Mr. Friedkin? Mr. Hawks? Meet Mr. Madison and Mr. Twain

It was Saturday Censorship at the Movies last night in Cable Land.

First, I got to watch that manly channel, Spike, blanch at showing a possessed 12-year-old girl use the work “fuck”, which, as you horror devotees know, is a word rather central to showing how she has been taken over, like Helen Thomas, by the demon Pazuzu. There was Linda Blair, as the suddenly possessed Regan O’Neill, bouncing rhythmically on her bed as her horrified mother and physician looked on, shouting “—Me!—Me!—Me!”, apparently horrifying them with a noisy outbreak of egocentricity. The later scene in which the Demon Child is found masturbating with a crucifix was also clumsily chopped up so it was impossible to figure out what was going on.

This is, admittedly, old news for this film, which has been routinely censored since it started showing on TV. The censorship is always more offensive than the content removed. “The Exorcist” (directed by William Friedkin) is a classic film and an important one, and cutting out large chunks of the most intense scenes (together with breaking it up with mouthwash and car insurance commercials) renders it no more and no less than a waste of time. It is always a destructive and disrespectful act to deface a work of art (yes, “The Exorcist” is), but this episode was more bewildering than usual. Spike, which includes such sexually explicit and frequently crude shows as “MANswers” and “1,000 Ways to Die” obviously curries favor with an audience that uses the work “fuck” about 1,000 times a day. If you are offended by “fuck,” you don’t watch Spike. Furthermore, if you are so sensitive that the scenes and language in “The Exorcist” bother you, then you aren’t going to watch “The Exorcist” anyway, and you certainly aren’t going to watch it on Spike. There are literally no audience members at all whose interests are served by Spike’s showing of a G-Rated version of a movie about a little girl’s possession by an unspeakable demon. Such censorship irritates everyone, and is disrespectful to the artists who made the movie. As with Huckleberry Finn, the only ethical course is to either present the entire work, or not to present it at all.

But “The Exorcist” was far from the worst censorship horror on cable this night. Over on American Movie Classics, they were showing “El Dorado,” Howard Hawks’ first (of two) remakes of his classic Western, “Rio Bravo.” The John Wayne-Robert Mitchum film doesn’t rise to inspired level of its predecessor, but it is fun, and hardly a threat to young (or old) sensibilities; I first saw it when I was 16, and my son viewed it when he was eight. “El Dorado” is frequently shown on television, but this time something was missing: a silly sequence in which a young James Caan (playing “Mississippi”; the equivalent character in Rio Bravo was named “Colorado”) approaches and overcomes an armed lookout by crudely disguising himself as a stereotypical Chinaman of the period. This was deemed so objectionable by someone at AMC that a meat-axe was used to excise it: we see “Mississippi” starting to drape himself in something, he says, “I have an idea!”, and then the print cuts to him mid-punch, knocking out the look-out. What happened? What was his idea? How did he get there? What the heck is going on? Unless you know the movie already, is would be no answer to these questions. AMC obviously doesn’t care, because although the channel is supposedly dedicated to showing classic movies, it obviously think that it is more important that the movies it shows meet some fanatic’s concept of what is “sensitive” programming.

Whose interest does this idiotic, politically-correct censorship really serve? The 19th Century Coolie Image Defense League? A goofy cowboy, in a comedy adventure, uses a ridiculous disguise that looks even less like a real Asian  than John Wayne did when he played Genghis Kahn. So what? Who can this possibly offend? What damage can it do? Whatever damage it is, it pales beside the damage done to the film itself and the enjoyment of watching it, because the story is rendered undecipherable at the point of the cut.

In the third Indiana Jones film, Indy (Harrison Ford) tricks his way into a Nazi-controlled castle by pretending to be a stereotypical Scotsman, using a hasty disguise that is every bit as absurd as what Caan uses in “El Dorado.” Why is that sequence not excised by AMC, which played it frequently over the holidays? Because AMC thinks Asians are more sensitive than the Scottish? Because Spielberg deserves more respect as a director than Howard Hawks (“Red River,” “Bringing Up Baby,” “The Thing” and many other great films)? It is futile to try to find reason or consistency in such censorship, because there is neither. There is only fear, ignorance, and cowardice.

