This may be the weirdest blog post I’ve ever written. I ordered Iron Man 2 last night on Cox On Demand. The film’s villain, played by Mickey Rourke, is Russian. But every time any character uses the words “Russia” or “Russian,” the audio has been edited in reverse, as shown in this YouTube clip. Apparently customers of both Cox & Comcast are reporting the same thing.
Why is this happening? After extensive Googling, I still don’t know. The only reference to similar editing comes from a post on Shanghaiist in May reporting identical censorship in China. It’s strange because Rourke’s character isn’t political or ideological & no scenes or dialogue appear to have been changed – just the words “Russia” or “Russian.”
Speculation on internet message boards is that somehow Cox & Comcast acquired the censored version & are now selling it without having watched it (and continuing to sell it despite customer complaints). I spoke to a Cox customer service representative this morning who was unaware of the problem & refused my request for a refund. (Update 10/12: Cox called me back today to offer a refund.)
Are Virginia customers being sold a version of Iron Man 2 that has apparently been censored by (or censored by the producers at the request of) the Chinese government? Absolutely bizarre.
UPDATE: @ComcastCares tweets, “We have just been made aware of this yesterday and are working on it.”