by WorldTribune Staff, May 14, 2019
Could classic movies and newer flicks which trigger the ire of the politically correct be banned from theaters or pulled from home video and streaming services?
Actually, “it’s already being done,” an entertainment industry analyst says.
Two years ago, a Memphis theater canceled a screening of the 1939 classic “Gone with the Wind” because of its “insensitive” content, Christian Toto noted in an op-ed for The Hill.
Disney’s Oscar-winning “Song of the South” won’t be seen on the company’s forthcoming streaming platform. Why? “The 1946 film’s antiquated, and some say racist, portrayal of black life turned the movie into cultural poison,” Toto wrote. “It’s never made it to home video, and that’s unlikely to change in the near future.”
For the woke, triggered Left, Toto noted, “It’s currently in vogue to tear down statues that don’t align with current groupthink. So why would pop culture artifacts be spared?”
Classic films “and the stars who made them great” are now “seen through the PC prism,” Toto noted. “Just ask the estate of John Wayne. The legendary star got pummeled a few months ago, decades after his passing, for a racially insensitive Playboy interview in 1971. Some critics demanded that his name be stripped from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif.”
Singer Kate Smith’s film career “is dwarfed by her radio, TV and stage accomplishments. Yet Smith’s recording of two 1930s songs deemed racist convinced two professional sports teams — the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Flyers — to strip her iconic rendition of ‘God Bless America’ from their programming,” Toto noted.
It’s easy to imagine the triggered “attempting to do something similar to films that don’t mirror today’s cultural mores,” Toto wrote. “Molly Ringwald, who brought some of John Hughes’s best films to life, turned on her collaborator last year, saying that his films weren’t ‘woke’ enough in our ‘Me Too’ era.”
Ringwald’s starring turns in Hughes films primarily hit theaters in the 1980s.
So what about older films? “Would any modern studio greenlight 1974’s ‘Blazing Saddles’, the Mel Brooks farce teeming with racial and sexual humor?” Toto wondered.
“What about James Bond’s early adventures, in which 007 treated female characters in a sexist fashion? Even a comedy classic such as 1959’s ‘Some Like It Hot’, featuring two men dressed in drag, could be insensitive given modern mores.”
More recently, when comedian Louis C.K. “admitted to pleasuring himself in front of a series of women without their consent, he lost more than his FX series ‘Louie’, Toto noted. “HBO announced it had expunged all C.K.-related programming from its service, including stand-up specials and his series ‘Lucky Louie.’ ”
After his MeToo moment hit, Louis C.K.’s 2017 film “I Love You, Daddy” never hit theaters. The film can’t be found on home video or streaming outlets, despite rave reviews from its festival run. The film’s star, Chloe Grace Moretz, even argued against the film’s release. “I think it should just kind of go away, honestly,” the millennial actress told the press.
“Her age matters,” Toto wrote, “because her peers represent a potent part of the PC movement. Just ask any conservative speaker chased off campus by students frightened by unfamiliar viewpoints.”
Toto points out that “One highly controversial film, and its collective shunning, predates the current PC mania. The 1915 drama ‘Birth of a Nation’ glorified the KKK and dehumanized black slaves, among other revolting elements. Cultural critics marvel at some of its artistic achievements, given the technical constraints of the era, but its content makes any public display cultural dynamite.
“Is that the best way to deal with art? Wouldn’t a screening of the film, followed by an informed dialogue on its place in culture and how the real KKK used it as a recruiting tool, be more illuminating? Audiences could process the material on their own terms along with the vital context,” Toto wrote.
“Context,” Toto noted, is “the key word missing from PC-themed conversations. Without it, PC scolds too often win the day.”