UK-based Aardman Animations on Tuesday dropped a scene in a soon-to-be released movie after leprosy groups protested a joke.

In a scene from the film a Pirate captain lands on a ship demanding gold but is told “Afraid we don’t have any gold old man, this is a leper boat. See,” and then his arm falls off.

The film is entitled Pirates! Band of Misfits. Its UK title The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists.

A spokesman for Aardman issued a statement to leprosy group LEPRA Health in Action announcing its decision: “After reviewing the matter, we decided to change the scene out of respect and sensitivity for those who suffer from leprosy.

The last thing anyone intended was to offend anyone and it is clear to us that the right way to proceed is to honour the efforts made by organizations like LEPRA and the World Health Organization to educate the public about this disease.”

LEPRA Health In Action said it was “genuinely delighted” that Aardman changed the film.


See the scene at the 27 second mark in the trailer below: