Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode #20 aired last night on ABC. Astute Bitcoiners posted to Reddit shortly after the show to share a small gem: A barely identifiable Bitcoin logo that clearly belongs to the classic “Bitcoin Accepted Here” sticker that many merchants around the world have opted to use. The sticker shown is located on the window of Spring Street Smokehouse BBQ in Los Angeles, CA, where the Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. scene was shot. In the real universe, the BBQ joint has been accepting Bitcoin for some time; unfortunately, in the Marvel Universe, the word ‘Bitcoin’ has been intentionally censored. In contrast, DC Comics recently featured bitcoins as an ancillary part of the plot in Catwoman #30.
[dropcap size=small]T[/dropcap]he screen capture below clearly shows two fliers placed on the outside of the Spring Street Smokehouse BBQ window to cover up the part of the “Bitcoin Accepted Here” sign that say “Bitcoin” and “Here.” While shooting the scene pictured above, the actress was intentionally placed in front of the “Bitcoin Accepted Here” portion of the sign. In the shots that did not allow that, fliers were intentionally put up to avoid an unintentional advertisement of Bitcoin on ABC. However, Bitcoiners have no idea exactly who or from where this decision came. It could have come from ABC, from Joss Whedon, from Marvel, or even from Disney. If ABC or the FCC were involved, the covering of “Bitcoin” the word, and also the logo, would have been done digitally, as is usually the case for greeked logos. It is most likely that the decision was made on the set. All we know for sure is that the censorship happened.
In Television, blatant logos that have not been approved by the broadcasting company are usually “greeked” out during editing, not poorly covered up during filming. A famous example of this occurs in Two and a Half men. In one of the first episodes where Ashton Kutcher replaces Charlie Sheen, Kutcher is seen with a laptop adorned with stickers from organizations such as Chegg and foursquare. Conveniently, all the stickers on the back of Kutcher’s laptop were his own portfolio companies that he has invested millions into. CBS officially chastised the actor for his actions, but Kutcher “played dumb.” The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) tightly regulates these types of advertisements within television shows. Companies that have paid to have their logo prominently featured within a scene are supposed to be disclosed in the credits. However, it is impossible to “greek out” every Visa or Mastercard logo and many, many things often slip through the cracks. For a more historical timeline of different sorts of TV censorship, check out this list by Mental_Floss.
Indeed, the Bitcoin logo is still visible; however, the general populace is unfamiliar with the orange Bitcoin logo, and of course there are also those that wish to change that classic Bitcoin logo to something else. If Marvel ever responded to these allegations, they might claim that the B is a new sign for Baron Zemo or Baron Strucker… Or Black Widow… Or Blackheart. However, Marvel certainly won’t claim that the B represents the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Blob, or Banshee… Since the X-Men universe has been transplanted out of the Marvel universe and into the Twentieth Century FOX universe, at least on the screen. Conversely, maybe the Bitcoin logo was intentionally left visible by someone ordered to cover up the loaded word, “Bitcoin,” on the set, just so we could have this discussion.
Last modified (UTC): April 30, 2014 20:57