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Bleep Off: The Fight to Save Family-Friendly Movie Filtering

Hollywood studios sue VidAngel’s attempt to let viewers be ‘in the world but not of it.’
Bleep Off: The Fight to Save Family-Friendly Movie Filtering
Image: VidAngel

“So much of television is really not fit for children, or Christians, or the elderly,” declared Kenneth the NBC page, a character on the sitcom 30 Rock who pitched executives the idea of a black bar to block objectionable content.

Kenneth’s suggestion—a hit with the wholesome new network president in a 2011 episode—seems like an especially blunt caricature of faith-based filters compared to the real-life options available today.

But one of the most prominent services, VidAngel, had to suspend its streaming offerings last month as it faces a lawsuit from Disney and three other major studios. Yesterday, an appeals court rejected its request to keep streaming cleaned-up content while the suit unfolds.

VidAngel lets viewers watch “however the bleep” they want, with hundreds of customizable filters to skip everything from sexual gestures and fight scenes to four-letter words and lighter offenses like butt. (The censor settings aren’t all “bosoms, ...

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