Whoever the insufferable, misguided, literal-minded, historically ignorant, intellectually deficient and artistically tasteless fools are who want to clean up Mark Twain’s language, the Constitution’s errors, and Howard Hawks’s gags, it is up to anyone who believes in the free expression of ideas and the importance of cultural perspective to confront them, condemn them, and stop them.

32 thoughts on “Mr. Friedkin? Mr. Hawks? Meet Mr. Madison and Mr. Twain

  1. With all due respect, Jack, I think that the silly editing out of harmless ethnic stereotypes in a family friendly movie is hardly on par with using children in grossly profane and violent situations. Again I make the point that, were it not for the special privileges granted the media by the Warren Court- and if filmmakers were held to the same standards of decency with children as the rest of us- a lot of Hollywood’s elite would be in jail right now. And rightfully so!

    Such 1970’s films as “The Exorcist”, “Baby Doll”, “Taxi Driver” and “The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane” established and legitimized children as objects and tools of perversity. “Taxi Driver” itself became the direct inspiration for 2006’s “Hounddog”; the first overt case of actual child porn in American feature films. None of this was in any way necessary or “artistic”. It was merely a matter of depraved filmmakers trying to make money with ever new twists on “shock value”. This is what happens when no enforceable standards exist. This is not a matter of censorship. It’s one of common decency in the protection of children from exploitation.

    • Steven—Blair was protected from the worst of her on-screen travails (like the crucifix scene ) by an adult double. At any rate, that’s a different isssue than what is on the celluloid now, which qualifies as legitimate art, even spiritual art. I’m hesitanat to say that some stories just can’t be filmed, which is what you are suggesting. The story here has redeeming social value—“Hounddog” does not.

  2. Jack, I’ve learned that you have to be very careful when applying Warren’s ill-defined term “redeeming social value”. That term, along with other related ones (like “it’ll raise awareness of the issue”, so often applied by “Hounddog’s” backers), has become the institutionalized mantra in legitimizing just about every piece of cinematic filth that’s been inflicted on the moviegoing public. I’m also leery of those excuses about child actors being “shielded” from the R-rated excesses of such films. It’s difficult, in practice, to insulate them from the prevalent set conditions- even if doubles, split screens, etc. are employed. And, insofar as concept is concerned, it’s next to impossible.

    No one said it better than 9 year old Lukas Haas, commenting on his experience while making “Witness”. “How can you say your lines and do your job if you don’t know what’s going on?” Out of the mouths of babes!

    I further submit that, to children, these concepts and inevitable enactments can be nearly as devastating to them as an actual experience. Even the most diligent directors tend to underestimate the vulnerability of children- preteen in particular- to such situations.

    • No disagreement. I think it is likely that Blair was permanently harmed by the film. But just as the fact that what survives the cutting room is irrelevant to whether the filming was abusive to a child actor, the film itself is an artwork however it was created. The end doesn’t justify the means, but once the end is created, it deserves respect based on what it is, not on how it was produced.

      I think.

  3. I remember that Linda Blair said (meekly) after the film, “I didn’t understand the concept”. She was referring to the infamous “crucifix” scene. Dakota Fanning (who was better coached by her handlers) said of her “rape scene”, “It’s called acting and I’m an actor.” Linda was being more honest, having been allowed. Neither, in such tender years, truly understood the implications of what they were expected to do until the time came. Afterward, it was an impossible matter of coming to terms with conditions and concepts that they simply weren’t equipped to deal with, being little girls.

    Linda had the advantage in that she WAS better shielded from the more despicable scenes… as far as it was possible. Not so Dakota. However, unlike Linda, Dakota had been in R-rated films before that had gradually increased in exploitiveness over time with a “leavening” of good films in between. This was done (I’m virtually convinced from my researches) as a deliberate campaign to make her compliant with an eventual “Jodie Foster” moment to take her into “adult” roles… for the sake of her longer term profitability. I’ve come to call this process “The Fanning Factor”.

    This, BTW, is what I meant by “Taxi Driver” being “Hounddog’s” inspiration. Not only were the comparisons continually made in promoting (and legitimizing) the latter film, but Foster’s performance as a sexualized preteen girl was likewise offered to little Dakota herself as a justification for her own descent into virtual kiddie porn. There’s evidence to suggest that she was DRILLED in this for up to a year prior to the actual shooting. That’s how these abuses build on one another when they’re allowed to stand.

