HBO Max mistakenly slipped the TV-14 version of Birds of Prey to its streaming service. The R-rated cut was accidentally replaced with an edited PG-13 version. The censored version edits out Harley Quinn’s explicit language and visual gags.
Birds of Prey was truly an unusual comic book beast. It was goofier, grittier and gleeful and hence R-rated. There are two versions of the film: a clean one for broadcast cable, and an unedited version for streaming.
Most notably, the movie opens with a warning that reads, “This film has been modified as follows from its original version: it has been edited for content.” This is the same message that appears at the beginning of the TV-14 version that’s been airing on TNT, as reported by CBR.
The head of communications at WarnerMedia confirmed that the Birds of Prey will be “updated on Max,” and that only the uncensored version will be shown on the streaming platform. It is yet to be announced when the uncensored version will be back, a twitter post from HBO Max stated.
The PG-13 version has curse words removed or dubbed over. Explicit visuals have been edited or blurred out. It even shows Harley Quinn making peace signs with both her hands, rather than flipping the bird. Renee Montoya’s “I shaved my balls for this” shirt has been blurred out.
Some fans quickly jumped to the conclusion that HBO Max deliberately censored the flick. Whether this was a mistake or otherwise remains to be seen, but we will update this story if the original version is restored.