It didn’t take long before Amazon Prime’s show, The Grand Tour, to get its fair share of controversies. Already, people are upset about the latest episode where Richard Hammond gets stuffed into the bumper of an Audi TT, reflecting how it can be another way for “Immigrants to get into Britain.”
Now that Amazon Prime is making The Grand Tour available in more than 200 countries they can expect for any of these jokes to end up ruffling some feathers, and it seems they’ve already begun nipping things in the bud. According to one disappointed Redditor from India, they’ve noticed that the fourth episode, titled ‘Enviro-Mental’ which we have reviewed here, has been cut by over 30 minutes. Here’s what they had to say:
If you can’t see what’s wrong, episode 4 apparently lost 30 minutes of video content here in Prime Video India. Half an hour of the footage is not available to us.
This is just terrible. Amazon is forced to literally ruin the episode in India and cut out a huge chunk just because of a cultural difference: Jeremy’s bone car is made of a cow, which is considered sacred in Hinduism.
There has been a rise of vigilantism by people who have assumed protecting cows their life’s priority, and have even resorted to strong violence in some cases. The governments of some states have even tapped into such sentiment by outlawing slaughter or even consumption of beef, punishable by jail and heavy fines. Amazon clearly doesn’t want to get their property damaged or get into trouble with technically troubleseekers, and it is quite a stupid move – specially when you consider more than 99% of this cow vigilante group won’t even know about The Grand Tour or even the basics of cars, let alone follow it and then be offended by cow bones turned into chassis.
The series is quintessentially British and made for a worldwide audience which Amazon should realise, and there is no law in India that censors internet content – people put up highly controversial content on the net and get away without any legal action. It is ridiculous that Amazon is playing the censor board for us when one doesn’t even exist for our country’s internet and if they extend this treatment to TGT’s other episodes too, I don’t see any reason why I should stick to Prime Video and not illegal sites, where I was very content with quality, subtitling and the full episode as is.
TL;DR: Amazon removes more than half of episode 4 in India cuz it insults cows, some people so adverse to cow slaughter so Amazon scared, playing Ofcom when Internet here doesn’t even have censorship
We feel bad for fans of The Grand Tour in India, but this may just be the right move by Amazon. India is the second most populated country in the world with more than 1.25 billion people. That’s a lot of potential Amazon Prime subscribers, and it might be in Amazon’s best interest to not piss them off by showing footage of cows, a highly sacred symbol in India, desecrated and mounted on a car, and a British Land Rover nonetheless!
What do you guys think of Amazon’s censorship of the latest episode? Does this set a bad precedent or is this just good business?