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Poor Choice of Programming


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I was watching The Front Page this afternoon and I was apalled at the blatant overt disrespect to African American viewers. A telephone conversation ensued whereby a reporter phoning in a story referred to an African American woman as "Colored" and her newborn child as a "pickinini". It would seem like in 2009, these obnoxious commentaries would be buried with the people that made them. pparently Ted Turner still finds them to be entertaining. I don't.

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It's an unfortunate part of American history. Films didn't respect any minority races really. It's unacceptable and never should have been acceptable, but that doesn't mean that we should ban viewing/broadcasting of old movies. They're products of their times. Showing a movie that contains that kind of racism doesn't mean Ted Turner endorses it...

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Just for the record, Ted Turner doesn't have anything to do with TCM. He murged his Turner Entertainment Co. with Time-Warner a number of years ago and is no longer associated with the operation.

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*A telephone conversation ensued whereby a reporter phoning in a story referred to an African American woman as "Colored" and her newborn child as a "pickinini". It would seem like in 2009, these obnoxious commentaries would be buried with the people that made them. pparently Ted Turner still finds them to be entertaining. I don't.*

 

They are not commentaries, the examples you cite are part of the dialog of the movie. The film was made over seventy years ago when the terms used were much more in vogue and part of the every day lexicon of millions of Americans.

 

TCM's airing of the film is not an endorsement that the company shares those views of out-dated terms or slang and neither should they keep those films out of the public view just because we have become more enlightened and more sensitive to racial terms in the last seventy years.

 

Film has the power to show us as we (as a society and a country) once were and how far we have progressed as well as reminding us, sometimes, how far we still have to travel.

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The movie was from 1931. You can't apply 2009 sensibilities to a movie that is almost 80 years old. What you have to ask yourself is "Is that comment out of line for its time?" If you didn't know TCM shows all movies uncut and unedited. They show things warts and all.

 

Seen "Blazing Saddles"?

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> {quote:title=vnp wrote:}{quote}

> I was watching The Front Page this afternoon and I was apalled at the blatant overt disrespect to African American viewers. A telephone conversation ensued whereby a reporter phoning in a story referred to an African American woman as "Colored" and her newborn child as a "pickinini". It would seem like in 2009, these obnoxious commentaries would be buried with the people that made them. pparently Ted Turner still finds them to be entertaining. I don't.

 

Jews don't guard against the possibility of there being another Holocaust by sweeping memories of the last one under the rug, because they know quite well that you can't know where you're going unless you know where you've been. The very offensiveness of racial stereotyping from the past serves as a necessary object lesson of what not to do and be.

 

As for Ted Turner, irrespective of his no longer being able to call shots at Time Warner, few people have done more, through his hiring practices while running Turner Broadcasting, and legendary philanthropy, to further relations between races and nations. I think you owe him an apology.

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I'm sure, especially if you are a new viewer of TCM, that must have startled you. Just to put it in further perspective:

 

As a couple of people have already noted, TCM plays only uncut films. This is very important to many of us film fans.

 

In the evenings and weekends, when the movies are introduced by hosts, they will often make reference to such scenes in the intro/outro comments.

 

Finally, TCM periodically spends a month's theme looking closely at films that affect a particular minority, gays, African-Americans, Asians, etc., with intelligent commentary from experts explaining the evolution of the way film treatment of them evolved. By necessity, this means showing films that are examples of when people were less concerned about this. Sure, you get Richard Burton and Rex Harrison as bitchy queens in *Staircase* , Myrna Loy as a murderous Asian exotic in *13 Women* , and Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland in blackface in *Babes on Broadway* , but we are shown how things have changed.

 

You can accuse TCM of many things (and many do), but insensitivity isn't one of them. I don't know any other network that would program entire months of films, with commentary, about varying minority groups.

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> {quote:title=vnp wrote:}{quote}

> I was watching The Front Page this afternoon and I was apalled at the blatant overt disrespect to African American viewers. A telephone conversation ensued whereby a reporter phoning in a story referred to an African American woman as "Colored" and her newborn child as a "pickinini". It would seem like in 2009, these obnoxious commentaries would be buried with the people that made them. pparently Ted Turner still finds them to be entertaining. I don't.

