Why Was There An Online Controversy Over Harley Quinn's Shorts In Suicide Squad?

Much has already been said about the edits that were made with David Ayer's "Suicide Squad," as Warner Bros. went into reshoots attempting to add levity and humor to the script after "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" was criticized for its dark and somber tone. Ayer has been quite vocal about his unhappiness with the edits that were made, and since Warner Bros. has not (and should not) #ReleaseTheAyerCut, so to speak, the extent of the changes that were made will never truly be known by the general public. Fans have long debated the scope of the edits that were made, but none were debated as heavily or as intensely as the length of the hot pants worn by Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn.

Fans went into "Suicide Squad" knowing that there had been major changes made thanks to reshoots ordered by the studio, so many watched the film as eagle-eyed as possible. It didn't take long for controversy to arise, after the website Bleeding Cool posted a side-by-side comparison of Harley Quinn in the trailers compared to the final product. As it would appear, the hot pants Robbie wore looked a bit longer in the trailers than they did in the final product, leading many to believe that one of the edits Warner Bros. made was in digitally showing off more of Robbie's rear.

Did a Major Studio Really Digitally Alter An Actress' Butt Cleavage?!

People immediately assumed that Robbie's costume had been digitally altered to be more revealing for the film, perhaps in an attempt to titillate the likely predominately-male audience base. Robbie was asked about it constantly by journalists during the press tour for the film, and there were rightfully a lot of angry fans calling it misogynist. There was only one problem, the shorter version of the shorts were the original look, and the only editing Warner Bros. had done was adding length to them for trailer spots,  as that much cheek may have been deemed "offensive" or at least inappropriate for daytime advertisement.

The truth came out when people who had attended the Hall H presentation at San Diego Comic-Con in 2016 were able to correctly identify that the sizzle reel shown to fans which also featured the trailer shot of Harley Quinn walking away from the camera had the original tiny shorts on display. The controversy quickly subsided when the new information was made available, which prompted many to pivot their thoughts to why the hot pants were so damn short to begin with. Robbie was personally not a huge fan of the original Harley Quinn look, stating in multiple interviews that the costume made her feel self-conscious. Fortunately, both "Birds of Prey" and James Gunn's "The Suicide Squad" had completely different Harley Quinn costumes, no butt cleavage necessary.