An open letter from Lloyd Kaufman, President of Troma Entertainment and Creator of The Toxic Avenger
Amazon Prime recently announced that their service will "no longer allow titles containing persistent or graphic sexual or violent acts, gratuitous nudity and/or erotic themes ('adult content') to be offered as Included with Prime or Free with Pre-Roll Ad," according to the Inquisitr, theblood-shed.com, and many more. WTF? All the movies The Troma Team and I have produced over the past 43 years contain “persistent or graphic sexual or violent acts, gratuitous nudity and/or erotic themes,” yet are presented by the New York Museum of Modern Art, the American Cinematheque, the Kennedy Center in DC, Oxford, and more.
Amazon’s actions obviously cause some concern for Troma Entertainment. What is truly troublesome is that we hardworking independent filmmakers, who are economically blacklisted by the devil worshiping media conglomerates and their elite cartel, rely on platforms such as Amazon Prime to help present our indie films to the world. Amazon was a friend to indie filmmakers, and now after a few Oscar 2017 wins for “Manchester by the Sea” and “The Salesman” from Amazon Studios, it’s turning its back on us! Is this all part of an orchestrated plan to shut out competition?
2017 marks my 50th year of making feature-length movies. The 50 years have been marked by legal bribery in Washington DC known as lobbying. Media Conglomerates, and their hundreds of millions of dollars in lobbying money, have managed to create an industry where only those affiliated with the Cartel of Conglomerates, or their vassals, can live off their work! The 1948 Consent Decree was killed, then the Financial Syndication Rule, and now FCC Chairman Shit Pai wants to eradicate the free, democratic, and open diverse Internet by destroying Net Neutrality. But wait there’s more!
As a result of fake Puritanism, independent filmmakers such as Dustin Mills, Drew Bolduc, Scott Schirmer, Liam Regan, and more, have been booted from Amazon Prime’s streaming service. Writer/Director Liam Regan’s festival favorite film My Bloody Banjo was rejected due to graphic content. Regan recently reached out to Troma Now, Troma’s exclusive streaming service, to have his film shown in its full uncut and uncensored version.
Regan had this to say about the experience:
"My film is now on Troma Now. Amazon Prime rejected the uncut version of 'My Bloody Banjo' due to scenes containing extreme violence and genital mutilation, I was left with no choice but to dilute my artistic vision. Political correctness and self censorship is the ultimate death knell for independent artists. Then even after disemboweling my film, Amazon has notified me that they will be removing it. However thanks to Troma Now, filmmakers like myself have a platform to express ourselves without any rules or restrictions, 'My Bloody Banjo' can now be enjoyed as I originally intended: uncut, uncensored and uncircumcised, thanks to the fine folks at Troma Entertainment."
If the big guys aren’t trying to eradicate net neutrality, they are censoring indie films so they can’t be seen. If My Bloody Banjo were made by a huge studio, would it be removed from Amazon Prime? I think not. The Greasy Strangler and The Neon Demon are still available to stream on Amazon Prime. These films are just as grotesque, if not more so, than the independent works that are being targeted. What gives? It seems the industry aims to snuff out the true independent artists of the world. Troma will not stand for it.
We’ve been hearing more and more stories like Liam’s as Amazon continues to target independent filmmakers. In response to Amazon’s content restriction crusade, SRS Cinema has signed up their smash cult favorite She Kills for streaming on Troma Now. We are proud to stream this film for SRS.
So I address this to each and every filmmaker that is being choked by the fascist vertically integrated cartel and censorship mongers — Troma Entertainment's doors are open to you. Come home to Troma Now. We will showcase your art and deliver it to the world as intended, completely uncut and completely uncensored. Censorship has run amok in this world and we here in Tromaville are fighting back. Give us your poor, your gore, your crude, and your lewd! I say to the independent art and commerce community, Come home! COME HOME TO TROMA NOW! We will be a community for you!