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Check in if you think TCM should keep GONE WITH THE WIND off the schedule


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GONE WITH THE WIND aired on TCM in February 2020 as part of 31 Days of Oscar. Previously it had aired in December 2019.

According to MovieCollector's database, it has been broadcast 61 times on TCM. It may have been the very first film TCM aired back in 1994, because it was the main reason Ted Turner had acquired the MGM/UA library. Was Ted Turner a racist? Not sure.

But I am sure that unless a proper host (a scholar like Cornel West) is brought on to do the wraparounds, this film should remain off the schedule.

If you agree, please post on the thread to let the programmers know this film is no longer acceptable for casual viewing.

Thank you!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornel_West

Screen Shot 2020-06-10 at 12.43.40 PM

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1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

GONE WITH THE WIND aired on TCM in February 2020 as part of 31 Days of Oscar. Previously it had aired in December 2019.

According to MovieCollector's database, it has been broadcast 61 times on TCM. It may have been the very first film TCM aired back in 1994, because it was the main reason Ted Turner had acquired the MGM/UA library. Was Ted Turner a racist? Not sure.

But I am sure that unless a proper host (a scholar like Cornel West) is brought on to do the wraparounds, this film should remain off the schedule.

If you agree, please post on the thread to let the programmers know this film is no longer acceptable for casual viewing.

Thank you!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornel_West

Screen Shot 2020-06-10 at 12.43.40 PM

Hopefully TCM will ask the TCM insiders this question in the next survey.

For the record I believe TCM should  show GWTW without any commentary.    

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5 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Hopefully TCM will ask the TCM insiders this question in the next survey.

For record I believe TCM should  show GWTW without any commentary.    

I don't think that's possible. The film has become a huge elephant in the room.

It would be like inviting Hitler to dinner and acting like he's just a regular guest. Something would have to be said.

If they can keep SONG OF THE SOUTH off the schedule, they can keep GONE WITH THE WIND off the schedule.

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Why in the world would Gone with the Wind be any less appropriate for casual viewing than many other films shown regularly on TCM?  What about all of the films with blackface musical numbers (e.g. Yankee Doodle Dandy, Swing Time, Babes on Broadway)?  What about all of the Westerns that depict Native Americans as savages?  What about films in which Asian characters are played by white actors in yellow face?  What about films that casually depict acts that would now be construed as sexual assault?  What about films that depict black servants or slaves as perfectly happy and content with their servitude (e.g. virtually every Hattie McDaniel movie).  MUCH of what is shown on TCM is politically incorrect, outdated, and potentially offensive to 21st-century social attitudes.  Why single out one film as the sacrificial lamb?

There is no reason why Gone with the Wind needs to be either removed or viewed strictly within an educational context.  The Birth of a Nation is one of the few films I would say deserves that treatment, and only because it's a movie that actively asks its audience to view black people as naturally inferior and to cheer on the Ku Klux Klan.  It's a film very much on the level of Nazi propaganda -- of historical significance but potentially dangerous without context.  Gone with the Wind and the films I mentioned above are reflective of attitudes that (should be) outdated but are not actively dangerous.

I would argue that this film is NOT a "huge elephant in the room" to anyone except a very vocal subset of the Twitter-verse.  I know many people who are fiercely liberal and have no problem with Gone with the Wind being viewed as causal entertainment and even enjoy it themselves.  They are also smart enough to recognize what aspects of it are re-written history and can process that information without needing it spoon-fed to them.  Now, am I saying that there should never be scholarly commentary on it?  Absolutely not.  I always welcome scholarly discussions.  But to suggest this as a required condition is not only heading toward censorship, it's also unfairly singling out one movie that's no different from most other films of its era.  This is similar to when people call out Walt Disney for the racist characterizations in  his cartoons while ignoring/probably not being aware of the similar characterizations in the Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry shorts, Popeye shorts, etc. from the same period.

As for Song of the South, that is not a good comparison at all.  The reason that film has never been on  TCM's schedule is because Disney will not allow it to be seen, period.  It was not a moral decision made by TCM.

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3 minutes ago, Feego said:

There is no reason why Gone with the Wind needs to be either removed or viewed strictly within an educational context.  The Birth of a Nation is one of the few films I would say deserves that treatment, and only because it's a movie that actively asks its audience to view black people as naturally inferior and to cheer on the Ku Klux Klan.

I actually don't find the two movies that radically dissimilar. I can't imagine asking the young black people who live in my neighborhood to sit through 10 seconds of the way black people are portrayed in GWTW before they would lose their minds over how offensive they would find it. Also, the night Rhett rescues Ashley after he's been hot, Ashley has been at a Klan rally. That's not so obvious in the movie, where I think the decision was made to not mention it explicitly, but I believe it is obvious in the book (which I haven't read).

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48 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

But I am sure that unless a proper host (a scholar like Cornel West) is brought on to do the wraparounds, this film should remain off the schedule.

