Steven Spielberg Says He Softened Lesbian Sex in  

BY Jeremy Kinser

December 05 2011 1:11 PM ET

 Steven Spielberg says he "was the wrong director to acquit some of the more sexually honest encounters between Shug and Celie" in The Color Purple, during an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

The 1985 film adaptation of Alice Walker's acclaimed novel gave Spielberg an opportunity to stretch from blockbusters such as Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and E.T. that cemented his reputation as the most successful filmmaker of all time. He now addresses the criticism he received for directing the African-American story and admits to softening the lesbian relationship in his adaptation of The Color Purple to a single kiss.

"There were certain things in the [lesbian] relationship between Shug Avery and Celie that were very finely detailed in Alice's book, that I didn't feel we could get a [PG-13] rating," Spielberg tells EW's Anthony Breznican. "And I was shy about it. In that sense, perhaps I was the wrong director to acquit some of the more sexually honest encounters between Shug and Celie, because I did soften those. I basically took something that was extremely erotic and very intentional, and I reduced it to a simple kiss. I got a lot of criticism for that."

Asked if he'd do it differently now, Spielberg says, "I wouldn't, no. That kiss is consistent with the tonality, from beginning to end, of The Color Purple that I adapted."





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