Disney+’s Parental Controls Lead to Erroneous Falcon and the Winter Soldier Edits

Disney+’s Parental Controls Lead to Erroneous Falcon and the Winter Soldier Edits

With the arrival of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Punisher, Iron Fist, and Defenders on Disney+ earlier this month, the streamer also introduced more stringent content filtering controls to allow the graphically violent series to co-exist with the platform’s all-ages content. But while this meant those series could arrive unedited, the updated controls have meant at least one other Marvel series has received some edits.

Update 3/30/2022 2.15pm EST: This article has been updated to include commentary from Disney. A modified version of the original post continue below.

As first spotted by the Direct (via Polygon), several moments in the third episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, “The Power Broker,” have been modified for graphic content if viewed while using Disney+’s updated content filters. Gizmodo has confirmed that two scenes near the climax of the episode are affected when viewing with the content filters: the first, when Daniel Bruhl’s Zemo shoots ex-Hydra scientist Dr. Nagel, blood splatters have been removed from an overhead shot, as well as actor Olli Haaskivi’s being digitally closed:

The second is more peculiar. During a shootout shortly after the above scene, Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes incapacitates an attacker by throwing a pipe with his cybernetic arm, pinning them to a shipping container through their shoulder. Although there is little in the way of noticeable blood from the wound, there is a brief, graphic sound effect of the pipe spearing the attacker’s body. In the updated edit, the sound effect remains identical, however the pipe instead — and quite bizarrely — spins off-camera the moment it hits Bucky’s assailant, implying that instead it merely bounced off of them.

Disney+’s Parental Controls Lead to Erroneous Falcon and the Winter Soldier Edits

io9 has also confirmed that if watched with a Disney+ account with none of the content filters applied, both scenes remain as they were when Falcon and the Winter Soldier first premiered on the streamer last year. Peculiarly, these also appear to be the only edits on Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s more graphic moments. A shot in the next episode, “The Whole World Is Watching,” which controversially features the shield of Captain America caked in blood after current wielder John Walker uses it to publicly beat a man to death, remains completely unedited — even if it is arguably more graphic than either edited moment in episode three — regardless of what degree of content filtering is applied to the viewing account.

However, the changes have purportedly been made in error, rather than due to any specific updates to the platform’s filtering process. A Disney+ spokesperson confirmed to Gizmodo that the changes to the episode were due to a version control issue uploading a cut of the episode in error, and the streamer currently in the process of correcting the upload.

Mistake or otherwise, however, this is far from the first time content on Disney+ has been surreptitiously altered post-release on the platform, whether for myriad reasons beyond appropriate rating standards. The streamer infamously launched with the “Maclunkey” edit to Star Wars: A New Hope’s famous Greedo vs. Han encounter, and Marvel itself previously re-touched VFX shots from the post-credits ending of WandaVision after its original broadcast. But these unannounced, and seemingly random, edits for content filtering purposes are a bit more complicated than this — as Disney’s U.S. offerings begin to offer a wider array of mature content (the parental filters on the platform existed in international regions like Europe and the UK from launch) on the platform, this is likely not going to be the last time we see tweaks, no matter how subtle, made to series on the service.