Canada cuts Trump from cameo role in 'Home Alone 2'
President jokes Trudeau behind decision to axe him from movie
For a president who prides himself on his media mastery, it was the ultimate insult.
Donald Trump's brief cameo in 'Home Alone 2: Lost in New York' had ended up on the cutting room floor when broadcast in Canada over Christmas.
The president made his displeasure clear on his favourite medium, Twitter. Mr Trump joked that the edit must have been revenge from Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, who was caught on a microphone mocking him at a reception at Buckingham Palace earlier this year.
"The movie will never be the same! (just kidding)," Mr Trump tweeted. "I guess Justin T doesn't much like my making him pay up on Nato or trade!"
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The film was also shown by Channel 4 on Christmas Day but, fortunately for transatlantic relations, Mr Trump's scene was retained for British viewers.
Canada's national broadcaster defended cutting Mr Trump's cameo, in which he gave directions to Macaulay Culkin's character, Kevin McCallister, in a hotel lobby.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) said it had edited the film in 2014, two years before Mr Trump's election victory, in order to cut the running time. Supporters of Mr Trump were angry at the edit. His son, Donald Jr, retweeted an article describing the move as "pathetic" while a presenter on the conservative-leaning Fox News show 'Fox & Friends' said it was "censorship".
But Chuck Thompson, head of public affairs at CBC, said: "As is often the case with feature films adapted for television, 'Home Alone 2' was edited for time. The scene with Donald Trump was one of several that were cut from the movie as none of them was integral to the plot."
Earlier this month, Mr Trump called the Canadian prime minister "two-faced" after video emerged of Mr Trudeau appearing to mock him at a Nato summit alongside Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron.
Before becoming president, Mr Trump (73) made frequent appearances on screen. On Christmas Eve, he told US troops overseas it was an "honour" to appear in 'Home Alone 2'. According to CNN, Mr Trump was asked about his favourite Christmas film and replied: "Well I'm in 'Home Alone 2'. A lot of people mention it every year, especially around Christmas. They say - especially young kids - they say, 'I just saw you on the movie'. They don't see me on television as they do in the movie. But it's been a good movie and I was a little younger, to put it mildly. And it was an honour to do it."
In the film, Kevin is forgotten by his family and struggles to navigate the gilded New York hotel where he ends up staying for Christmas. He stops Mr Trump to ask him how to get to the lobby, to which Mr Trump says "down the hall and to the left". The real estate mogul had bought The Plaza Hotel in New York, the setting of many movie scenes, including several in 'Home Alone 2', at the start of the nineties.