The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said Thursday that a TV version of the Christmas movie "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York," which erased a cameo from President Donald Trump, was edited years before Trump became president.
The Trump-free version of the 1992 film, which aired on the CBC this month, stoked outrage among conservative and pro-Trump media sources — including the popular Fox News morning show "Fox & Friends," from which Trump regularly quotes guests.
Trump himself weighed in later Thursday, appearing to blame Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his removal from the TV cut of the film.
He added: "The movie will never be the same! (just kidding)"
The president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., pushed the story on Twitter, as well.
Chuck Thompson, head of public affairs at the CBC, said in a statement that the edits to the film "were done in 2014 when we first acquired the film and before Mr. Trump was elected president."
Trump announced his winning White House bid in 2015, and was not inaugurated until January 2017.
"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."
A total of eight minutes were cut from the film for the television edit, Thompson told CNBC. Often broadcasters will shave inappropriate or inconsequential moments from films in order to have more time to place advertisements.
In the brief scene, main character Kevin, played by a young Macaulay Culkin, asks Trump for directions to the lobby of Manhattan's famous Plaza Hotel, which Trump had bought in 1988.
"Down the hall and to the left," Trump responds.
In a Christmas Eve video conference Tuesday with members of the U.S. military from his Palm Beach, Florida, club Mar-a-Lago, Trump was asked by a serviceman if "Home Alone 2" was his favorite holiday movie.
"Well I'm in 'Home Alone 2,'" Trump said. "A lot of people mention it every year, especially around Christmas. It's been a good movie and I was a little bit younger, to put it mildly. And it was an honor to do it."
According to some showbiz luminaries, Trump would demand cameos in movies that featured his properties. Director Adam McKay said last year that he filmed a Trump cameo for his 2010 comedy "The Other Guys" because it featured Trump Tower. McKay said he cut the Trump scene because it was "too cheeseball." Actors Matt Damon and Chris O'Donnell had previously shared anecdotes about a similar Trump quid pro quo.
Disney acquired 20th Century Fox's film and television divisions earlier this year in a deal worth $71 billion. Included in that deal was the "Home Alone" franchise. While the CBC has broadcasting rights for the film, Disney is now its owner.
Representatives for Disney were not immediately available to comment.