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How Sony Sanitized the New Adam Sandler Movie to Please Chinese Censors

Michelle Monaghan, Adam Sandler, Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage in “Pixels.” (George Kraychyk/Sony Pictures via AP)
Michelle Monaghan, Adam Sandler, Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage in “Pixels.” (George Kraychyk/Sony Pictures via AP)

HONG KONG/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – In a 2013 script for the movie “Pixels,” intergalactic aliens blast a hole in one of China’s national treasures – the Great Wall.

That scene is gone from the final version of the sci-fi comedy, starring Adam Sandler and released by Sony Pictures Entertainment this week in the United States. The aliens strike iconic sites elsewhere, smashing the Taj Mahal in India, the Washington Monument and parts of Manhattan.

Sony executives spared the Great Wall because they were anxious to get the movie approved for release in China, a review of internal Sony Pictures emails shows. It is just one of a series of changes aimed at stripping the movie of content that, Sony managers feared, Chinese authorities might have construed as casting their country in a negative light.

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