    It’s well known that both Linda and Jodie have had personality problems that were severe in their adolescence… and still plague them today. I can guarantee you that Dakota was never briefed on that aspect! Nor would she have been told how child film actors, even under good conditions, traditionally exhibit difficulties in later live due to their restrictive and often unwholesome influences. The Blair and Foster handlers had less advantage of hindsight, but common sense (and decency) should have nevertheless led them to that understanding. They have no real excuse.

    The stories of Linda and Jodie stand as a witness to a simple fact of life. Children are highly vulnerable to unnatural conditions and concepts, which invariably impact them adversely. When they likewise grow up in a toxic culture outside the studios, even when their scene experiences are of the better sort, this impacts them as well. Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan are prominent current examples of this.

    However, Dakota Fanning has been through both elements as no other Hollywood kid ever has… and continues to be. She also suffered a massive degradation of popularity as a result, having been the top (and most beloved) child star in Hollywood for nearly six years prior to the “Hounddog” debacle. This takes us into unexplored psychological territory. It’s already known that, soon after that film, her personality, once exuberant and endearing, underwent a big change. She’s also been known to have been publically intoxicated when at least 14. She’s rarely seen in public except under highly controlled conditions. Her movie offers have all but dried up. AND her sister has surpassed her in all categories!

    Therefore, what exploitive conditions have wrought with previous child actresses stand to be multiplied in Dakota Fanning’s case. How badly is anyone’s guess. But I stand by my prediction that this kid will make some sorrowful headlines before she reaches her 18th birthday. I fervently hope I’ll be proved wrong. She’s a pretty strong kid where it counts. But she’s still a kid. And, as far as her ongoing story is concerned, I’ve rarely been wrong in my predictions. History can be a remorseless guide to the future.

    • And, as far as her ongoing story is concerned, I’ve rarely been wrong in my predictions.With all the incorrect information you’ve written about this situation, I doubt this very much. You may believe it, but it doesn’t appear to be true.

      History can be a remorseless guide to the future.It helps if you let the history guide your beliefs, not your beliefs determine what history you believe

  4. As a notoriously queasy person, I actually find television censorship useful that I can watch something violent without fear of being disgusted. However, the way it’s implemented is often baffling. I remember watching “Thirteen Ghosts” from 2002 or whenever on Sci-Fi, and Matthew Lillard tripped or got scared and said, “Shoot!” when his lips clearly said “Shit!”

    Later on, a character was pinned between two glass walls along his body and cut in half, front to back. I looked away, but I’m pretty sure that shot was left in intact. Exactly HOW many different ways does someone have to be cut in half to equal the opprobrium of uttering the word “shit” in a non-scatalogical context?

      • If follows along with the ratings system of movies. A movie can have “fuck” twice and it’s PG-13, but if it’s said a third time, it’s R. Using the word fuck with it’s dictionary definition, will also get a movie an R rating. “The Illusionist” fell into this trap. They dubbed over “Were they fucking?” with “Were they fornicating?” and got a PG-13. Seriously? That’s the difference between PG-13 and R? Proper usage of “fuck?”

        • It’s all that and more. Studio politics plays a big part, as well. That’s why the Valenti ratings system is such a farce. It’s also helped promote the vice, corruption and depravity for which Hollywood is now known. And, as you allude, PG13 is the most deceptive rating of them all. My advice to parents has always been to consider a PG13 in the same way they would an R until they’ve researched it thoroughly. And NEVER judge a film by its cast. Always know, first, the backgrounds and resumes of the top people behind the camera. They’re the ones that count.

          • To my view, the valenti system has promoted arbitrary sexual morals more than vice and depravity. The treatment of violence vs sexuality, especially female sexuality is unconscionable. Something with violence and realistic consequences is R, but if the consequences are unrealistic, it’s PG. 2 seconds of an erect penis is going to get you an NC-17, but an hour of constant boobs is R. A female thrashing and moaning during a sex scene is NC-17, but a male doing the same is R. If there’s no nudity, the male scene might even be in a PG-13 movie.

            My advice would be to research ALL movies, regardless of rating. There are G rated movies I wouldn’t want my (hypothetical) 10 year old to watch (disney fairy tales are often horrible with how they celebrate materialism, enforce gender stereotypes, and are filled with casual cruelty), while there are PG-13 movies that I’d consider appropriate.