I'm sure they should show it without a "proper" host, precisely because the "woke" need to be p!ssed off and p!ssed on.  They're nasty, intolerant bigots who use the cloak of "tolerance" to engage in their sociopathic tendencies.

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If TCM (or other broadcasters) follow this course, the logical result is that every ethnic group in America (maybe the world) should be able to censor what people watch or is available to them for purchase.

Call it what it is, censorship.

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18 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

I can't imagine asking the young black people who live in my neighborhood to sit through 10 seconds of the way black people are portrayed in GWTW before they would lose their minds over how offensive they would find it.

Good point. 

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I agree with much of what is said above.  It is censorship.  I remember having a viewing party for GWTW when I graduated by in the 1970's.  Cable was easier and better then, and we had HBO.  I remember disagreements with one of my friends because I preferred Vivian Leigh to Olivia De H.  I do not care for Scarlett's rape scene in the book (for a number of reasons, including my own Me Too!/Rape experience).  There are many guides for books, etc. for Movies, Books, TV, Broadway/Stage:  I used one when preparing a unit on To Kill a Mockingbird.  You do not need a black or African American host for all these movies.  Eddie M. hade trenchant comments about whites playing blacks during the last Noir Alley.  Personally, I think GWTW has been run too many times (also Lawrence of Arabia - and Lawrence hated Jews).  HBO has not show GWTW in what seems like eons.  Makes me question their motives.

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31 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

I actually don't find the two movies that radically dissimilar. I can't imagine asking the young black people who live in my neighborhood to sit through 10 seconds of the way black people are portrayed in GWTW before they would lose their minds over how offensive they would find it. Also, the night Rhett rescues Ashley after he's been hot, Ashley has been at a Klan rally. That's not so obvious in the movie, where I think the decision was made to not mention it explicitly, but I believe it is obvious in the book (which I haven't read).

I'm very aware that the depictions of black people in Gone with the Wind are offensive and racist.  I never said otherwise.  The difference between the two is that Gone with the Wind, while reducing its black characters to stereotypes, does not paint them as patently non-human nor ask its audience to hate them.  Yes, it is problematic, and I know it makes people uncomfortable.  Again, I never said that wasn't the case, and I'm not saying people should be happy about the racial depictions.  But there is indeed a difference between a film with offensive racial attitudes and a film (The Birth of a Nation) whose very thesis is that black people must be kept in their place in order for American civilization to prosper.  GWTW presents Northerners as the enemy without really specifying what the war is about.  The sentiments of both films are similar, but GWTW at least recognizes some humanity and intelligence in Mammy.  TBOAN sees the entire black race as the enemy.  They are at fault for daring to not stay in their place and must be forced back by these heroic white knights.  In the end, both films are racist, but one is explicitly so to the point it clouds everything else.  Compare this to the difference between, say, Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice and the Nazi adaptation of Jew Suss.

Look, I'm of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage.  When I see the "stinkin' baches" scene in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, it truly makes me roll my eyes, as do most depictions of Hispanics in classic films.  Natalie Wood's casting (and accent) as Maria in West Side Story is one of the silliest things I've ever seen.  Other Hispanics might have even stronger responses than me.  But I would never, ever endorse those films being removed from TCM's rotation just because they are politically incorrect.  How does that help anything.  If we only keep the films of the past that coincide with current progressive attitudes, it paints a dishonest picture of the past, one in which minorities were not abused, not devalued, not discriminated against.  It suggests that there was no racism, no suffering.

And once again, I am  by  no means against scholarly discussions.  But it shouldn't be a requirement for these films.  People are perfectly capable of doing research for themselves if they have the interest.

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Sometimes censorship (self-imposed censorship) is the right course of action. The most responsible course of action.

I think people are using the old censorship argument to find a loophole so they can continue promoting what is pure and simple a racist film.

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I don't care if TCM airs it and I don't need any scholarly host 'types' telling me all about the Civil War era and the evils of slavery.  What?!?!  You're saying that --  in the best of all possible worlds -- people shouldn't buy or sell other people?  WOW!   I never woulda figured that out, Meester or Missus Intellectual Film Scholar!  But I figure maybe a token gift is in order to TCM for hiring such folks to lecture us dopey movie viewers.   :)

I could kindly mail the TCM programming staff a container of used dental floss!  Or how 'bout a canister of Quaker Oats that's been unopened since 1974?  Or maybe a mouldy VHS of "Escape From Fort Bravo"?  (I got one of those in the mail the other day . . . ).  :blink:  

If I seek preaching I will attend Church. 

IN the interest of honesty if GONE WITH THE WIND were on the schedule it's 98% likely I would not watch because it's so darn long.  I really have to be in a certain kind of mood to watch a movie that runs 3½ hours.  And if GWTW's time on the schedule does not correspond with me being in the mood to watch a 220-minute movie then I ain't gonna watch!

