The 34’th annual showing of the “Gone With the Wind” is Canceled for racism. The Orpheum theatre in Memphis, Tennessee canceled the showing after receiving many “Racist” and “Insensitive” comments about the film.
The film, made in 1939, takes place at a southern plantation during the Civil War and Reconstruction time periods. It focuses around the life of the southern belle Scarlett O’Hara. Due to the film taking place during the civil war and depicting the life in the south at the time, the film does contain items that could be considered racist. However, are we to simply erase history from film? Are we to not depict things in film that could be considered sensitive?
What’s your opinion on the matter? Tell us below in the comments.
The Orpheum Theatre made the following statement about the matter:
While title selections for the series are typically made in the spring of each year, the Orpheum has made this determination early in response to specific inquiries from patrons. The Orpheum appreciates feedback on its programming from all members of the mid-south community. The recent screening of Gone With the Wind at the Orpheum on Friday, August 11, 2017, generated numerous comments. The Orpheum carefully reviewed all of them.
The film was pulled from the schedule due to the material being “Insensitive” or “racist”. The film had been shown annually for over 34 years and was somewhat of a tradition for the Orpheum. It seems the reason for them pulling he film comes after a Facebook post from the Orpheum’s screening this month.
Someone deemed the film “racist” and another patron stated:
“Slowly but surely, we will rid this community of all tributes of white supremacy”
The film, having won eight Academy Awards, is a classic . It was the film adaption from the book. In the book, it stated the “N” word around 65 times. However, in the film adaption – the film’s producer David O. Selznick, actually went out of his way to avoid offense. He would not allow the “N” word in the film and consulted with black leaders to ensure the film would not be offensive.
David O. Selznick, being a Jew, was aware of sensitivities at the time with the events occurring during the 1930’s in Europe. As such, he wanted to ensure that his film would be entertaining, not offensive to anyone, but a somewhat real depiction of the time era and region the film is set in. The actress who played the house servant, Hattie McDaniel, actually won an Academy Award for her role, and became the first African American to do so!
One thing is for sure: If you fail to learn your history, you’ll be dammed to repeat it.
Once again, we now leave this open for your views on the matter. Was the Theatre right in pulling the film, or was this a case of over-sensitivity? You opinions matter, so let your voice be heard!
Author - David Mann Title Photo Credit: "Gone With The Wind (1939) - Vivien Leigh & Hattie McDaniel", © 2014 Rossano aka Bud Care, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio