‘Shortbus’: outrage over queer erotic film’s ban on Amazon Prime

“SHORTBUS is the movie Jeff Bezos doesn’t want you to see!"

John Cameron Mitchell’s erotic film Shortbus has been banned on Amazon Prime Video.

The film, originally released in 2007, has been rejected five times by the streaming platform when submitted by indie distributor Oscilloscope Laboratories, according to IndieWire.

Prime Video reportedly rejected the film because the “captions are out of sync” as well as it featuring “offensive content”. The publishing error from the streamer reads:  “We aren’t making your title available on Prime Video as it violates our Content Policy Guidelines.”

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Oscilloscope president Dan Berger told IndieWire the distributor felt a “prudishness” and “utter hypocrisy” from Amazon.

“The prudishness and utter hypocrisy of refusing to carry this film — one that is the height of healthy representation, inclusiveness, and support for a community often persecuted — only further perpetuates abuse and they should be ashamed,” he said.

On Instagram, Oscilloscope Laboratories wrote: “SHORTBUS is the movie @jeffbezos doesn’t want you to see! Despite there being plenty of other films on Prime with dicks & real sex, #ShortbusMovie has been BANNED from the platform.

“So if you want to watch @johncameronmitchell’s 2006 masterpiece in stunning 4K, please do so via a more open-minded VOD service.”

Shortbus premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006, but was previously only available to stream on PornHub.

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The film features unsimulated sex, but IndieWire pointed out that Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac and Brown Bunny directed by Vincent Gallo, two films streaming on Prime Video, also do.

Amazon Prime Video came under attack in 2020, when God’s Own Country director Francis Lee claimed the streamer had censored parts of the film.

It came to light that the US distributor, Samuel Goldwyn Films, had “butchered” the streaming version without consulting Lee “to get more revenue”.

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