Maybe TCM should air PORKY's instead.  That's a nice 'n' innocent movie.  Angel Beach High in 1954 . . . what could be wrong with that?

 

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Gone with the Wind is a historically significant film, despite it's story and reputation. I don't think they should quit showing it just because people are too sensitive. Get thicker skin or don't watch it 

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I'll tell y'all a little secret:  I've got a TOM & JERRY MGM/Turner Entertainment Co. VHS release from 1992 called "Tom & Jerry's Cartoon Cavalcade" that features 6 cartoons running a total of 42 minutes.  Except 1 of the 6 cartoons seems to be banned now.  Casanova Cat. 

I guess I should feel 'dirdy' (sic) now for owning a VHS tape including a T&J cartoon that's now 'off-limits'.  :P

The other 5 cartoons on the tape, btw, are "Jerry's Cousin", "Fine Feathered Friend", "Southbound Duckling", "Mouse For Sale" and "Jerry and the Lion".  

 

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58 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Sometimes censorship (self-imposed censorship) is the right course of action. The most responsible course of action.

I think people are using the old censorship argument to find a loophole so they can continue promoting what is pure and simple a racist film.

 

But it is by no means the only racist film shown on TCM.  Are you prepared to take all of the others (as I mentioned in my earlier post) off the air as well?

Sometimes people focus on the removal of something small because it is easily attainable and they can pat themselves on the back about it, when in fact it changes nothing.

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Yes it should be shown because heroic cavaliers and their demure ladies should have something

they can watch. The racial aspects of the film are such a joke that it's hard to take them at all

seriously. 

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44 minutes ago, MusicalsGalore said:

Gone with the Wind is a historically significant film, despite it's story and reputation. I don't think they should quit showing it just because people are too sensitive. Get thicker skin or don't watch it 

It isn't about 'people are too sensitive'.

I.e.   'They' would stop showing certain films because it would hurt their bottom line.    Again,  this is all about capitalism. 

E.g.   there were plans to boycott HBO.   I.e. people would drop their service.   HBO would lose MONEY.     Therefore HBO would have to weigh how many viewers they would lose verses how many they would gain or retain by showing the film.      So HBO comes up with a middle-of-the-road approach;  they will show GWTW but add some historical commentary.    Like you said 'don't watch it'  (this historical commentary) if that bug you.  

       

 

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I don't know which of the three threads on the subject to post on anymore, but as a longtime TCM viewer and classic movie fan. I must say I do have some interest that this 80-year-old movie is suddenly the No. 1 topic in the news cycle. Discussion of it is everywhere I turn today on TV, on the radio, on the Internet. Granted, almost entirely by people on both sides of the fence who have never seen it, but still ...

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1 minute ago, sewhite2000 said:

I don't know which of the three threads on the subject to post on anymore, but as a longtime TCM viewer and classic movie fan. I must say I do have some interest that this 80-year-old movie is suddenly the No. 1 topic in the news cycle. Discussion of it is everywhere I turn today on TV, on the radio, on the Internet. Granted, almost entirely by people on both sides of the fence who have never seen it, but still ...

Note this is a similar point I make about remakes;   they don't tarnish the original version but instead bring more attention to it.

Wouldn't it be ironic if MORE people end up viewing GWTW now that the activist have spoken up trying to REDUCE the viewing of the film?

 

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That would be interesting, but I don't know if it will happen. Almost all the talking heads in the media I've heard today who have either never seen the movie or maybe seen it once long ago are so utterly defeated by the concept of it being 221 minutes that the idea of attempting to watch it sounds as if it may be impossible.

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3 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

That would be interesting, but I don't know if it will happen. Almost all the talking heads in the media I've heard today who have either never seen the movie or maybe seen it once long ago are so utterly defeated by the concept of it being 221 minutes that the idea of attempting to watch it sounds as if it may be impossible.

Now that is funny (but there is a lot of truth there as well);   with the typical attention span of so many folks today,,,,,,   yea,   anything with dialog over 130 characters is too-long.

 

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@james and thy jazzy guitar:  Maybe you're right about all the attention bringing more viewers to watch it.  It's just that it's so darn long!  If it was a 90-minute Civil War Soap Opera instead of a 3-hr 40-minute one I think it would attract new viewers. 

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I've got a peachy idea!  →  Instead of GWTW, TCM can show the 1979 made-for-television movie LOVE'S SAVAGE FURY, which is definitely a kind of Tv-movie-budgeted version of "Gone With The Wind".  It stars Jennifer O'Neill, Perry King, Robert Reed and Raymond Burr.  It runs 1 hr 40 mins. to fit in the 2-hour television time slot.

It's not that bad, although the old Leonard Maltin Video Guide -- back when the reviews of TVM's were still included -- gave it a 'Below Average' as a GWTW rip-off.

I have a copy of this movie if TCM would like to borrow mine.  It's a legal VHS release on PRISM Entertainment. 

 

 

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