Entertainment & Arts

Pride director defends removal of gay references on DVD

Imelda Staunton and Dominic West in Pride Image copyright Publicity
Image caption Imelda Staunton and Dominic West (centre) play unlikely allies in Matthew Warchus's film

Pride director Matthew Warchus has said he "understands" why gay references were removed from the US DVD cover.

The film, about a group of gay and lesbian activists who supported striking miners in the 1980s, was released in the UK last year.

The US DVD cover wording was changed, removing a reference to "gay and lesbian activists", while a gay banner was removed from the back cover.

Warchus told BBC Radio 5 Live it was "clumsy" but a "valid" strategy.

"Changing the cover is kind of clumsy and a bit foolish," he told the station's Phil Williams.

"But this is a film that is loved by people of all political persuasions and sexual orientations.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Warchus (left) will take over from Kevin Spacey at London's Old Vic later this year

"I'm just keen for as many people who have yet to see the film to see it."

The film's synopsis on the back of the US DVD was changed from referring to "a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists" to "a group of London-based activists".

The banner which was removed had read "Lesbians & Gays Support The Miners".

Warchus added that he "didn't want to preach to the converted" and wanted the film "to find a mainstream audience [and] broaden people's minds.

"I think someone in the marketing department in the US used their marketing judgement to try to remove any barrier to the widest possible audience," he went on.

"It's clumsily done but I understand it and it's a valid instinct," he continued, describing "the nature of marketing" as "over-simplification [and] reductive".

Warchus is set to take over from Kevin Spacey as artistic director at London's Old Vic theatre later this year.

Image copyright Presser
Image caption The image and text on the US DVD cover (top) differs from the original promotional image (below)

Pride was named best film at the British Independent Film Awards last month and received additional prizes for cast members Andrew Scott and Imelda Staunton.

The DVD was released by the US on 23 December and is scheduled for release in the UK in March.

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