Why on Earth is the president of the United States of America on Twitter whining about a Canadian television cut of Home Alone 2?
It was just a few long years ago that we might have asked that question in utter bewilderment. But in the dying days of 2019, such an event passed with much of the public giving little more than a shoulder shrug and a head shake.
“I guess Justin T doesn’t much like my making him pay up on NATO or Trade!,” Donald Trump wrote on social media yesterday (December 26).
“The movie will never be the same! (just kidding),” he added in a subsequent Twitter post.
Both messages were in response to a Fox News story that claimed the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) had edited a television cut of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York to omit a short appearance Trump makes in the 1992 movie’s theatrical release.
The U.S. president appears to believe that the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, personally intervened in the editing of a marginally enjoyable holiday film to remove a political colleague with whom he’s rumoured to not exactly see eye to eye. Or maybe Trump was joking. But how does the leader of the free world have time to watch Fox News and fool around on Twitter? Which of the two is less concerning?
Regardless, the diplomatic spat (or whatever this is), which appears to have originated with a post on a website called ComicBooks.com, quickly attracted enough attention to actually require a response from CBC.
The seven seconds that constitute Trump’s cameo in Home Alone 2 were not cut specifically because they include Trump, CBC explained. The segment was cut alongside a number of other sections in order to make time for commercials (a routine process that most films undergo when they’re prepared for broadcast on television cable networks).
What’s more, CBC spokesperson Chuck Thompson somehow found himself forced to explain, the Trump-less cut of Home Alone 2 that CBC aired during the 2019 holiday season was actually edited for television back in 2014. Trump was removed from this version of the film a full two years before he was elected president and transformed into the black hole for controversy and every sort of attention that he exists as today.
In preparing the movie for Canadian television viewers, CBC removed a total of eight minutes, Thompson said. And so there were quite a few other seconds of Home Alone 2 that Canadians missed in addition to the seven that featured Trump.
"As is often the case with feature films adapted for television, Home Alone 2 was edited for time," Thompson told CBC News. "The scene with Donald Trump was one of several that were cut from the movie as none of them were integral to the plot. These edits were done in 2014, when we first acquired the film and before Mr. Trump was elected president."
The short cameo has been of some importance to Trump for many years.
Filmmakers wanted to shoot the scene starring Macaulay Culkin at the Plaza Hotel, a New York City building that Trump owned at the time.
The real-estate mogul agreed to give the filmmakers permission to record on his property, but with one condition: that he receive a cameo.
Trump placed a similar requirement on the critically acclaimed Al Pacino movie Scent of a Woman, which shot scenes at the same Plaza Hotel, the Hollywood Reporter revealed in 2017.
“The deal was that if you wanted to shoot in one of his buildings, you had to write him in a part,” actor Matt Damond told the publication. “[Director] Martin Brest had to write something in Scent of a Woman.
“You have to waste an hour of your day with a bullshit shot: Donald Trump walks in and Al Pacino’s like, ‘Hello, Mr. Trump!’,” Damond continued. “You had to call him by name. And then he exits. You waste a little time so that you can get the permit, and then you can cut the scene out. But I guess in Home Alone 2 they left it in.”