The film world has a bad reputation for trying to hide aspects of movies it decides will make them more difficult to sell (for example, just see how many trailers for foreign language films feature absolutely no dialogue). It’s certainly affected gay-themed films in the past, but you’d have thought a movie as out and proud as Pride would be immune to that.
However not in the US, where the DVD cover hasn’t just removed all reference to homosexuality in the the blurb, but altered one of the main images to take out a banner referring to the movie’s central group, ‘Lesbians & Gays Support The Miners’.
The text on the back meanwhile refers simply to ‘London-based activists’, rather than specifically mentioning the gay group that sets out to raise funds for striking coal miners which the film is all about.
It reads, ‘PRIDE is inspired by an extrodinary true story. It’s the summer of 1984 and much of blue-collar Great Britain is on strike. For one tiny Welsh village, the strike brings unexpected visitors – a group of London-based activists who decide to raise money to support strikers’ families and want to make their donations in person. In this heartwarming comedy, two groups seemingly from world’s apart, discover that standing together makes for the strongest union of all.’
While Pride has been a critical success in the US, it made little impact at the box office, grossing just $1.5 million. As a result it would appear the distributors are attempting to try and widen the audience on DVD by hiding what it’s actually about, presumably on the assumption more people will watch it if lesbians and gays aren’t mentioned at all.
The logic often used in these circumstances is that while many general viewers don’t mind watching a film about LGBT people, they’re less likely to do so if they think of it primarily as a ‘gay film’. However to use that idea with a movie like Pride, in which the importance of gay visibility is one of the major themes, seems particularly foolish.
It’s a particular shame coming shortly after the movie scored a surprise ‘Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy’ Golden Globe Nomination, suggesting that if it had been sold and marketed better in America, it might not just have been more of a commercial success, but could also have had a major awards run.
Take a look below to see the US DVD back cover, and then compare the image at the top of that with the original above. (Source: Pinknews)