Iconic filmmaker Steven Spielberg has admitted to regretting his decision to edit guns out of a scene in his classic 1982 movie, “E.T.” During an interview at the Time 100 Summit, Spielberg revealed his change of heart and condemned the modern trend of censoring classic works.
In the original version of “E.T.,” a scene depicted armed law enforcement officers chasing young children. However, when the film was re-released for its 20th anniversary in 2002, Spielberg replaced the guns with walkie-talkies, citing sensitivity to the portrayal of federal agents with exposed firearms around children. But now, he recognizes his error in tampering with his own work.
Spielberg emphasized that no film should be revised based on current societal lenses, as each movie serves as a signpost of the era in which it was created. He expressed his regret over editing “E.T.” and discouraged others from altering their work, emphasizing the importance of preserving the original context and cultural heritage.
The renowned director also criticized the removal of potentially offensive words from classic children’s literature, like Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Spielberg argued that such works are sacrosanct, representing our history and cultural heritage, and should not be subject to censorship.
Spielberg’s comments resonated with the Time100 Summit audience, receiving enthusiastic applause and support. The event, which highlighted solutions and actions for a better world, also featured notable guest speakers such as former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, and Harvard Genetics professor David Sinclair.