            I agree that the cast is a horrible way to determine the content of a movie. Directors have more control over content, but they don’t always follow their previous styles. Researching filmmaker history is a start, but it’s not sufficient.

            • Dear TGT: I submit that it promoted both… and more. It turned porn- of whatever grade or stripe- into a means of profit, thus turning the film industry into areas that had before been the province of cheap one reelers made in dingy basements. And, in doing so, it lent Hollywood’s resources and image into luring young women and children into ever worsening degradations such as could never have been deemed possible before. And, almost immediately, it started marketing this under the outrageous false label of “art”. Beyond this, the only arguments could be endless ones of what kind of trash is better or worse than another kind. In fact, that’s just about all there is to be said of the sum of Hollywood’s activities; on or off set.

              My advise has always been to know the names of the producer(s), director, screenwriter and studio. When you put them together in an informed evaluation, you can seldom go wrong. Of course, some actors’ names are so associated with a certain genre or level of performance that this becomes a consideration as well. Overall, though, the records of those behind the cameras- taken as a whole- weigh much more heavily.

              We’re never going to agree on your attitude towards classic Disney films! I only wish that Disney Productions still had the talent, wisdom and innate decency to make films of that calibre. Uncle Walt’s death left a creative vacuum that they’ve never been able to fill since.

              • It turned porn- of whatever grade or stripe- into a means of profit, thus turning the film industry into areas that had before been the province of cheap one reelers made in dingy basements.

                Porn has always been profitable. The two main events to make it more profitable are VCRs and the internet. I’m not sure what rating movies has to do with porn. For the most part, movie theaters refuse to air NC-17 movies and the advertising for them is extremely limited.

                We’re never going to agree on your attitude towards classic Disney films! I only wish that Disney Productions still had the talent, wisdom and innate decency to make films of that calibre.

                Like throwing lemmings off of cliffs? Or being ridiculously racist? Teaching girls that you will only be happy when you find a man? I have fond memories of Disney films, but that doesn’t mean I can’t turn a critical eye to them. A spade is a spade, no matter who makes it.

                • Point 1: Largely agreed… but I contend that Hollywood is the focal point of the pop culture. It gives it agenda and direction. With the legitimization of porn PLUS the addition of so many new venues of distribution, it has inundated our society. That its always been there and, likely, always will (like narcotics) is often used by liberals as an excuse to merely surrender to it. Those of us who hold to our responsibilities as decent adults and parents know it means just the opposite. Without vigilance and opposition, it will devour us. It’s already come close. And if it does, civilization falls.

                  Point 2: It seems you can never get “someday my prince will come” out of your head, huh? I can see that
                  it must be a continual irritant for any hard core feminist. However, it doesn’t bother me a bit! I guess it all comes down to whether you think it’s wrong to depict men and women meeting respectfully, sharing adversity, standing up to evil, falling in love, getting married and having a family. A lot of us still swear by these virtues. I can see why you’d hate Disney so much from that. He had a excellent way of depicting it that whole families could understand and enjoy.

                  • I see a lot of random connections. Hollywood has an Agenda? Other than to make money, not so much. Hollywood is also pretty unrelated to the porn industry.

                    I’m not sure what you mean by liberals surrendering to the porn industry. Does that mean liberals are the defenders of free speech? I’m not sure how the porn industry could devour us or make civilization fail. There is no evidence for that.

                    Moving on to Disney. Your summary is fine. Your summary leaves off the gender stereotypes to the point of mysogeny. It also leaves off the violence played for laughs. I am by no means a feminist. I told you my problems with Disney, and you completely ignored them to attack a strawman. The only reason I’m responding at this point is to point out your misinformation.

                    • Hollywood’s agenda IS moneymaking, TGT. And they pursue it by whatever means they can with no ethical constraints. As they have no legal ones worth mentioning (at least, not since the mid-1960’s) they quickly took the lead in the pornification of the American culture. they’ve kept it ever since. And they maintain it through a depraved corruption of the First Amendment. If you choose to view the classic Disney productions as “mycogeny”. so be it. I don’t.

                    • As we’ve already agreed, the Valenti ratings system is a constraint. Why you think only legal constraints matter is beyond me.