 

I'm new here and probably don't have any business in this business, but I don't see why you should be attacked for your take on this issue. If you found it offensive, that's a good thing, but as someone stated, it is just part of our American film history. Sure that scene can probably be edited out, and I have no doubt there are many others out there who feel it should be, but just try to understand it was what it was for the time and to edit it out of the film would be unfair for some of the sound reasons given. We can use such scenes to gauge where we were as a society back them and see just how much or how little progress we've made since then.

 

Don't dismiss TCM for this, it's a great station to get to see some great acting and movie making, for all their politically incorrect boo-boos and taboos. To shut it off now, you'll also miss out on movies made to lash out against race and religious bigotry that had a great impact on society. If you get a chance watch Gentelman's Agreement.

 

Hang in there and give them another chance. :-)

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Movies reflects the time period they were made in. If something that small upsets you, then whatever you do *DON'T* watch "The Jazz Singer" and "The Singing Kid"! (or the Shirley Temple short "Kid in Africa" - LOL).

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I wonder if Encore Westerns Channel got any flack for recently running ROUND-UP TIME IN TEXAS. A bizarre Autry oater that has Gene and Frog (Smiley Burnette) travelling to Africa. They get kidnapped by cannibals and Frog pretends to be a witch doctor and teaches the kids (actually the very talented vocal group The Cabin Kids) to sing rhythm. Not a single socially redeeming quality or justifiable excuse but very funny. I'm sure the Professionally Sensitive (and even the citizen-sensitive) would shake their heads clear off.

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"Film has the power to show us as we (as a society and a country) once were and how far we have progressed as well as reminding us, sometimes, how far we still have to travel." -lzcutter

 

I'm with you on that. It's sometimes tough to see & hear, but I always realize that the films were of their time. God knows how future generations will see us.

 

I say TCM ROCKS!!! Uncut films...no matter what.

 

An aside: I like seeing the TCMWebAdmin step in. Yippee!!! Drive-byes should be on notice now.

 

Yea!!! :P

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I am includiing this small 'addendum' to include the fact that I began this post when the person to whom I am replying had the most recent post on the thread. It sat, partially written for quite a whille, as I had to keep getting up to see to this and that. I see, of course, that I have basically only reiterated the feelings of other posters whose comments appeared in the interim, so I apologize for any redundance,!! P

 

As you say, films with this sort of occasional content are a part of film history - as they were in actual history However - and ufortunately, I feel - scripts are still being wriiten whereby (and preumably in the interest of 'realism', rather than the existence of profound ignorance and lack of basic respect) some characters will still use the 'n' word in a deragatory fashion (as opposed to one black addressing or referring to another, in a non-contentious manner), Other racial slurs can also commonly be heard uttered, about every ethnic, religious, racial group, as lines written to indicate the nasty nature of the character who is excpressing gthe 'sentiments' in question.

 

A lot of crummy things represent us throughout the social history of human beings. The hope is, however, that such ignorance is diminished through evolution and education, and the genuine and heartfelt realization that these behaviours are WRONG. Hopefully, too, we are constantly and consistently moving AWAY from the notion that these verbal expressions of 'negative separateness'. are 'OK;, regardless of context. Our children, as they have always, are learning from US. However, I do not feel that we should stop showing these films, or attempt to selectively edit that type of content. That would be censorship, first of all, and secondly, to deny our history - either real or representational - would not only be futile, but dishonest as well.

 

LOL, Off my soapbox, now!

 

Pia.................................................................

 

Message was edited by: Pia

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I didn't read your previous (deleted) post, but if this one is any indication of the tone of it I'm not surprised.

 

FYI, no one posting on these boards can delete anything. TCM has administrators who go over the boards and delete posts that violate the Terms of Service.

 

So it's doubtful that you hurt anyone's widdow feewings and more likely that TCM felt you weren't expressing yourself in a reasonable way.

 

Betcha they come up with the same conclusion now.

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