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Steven Spielberg Reveals His Biggest 'Regret' About Catering To Censorship With 'E.T.' Re-Edit

The famed director opened up at 'Time' Magazine's 100 Summit about his decision to edit guns out of a scene of his 1982 classic for its 20th anniversary cut.

Steven Spielberg with E.T.
Mark Sennet/Getty Images

Steven Spielberg recently appeared at Time's 100 Summit and revealed his greatest "regret" regarding his 1982 classic E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

The legendary director shared he believes editing guns from a scene in the film was a "mistake."

The scene in reference showed officers chasing a group of children while wielding firearms, but for the 20th-anniversary release of the film, Spielberg had the guns replaced with walkie-talkies.

At the time of the edit, Spielberg admitted his evolving views sparked the change, as he was "sensitive to the fact" that children were being chased with firearms.

While Spielberg still holds the same beliefs, he admits he shouldn't have changed the film.

"That was a mistake. I never should have done that because 'E.T.' is a product of its era."
"'E.T.' was a film that I was sensitive to the fact that the federal agents were approaching kids with firearms exposed, and I thought I would change the guns into walkie-talkies..."
"Years went by, and I changed my own views."
"I should have never messed with the archives of my own work, and I don't recommend anyone do that."

Spielberg explained:

"All our movies are a kind of a signpost of where we were when we made them, what the world was like, and what the world was receiving when we got those stories out there."
"So I really regret having that out there."

You can watch Spielberg reveal his "mistake" below.

Viewers of the clip agreed with Spielberg's notion that the scene should have remained as it was originally.

Just last month, Spielberg admitted to Stephen Colbert he believes E.T. is "a pretty perfect movie."

He explained:

"It's one of the few movies I've made that I can look back and look at again and again."

A classic, indeed.