CBS All Access censored an episode of The Good Fight. As far as the highly competitive streaming market is concerned, CBS’s arrival in 2014 with their All Access subscription service is a relatively new one. Home to numerous popular titles such as the Jordan Peele-led Twilight Zone reboot as well as Star Trek Discovery and Star Trek: Short Treks, the service continues to grow on an annual basis.
With so much weighing on providers to offer a well-rounded, affordable and ultimately entertaining subscription based streaming platform, the race is on to prove to consumers which service is the best. Netflix has ruled this market for years and continues to implement different strategies that they feel will keep them on top, including a promise to create more original programming than ever, as well as efforts to expand on concepts that have already proven successful with audiences, like last year’s interactive hit Bandersnatch. At this point in the ongoing evolution of streaming services, it’s safe to say that no one wants to do anything that could potentially lead customers to reconsider their subscription.
This being the case, TV Line has reported that CBS’s All Access service has gone to considerable lengths to prevent a portion of their popular series The Good Fight from airing. During a broadcast of the program’s latest episode, viewers were treated to an unexpected black screen, which read in bold white letters: “CBS Has Censored This Content”. A spokesperson for the service confirmed that CBS “had concerns with some subject matter in the episode’s animated short.”
The drama is CBS All Access’ first scripted series and follows the challenging legal world of modern day America. Tackling a variety of relevant - and often controversial subject matters, the series has just been renewed for its fourth season. With regard to the apparent censorship of the program, however, a CBS spokesperson stated that the censored content was “the creative solution that we agreed upon” – the “we” in this case being CBS and The Good Fight’s creators Robert and Michelle King. As far as knowing exactly what it was that CBS found so objectionable that it needed to be censored, it’s only clear that the content had something to do with the questionable lengths that some U.S. companies will go to in order to break into the lucrative Chinese market.
Clearly it isn’t often that viewers experience outright censorship of the programming they choose to watch. And why should it be? If CBS All Access is a paid subscription service, then viewers shouldn't have to endure missing out on any of what they’ve paid for. By doing so, All Access has marked itself as a service that's willing to censor content when they feel it’s appropriate to do so. That’s an extremely risky stance to take at a time when competition in the streaming market is reaching previously unseen levels, and any disadvantage can be the difference between success or failure.
Source: TV Line