                      I see no pornification coming from hollywood. As noted, NC-17 movies are pretty much blackballed. You need to support your assertions with evidence, otherwise they have no weight.

                      The misogyny (hey, neither of us can spell) is pretty blatant. Have you watched any of the early movies since you reached the age of reason? They’re horrible. I like how you ignore the statements about gender roles and violence. I don’t choose to view them in any particular way. As I hang out in the real world, I let the actual content guide my perspective.

                    • The pornification of women came in almost immediately with the Valenti system. With children, it started about a dozen years later, culminating in actual child porn in 2006. You might note that “Midnight Cowboy”- pornography by any logical definition- was named Best Picture of the Year by the Academy (which also awards the ratings) in 1969. That’s how fast the ratings systems overturned the former standards and brought Hollywood squarely into a leading role in the porn business. It’s just been downhill ever since, as two generations of domestic filmmakers have now become dependent on porn as a “creative crutch”.

                      To facilitate this, the ratings themselves have changed and become politically flexible. In other words, corruptible. The very fact of the substitution of NC-17 for X-rating is a case in point. By eliminating X, they facilitated the distribution of the most vile of films, as many moviegoers weren’t aware of the substitution. Likewise, the introduction of PG13- the most deceptive rating of all. It should also be noted that, as Hollywood’s output became ever more degraded, the ratings themselves altered ever lower to accommodate them. Those “classic” porn movies of the early Valenti Era (like “Flesh Gordon”, for example!) which were X-rated in the late 1960’s will only pull in a weak R-rating today.

                    • The pornification of women came in almost immediately with the Valenti system. With children, it started about a dozen years later, culminating in actual child porn in 2006.

                      Citation needed. Just because you make a pronouncement doesn’t make reality match.

                      So, how is midnight cowboy is porn? Midnight Cowboy winning best picture had nothing to do with the Valenti system. That non sequitor is shocking.

                      It’s just been downhill ever since, as two generations of domestic filmmakers have now become dependent on porn as a “creative crutch”.

                      Uh, what. What filmmakers are dependent upon porn? What porn is being produced by Hollywood studios? How is the output any different before and after Valenti (accounting for social norms)?

                      Is talking about sex now porn? Is showing nonexplicit sex now porn? I’m confused.

                      The very fact of the substitution of NC-17 for X-rating is a case in point. By eliminating X, they facilitated the distribution of the most vile of films, as many moviegoers weren’t aware of the substitution.

                      Uh, what? Someone is being slightly unfair. Any change in ratings is going to confuse people. That’s the nature of the beast. In this case, even more so as we went from no standards to actual standards. Valenti also didn’t really get rid of X. To this day, people still market films as X and XXX. Just like before the system, anyone can call their movie X.

                      Likewise, the introduction of PG13- the most deceptive rating of all.

                      It’s deceptive because of the 13, right? Would you have preferred PGS? Parental Guidance Strongly Suggested? I’d take that. Maybe a 1 to 5 system. How about that? I bet you want a 1 to 5 in various categories. I might go for that. Your classic disney films get a 4 for violence, a 1 for sex, and a 5 for mysogeny.

                      It should also be noted that, as Hollywood’s output became ever more degraded, the ratings themselves altered ever lower to accommodate them. Those “classic” porn movies of the early Valenti Era (like “Flesh Gordon”, for example!) which were X-rated in the late 1960′s will only pull in a weak R-rating today.

                      First, what’s degraded about Hollywood’s output? Second, the ratings have moved somewhat with society. Ideas that were taboo in the 60s (Married couples have sex!) are not so taboo now. If anything, the ratings system is behind the times of social norms, not out in front of it like you seem to think. Gay sexual themes still regularly pull higher ratings than similar straight sexual themes.

                    • Dear TGT: If you don’t think that “Midnight Cowboy” was straight up pornography from beginning to end, that “miscogeny” is comparable to it and that all this can be put down to “societal evolution”. I really don’t know what to tell you… beyond the obvious point that you’re blindly defending degeneracy. Values matter. When a society fails to stand up for its founding principles of decency and respect- and when it allows its institutions to forward concepts of depravity in the guise of “new morality”… and for the profit of unscrupulous promoters- then it suffers decline. When it goes on long enough (as it has in Hollywood) such institutions not only become fatally compromised, but also threaten to drag that society into a terminal state of decadency. This is the threat we face now. And Hollywood epitomizes it for the reasons I’ve mentioned. I stand by my previous statements.

