Amazon is facing backlash after reportedly prohibiting raunchy queer fave Shortbus from streaming on its service. Despite how far representation in movies and TV has come since John Cameron Mitchell’s film was released in 2006, people still seem to have a problem when it comes to queer sex — particularly presented in a positive, and perhaps unconventional, light.
And that very much describes Shortbus. The movie tells a number of intertwined stories drawn together through a sex therapist (Sook-Yin Lee), exploring the idea of both sexual satisfaction and relationship compatibility and even throwing in a orgy at one point.
It’s a messy, graphic film, and that’s exactly what made it resonate so much with audiences over 15 years ago. But rather than let viewers decide for themselves whether they’re comfortable with Shortbus’s content, Amazon recently rejected it for the fifth time for “offensive content” as it supposedly violates Content Policy Guidelines, according to IndieWire. (There was also a note about captions being out of sync, although other streaming services that host the film apparently have no problems with the captions.) That Shortbus would be excluded when other noteworthy and artistic films that similarly featured unsimulated sex are available on the platform seems fairly pointed — Shortbus is a film heavily featuring LGBTQ+ characters, relationships, and themes. “There’s no shortage of dicks readily available on Amazon, and apparently, there are plenty behind the scenes too,” Dan Berger, the president of distributor Oscilloscope Laboratories, told IndieWire. “The prudishness and utter hypocrisy of refusing to carry this film — one that is the height of healthy representation, inclusiveness, and support for a
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