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How Should Hollywood Deal With Offensive Archival Content?

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For major Hollywood studios launching streaming services, film archives are a lucrative and nostalgic selling point — but they are also home to films with problematic pasts.

Whether the films have racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise offensive content, Hollywood is working to figure out how to deal with those assets.

Rebecca Keegan, senior film editor at The Hollywood Reporter, said some platforms have turned to advisory councils and interest groups.

“What some of the streaming services have begun to do is to put a warning label at the top of the phone when you start watching something,” she said on KPCC’s Take Two. “You would be alerted that you're going to see something here that may be offensive.”

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Streaming services use original content to draw new viewers, but archival content keeps them. In 2020, almost 80% of demand on Disney+ was for older content; on HBO Max, that number is closer to 90%.