      Sad but true.

  16. @jethro the janitor
    “His rants are so numerous and varied, depending on his alcohol intake for the day, who really pays attention to Sam?”

    Not me.

  17. This may have been covered already, but what censorship does he believe in? I believe in none for the record. I believe there’s some kind of god given right to that actually. I believe that’s even been written down for us to hold as true and righteous.

    “I do not believe in censorship in that way.”
    In what way do you believe it Mr. Spielberg?

  18. It missed all of y’all completely.

    The problem wasn’t the guns.

    It was the cops pointing the guns at kids.

    Seriously, y’all’s persecution complex is showing.

    • You’re saying Steve should have edited the cops out? Made them radios pointing the guns at kids? Lol

      Obviously we were supposed to struggle between the opposing views that some form of government authority should control/communicate with extraterrestrial life and the extreme discomfort of having that same authority potentially direct lethal force at children. The dichotomy is what creates the conflict, builds the tension, and sets up an ending people are emotionally invested in.

      The point is Steve there regretting that he messed with the formula. Not cops vs guns. The fact that you can’t see it doesn’t mean we missed the point. It means YOU did.

  19. “The problem wasn’t the guns.

    It was the cops pointing the guns at kids.”

    Oh, Liar49er, here we go again.

    “‘E.T.’ was a film that I was sensitive to the fact that the federal agents were approaching kids with firearms exposed …”

    Nowhere in this article nor the source did Spielberg state that he removed the guns because they were pointed at children.

    If that were the case, he could just as easily have edited any scene in which a gun was pointed at a kid, rather than erase all of the guns.

    Your persecution complex is showing, Liar. Show us with the doll how the bad guns pointed at you.

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