TORONTO — President Donald Trump this week described “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York City” — a 1992 film in which he makes a cameo appearance — as a “big Christmas hit, one of the biggest” and an “honor to be involved in.”
“A lot of people mention it every year, especially around Christmas,” Trump told military troops in a Christmas Eve teleconference call from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. “They say, ‘I just saw you,’ especially young kids. They say, ‘I just saw you on the movie.'”
But north of the 49th parallel, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. has viewed the president’s seconds-long appearance in the sequel to the 1990 Christmas classic as so unimportant to the film’s plot that it has for several years been cutting it from the version that it broadcasts on Canadian television to fit the time slot.
The omission of the cameo from a CBC broadcast this month was noticed by several viewers, who were quick to label it as politically motivated censorship. Their complaints ricocheted Thursday on social media and in the right-wing blogosphere.
Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, tweeted a link to an article describing the cut as “pathetic.” The panel from Fox News’s morning show “Fox and Friends” also took the matter up.
“How bad is your Trump Derangement Syndrome for you to cut that out of a happy movie?” co-host Ed Henry asked Thursday.
But if the outrage is new, the edits are not, the CBC said.
Chuck Thompson, head of public affairs for the public broadcaster, said in an email that the scene was first cut when the CBC acquired the film in 2014, when Trump was best known as a real estate developer and reality television host. Trump announced his campaign for president in 2015, and was elected in 2016.
“As is often the case with feature films adapted for television, ‘Home Alone 2’ was edited for time,” Thompson said. “The scene with Donald Trump was one of several that were cut from the movie as none of them were integral to the plot.”
The film concerns the adventures of 10-year-old Kevin McAllister, played by Macauley Culkin, after he boards the wrong plane and ends up in Manhattan while the rest of his family heads to Florida.
He walks into the Plaza Hotel and stares around in wide-eyed amazement at the New York City landmark, before bumping into Trump, then the hotel’s real-life owner.
He asks for directions to the lobby.
“Down the hall and to the left,” the future president replies.
The movie, which aired in Canada on Dec. 15, earned more than $359 million worldwide. Reminiscing about his cameo before the troops, Trump said, “I was a little bit younger, to put it mildly.”
Trump bought the landmark on the southeast corner of Central Park — the site of writer Truman Capote’s legendary black-and-white ball — for more than $400 million in 1988, an unprecedented sum for a hotel at the time. He sold it in 1995 for an $83 million loss.
Trump is an extremely unpopular figure in Canada, a historically close U.S. ally on which the president has imposed steel and aluminum tariffs, and whose prime minister he has called “very dishonest,” “weak” and “two-faced.”
During Canada’s federal election campaign this year, party leaders tried to smear their rivals with comparisons to Trump. Elizabeth May, the former Green Party leader, told The Washington Post that “nothing makes me feel like a loyal Canadian who will stand up for a Canadian prime minister of any stripe like the idea of Donald Trump attacking them.”
Canadians pay close attention to U.S. politics, and news of Trump’s impeachment was splashed across the front pages of several Canadian newspapers. A poll this month from Abacus Data found that some 60 percent of Canadians would impeach Trump — and remove him from office.