In an interview with Andy Cohen on Monday, Armie Hammer revealed that his scrotum was digitally removed from the scenes in Call Me By Your Name in which his character wears “short shorts.” Director Luca Guadagnino said they needed “a lot of visual effects” to scrub them from the film, much to Cohen’s delight.
“There was a few times where they had to go back and digitally remove my balls from the movie, yeah,” Hammer added. “They were short shorts. What’re you gonna do?”
There is very little to this story (in one sense, at least), and the entire anecdote could be encapsulated by a very simple headline. Take, for example, the one used by SiriusXM on the YouTube clip above: “Armie Hammer’s balls had to be Digitally removed from ‘Call Me by Your Name.’”
But that kind of detail is apparently too scandalous for Time Inc. publications People and Entertainment Weekly. Their stories on the matter were given headlines that quiver with shame—in which the very idea of a scrotum is something that should never be spoken, and if so, only whispered while no more than two inches away from someone’s ear.
While I could understand a publication’s hesitance to use slang like “balls,” “nuts,” “bollocks,” or “big ol’ baby-makin’ knackers” in a headline, the avoidance of biological terms is utterly baffling. Who are they trying to protect with that childish terminology, and—seeing as how there’s a video of Hammer and Cohen openly talking about “big balls” embedded in the piece—what in the world do they think those theoretical scrotumphobes are being saved from?
Armie Hammer’s dangling scrotum was digitally removed from Call Me By Your Name in post-production. That’s funny! It’s also a perfectly acceptable as a headline.