Amazon India can't stop itself from self-censorship. Its Emmy-winning Prime Original, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, is the latest to fall afoul of its ever-shifting policies in the country with Prime Video.
In the recently-released second season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Amazon has chosen to blur male genitals and cigarette packs, even as content on streaming platforms isn't subject to any certification in India. It's baffling to say the least, though it's not exactly new; Amazon India has been doing this since launch of Prime Video in December 2016.
But what has changed in the intervening years is the approach. After the backlash to The Grand Tour censorship incident, where Amazon excised half the episode - over 30 minutes - due to the display of a cow's innards, it shifted strategies with the release of American Gods. Two different versions of episodes were released, one censored and one untouched, each week.
The censorship-free version was called the 'International Release' and it doesn't show up on the carousel, but is limited to search results only. In that manner, Amazon India was able to keep the visuals of a cow being killed and male genitals in American Gods, which surely won it a few fans.
But that's not the case with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 2, which is only available on Amazon Prime Video in India in its censored form. It's a shame and moreover, it's regressive.
Amazon's practices bring it more in line with India's moral-driven censor board, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), which also prohibits female and male nudity on screen in addition to the display of tobacco products. The only difference here is that Amazon hasn't begun carrying smoking disclaimers. Yet.
"We have nothing to say on this at the moment," Amazon told Gadgets 360 in a statement.