Why did Amazon remove this documentary about an anti-Trump protest beer?

A bartender pouring a glass of 5 Rabbit’s controversial beer
A bartender pouring a glass of 5 Rabbit’s controversial beer
Screenshot: One City Films (Fair Use)

When the Chicago-area brewery 5 Rabbit Cerveceria created a beer to protest Donald Trump’s infamous, discriminatory campaign announcement, it caused quite a stir. The beer, Chinga Tu Pelo (“Fuck Your Hair”), was seen as a potent (and popular) form of protest, and it brought the brewery national attention. That story has since been told in the documentary F*** Your Hair, which, for mysterious reasons, was abruptly deplatformed from Amazon Prime in early August.

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The film, directed by Jason Polevoi, details how 5 Rabbit Cervezeria helped to establish itself by creating the house beer for the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, prior to the start of Trump’s initial campaign for the presidency. When the Latinx-owned brewery learned that Trump had referred to immigrants from Mexico as drug users, criminals, and rapists, it decided to back out of its lucrative contract, and renamed the unsold house beer as “Chinga Tu Madre.” While Chinga Tu Madre proved to be the fastest selling beer in 5 Rabbit’s history, it was quickly renamed “Chinga Tu Pelo” after someone commented that the original name was misogynistic.

According to Polevoi, it’s not entirely clear why, or even when, Amazon decided to remove the film from its streaming platform, as neither he nor his production company, One City Films, were informed that there was any kind of issue. Polevoi wrote to us via email to explain the issue:

We had a 5-star review of the film on June 20th and then I noticed the film was missing on August 4th. We contacted Amazon through our distributor and received the following message, “We are always listening to customer feedback and iterating on their behalf. Customer feedback (including but not limited to a combination of star reviews, customer reviews, and/or customer viewing behavior) has indicated that this title does not meet our customer content quality expectations. As a result, all offers (“Included with Prime”, Buy, and Rent) have been removed. We will not be accepting resubmission of impacted titles. This will not impact any royalties accrued through the date it was removed and will follow standard payment timelines.”

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The abrupt removal of the film is odd, given that it has an unblemished 5-star rating on Amazon, and that its subject matter—the personal and professional ramifications of protesting against Donald Trump—remain timely and relevant. We’ve reached out to Amazon to ask for additional details about why it was deplatformed, and if the removal was politically motivated, due to its criticism of Donald Trump. In the meantime, those interested in watching the personable and entertaining 38-minute short film can find it on Vimeo.

Jacob Dean is a food and travel writer and psychologist based in New York. He likes beer, less traveled airports, and is allergic to grasshoppers (the insect, not the mixed drink.)

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DISCUSSION

Fun little side note:
Mrs. Skipp and I have been to the tap room a number of times (great beer, BTW) and we enjoyed the beer enough that we bought a number of 6-packs to take home with us on one of the trips.

When the hot sack of shit won in 2016 we still had one can left - it went in the back of the fridge under the proviso that we’d drink it once he left office - one way or the other. Here it is: