A controversial episode will only be half as long in India.
We’re not even halfway through the first season of "The Grand Tour" and it’s already managed to stir up copious amounts of controversy. A scene showing how to smuggle migrants into the UK didn’t go down too well, and PETA is furious over an insensitive depiction of animals. The animal rights organization didn’t find scenes with Clarkson parading a car constructed out of animal carcasses very amusing. Now The Telegraph is reporting that Amazon plans to heavily censor the episode that drew PETA's ire in order to not offend the Indian market.
The original episode ran for an hour, but with the edits that running time will drop to around 30 minutes. Censorship isn’t uncommon in India: sex scenes are often blurred out or completely cut. However, the butchering of this episode seems a bit excessive. The environmental car challenge must have been removed in its entirety, but viewers won't miss much in all honesty. The Telegraph said that Amazon received complaints about the censorship, calling it “heavy handed.” However, Amazon has defended the action, saying that the cuts were made with “Indian cultural sensitivities in mind” as cows are seen as sacred animals in some communities.
“Amazon is a responsible company and we are here to entertain the Indian customer with award-winning content from the US along with blockbusters from Indian and regional makers," the company told Mashable in a statement. "We will keep Indian cultural sensitivities in mind while offering this content to customers.” At any rate, censoring content probably won’t reduce the number of people desperately downloading "The Grand Tour" illegally. To us this makes sense but we'd love to know what Clarkson, Hammond and May feel. The trio seemed to love the idea of working for Amazon because of all the freedom they would have. Granted India is just one market but it's a big one and censorship is still censorship even on a small scale.
That being said, Amazon should continue censoring "The Grand Tour," but only certain bits. Feel free to cut out the next few Celebrity Brain Crash bits and test drives featuring the American. If you ask us those segments are much more offensive than anything that Clarkson and company could ever say or do.