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Is Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ Editing Out Jonathan’s Creepy Behavior in Season 1?

Jonathan takes a hit before heading to school

There’s a reason I don’t love Jonathan Byers on Netflix’s Stranger Things, and it stems from his actions in season 1. When we met him, he was looking for his brother, but he was also creepy and stalkery with Nancy Wheeler, to the point where he secretly took pictures of her in a bra. He’s since fought to make the “nice guy” routine his deal, and while it’s never really worked for me because of that first season, I’ve come around to not hate him as much as I once did.

But, as some eagle-eyed viewers have pointed out online, it seems that maybe series creators the Duffer brothers are editing out those less-than-stellar moments for Jonathan. It’s not been officially confirmed or denied, but fans are claiming that, when comparing to their physical copies of the series, in season 1 episode 2, titled “The Weirdo on Maple Street,” the actual moment when Jonathan is taking the picture was edited out, even though the picture is still important to the episode.

Now, the Stranger Things writing room has responded by sharing the following tweet:

And when a fan asked for clarification about the scene in question that fans seem to be commenting on online, the account said that the scene in question was not being altered.

The matter was thrown into question by fans as well given what the Duffer Brothers had said about “George Lucas-ing” things in the series. According to an interview with Variety, the Duffer brothers have admitted to changing things in the series in the past. “We have George Lucas’d things also that people don’t know about. You do have the physical copies though, the Blu-rays and stuff—you’d have to compare.”

All of this started because fans began pointing out that they forgot Will’s birthday in Stranger Things season 4, and so, the Duffer brothers realized it was too sad to keep it that way. “It’s too sad!” Matt Duffer said. “And it doesn’t make any narrative sense. But we were talking about it yesterday, and I think we’re going to George Lucas that.”

The North will remember

The thing is: I remember why I don’t like Jonathan Byers, and all editing like this does is make it so fights will break out about it. Whenever we start to change things that have already come out, it means that anyone who comes to the series later will have a different understanding of Jonathan Byers as a character. And while many people still did like Jonathan even after that, I didn’t, and I think changing those moments (if this is the case) just makes it so the choice of whether or not to like Jonathan is changed.

So, I am happy that this is not something that they’re changing. I’m happy that it’s the same and this was a mistake/a misremembering of the episode. Because changing something that has been pointed out as creepy for that character after the fact? It is a George Lucas move (given how he changed the Star Wars movies years after the fact), but it also sets a dangerous precedent that I’m glad isn’t really happening in this case.

Because if they have the option to, will creatives just go back and change things that fans didn’t like or complained about? Will it become a normal thing to just rewrite history, in a sense? I hope not, because all it does is cause fights among fans or back and forth over what’s the truth in these moments, and it’s not fun.

(via Cosmopolitan, featured image: Netflix)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.