                    • Steven,

                      You didn’t respond to most of my points. Are you agreeing that you have no evidence for your assertions? To anyone with any debating experience, it looks like you’re trying to drop topics when they’ve been shown to be wrong or based on fantasma.

                      I asked for evidence, you reword previous unsupported statements. You lose.

  5. Dear TGT: I wasn’t trying to beat on my chest, here. This has not been a pleasant subject, by any means. But it was a necessary one. With all the research I did into it- coupled with my own background in criminal mentality, et al- I invariably had to make predictions based on these factors with the evidence at hand. I’ve been wrong before (usually based on incomplete evidence that I received later from my sources) and, no doubt, will be again. It’s a big and complex field that I’ve entered relatively early. But I’m the first to admit when I have been in error and I take pains to point out to my readership the reasons why. It’s part of the mutual learning experience, as well as a matter of ethics. It’s also a highly important field that needs to be pursued. So I do.

  6. Dear TGT: It’s a common practice among leftist self-appointed pundits that- when faced with opinions that they don’t like, but can’t counter- try to turn the forum from ideas into a pseudo court of law. I’m not a lawyer, TGT. Nor am I an uninformed ranter, as you try to portray me in this ploy. The prime question here (and on this website) is that of ethics. If I were to go around keeping footnotes on other people’s works or statistics to back up my every sentence, I’d be up to my neck in notebooks and it would take me forever to make a simple comment. This you know. Again, I’m not a lawyer, an archivist or a professional columnist. I’m offering my opinions based on the facts as I’ve seen them and/or have personally experienced. My “worldview”, as it were. You can accept or reject as you will. No, I don’t “lose”. By trying this little gambit, you prove it.

  7. Opinions based on facts as I’ve collected and experienced, TGT. Once again, I’m not required to provide you with a court brief. This is the internet age. Do your own research. You might also want to get yourself out of your Quiche Cafe Clatch for a little while. It might improve your outlook from a personal standpoint.

    • The internet age does not have to be the age of ignorance and unfounded belief. I have done my research. It contradicts your opinions. I’ve provided my information and asked for yours. (Maybe my information is wrong. This is your opening to try to convince me.) You refuse to provide it. Conclusion: your opinions are worthless.

      As you said, this is the internet age. Your comments are not lost and research is easy. Everyone can trace your behavior. They can see your lack of evidence. They can see you refuse to respond when I provide counterexamples. They can see you accuse me of not providing data (when I have) juxtaposed with your claims that data is not required. They can see you slide into name calling. They can see the ad hominem attacks and strawmen arguments.

      They can see you repeat these behaviors over and over. While failure to admit your flaws will fool people some of the tiem, it won’t fool those who are thinking.

  8. Dear Tiggy: You’ve offered nothing but hackneyed, familiar phrases and links, on occasion, to some leftwing bombthrower. I’ve offered my opinions based on truth, conviction and experience. You’re free to accept or reject as you will, as I am you. I think people can see THAT esily enough. What you’re continually trying to do is reframe the arguments because they lead you into territory where your true opinions become an embarrassment. This is a ploy often known as “shoot the messenger”. Accentuating it is the Clintonian method described as, “Accuse the other guy of what you yourself are guilty of- do it first- and do it loud”. So fire away, if you feel you must. What’s “worthless” here is your blatant posturing and “lawyering”.

    • The record is clear. Denial does not make you an innocent. Also:

      What you’re continually trying to do is reframe the arguments because they lead you into territory where your true opinions become an embarrassment. This is a ploy often known as “shoot the messenger”.

      Shooting the messenger is attacking the person with bad news, not reframing the arguments to avoid the bad news. It’s also not the projection you’re attributing to Clinton. Fortunately, I’ve done none of those things.

      The conspiracy theory about my “true opinions” is also entertaining. What sinister opinions do you believe I have? I don’t think anyone has ever accused me of hiding my intentions. I’m about as subtle as a brick wall. Even my metaphor isn’t subtle.

  9. If it offends you, turn it off…write a letter…but leave the content alone. How is anyone going to know what you discuss if they cannot see it? We now boycott AMC, as unless we know the film, we cannot be certain we are seeing it as released. -tgt, please do not protect me.

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