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The Writer of Back to the Future: Part II Blames Universal for Netflix's Weirdly Censored Version of the Film

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Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future: Part II.
Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future: Part II.
Image: Universal Pictures

If you watched Back to the Future: Part II when it first hit Netflix, you might have noticed a little something was missing. According to the writer of the series, it wasn’t exactly Netflix’s fault.

As reported by the Hollywood Reporter, Bob Gale, the writer of the film, has commented on the weird, small bit of censorship that crept into the version of Back to the Future: Part II that originally showed up on Netflix. The change is minimal: an early cut concealing the (scandalous, I guess?) cover of the Oh La La magazine Marty finds within the dust cover of a sports almanac. But some fans definitely noticed, and, as is understandable, considering it appeared to be arbitrary censorship, were upset.


“The blame is on Universal who somehow furnished Netflix an edited version of the movie,” Bob Gale explained. “I learned about it some ten days ago from an eagle-eyed fan, and had the studio rectify the error. The version now running is the uncensored, unedited, original version.”


He went on to explain how this happened, citing a censored version created without the authorization of knowledge of either himself or director Robert Zemeckis.

He said, “Apparently, this was a foreign version which neither director Robert Zemeckis nor I even knew existed, for some country that had a problem with the Oh La La magazine cover. I asked that the studio destroy this version. FYI, Netflix does not edit films — they only run the versions that are supplied to them. So they’re blameless. You can direct your ire at Universal, but I think they will be a lot more careful in the future — and with ‘the future.’”

Well, there you go. Now you can stream all the Back to the Future movies, in their entirety, on Netflix. It just took a little investigation first.

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