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These are the 18 'problematic' classic films TCM will examine in a new series


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7 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

Personally, this strikes me as self-preservation. I think they know that if they don't say anything about some of these films, Twitter groups will want to ban the channel. So they do this, but I don't think it really pleases either aisle of the debate for different reasons.

To be honest, it sounds like desperation...if they don't find a way to keep the films alive, then the channel dies.

A lot of the newer generation refuse to watch films that abound in stereotypes. They want woke films.

That's where we are as a society and it will become more pronounced with the next generation. 

I think a percentage of TCM's original audience has died off. So they do need to court the younger viewers. They are obviously trying to play up the diversity of the hosts, even if they cannot play up diversity in terms of their films' content.

But the fact that they want to try to find ways to keep pushing GONE WITH THE WIND is problematic to me. 

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1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

Welcome to TCM City.

I don't think they're trying to cancel the movies. I think they're trying to use the woke culture movement to draw attention to the films and act like they are doing a service to the public by encouraging a political discussion (a left-leaning discussion) about the films. That is what seems most objectionable, the way they are using the films in a way they were never intended to be used. 

It seems rather self-serving on TCM's part. Getting people all stirred up politically. Normally they are much classier.

Maybe not yet. This is the first step. They are creating a problem where there is none and if they stir up enough of the "woke" crowd, (Oh how I hate that term) full on censorship is not far behind. Look how something as innocent as Dr Seuss's childrens books  and a fun toy like Mr. Potato Head have fared from this crowd. it's not funny anymore; the book burnings are coming if these people aren't stopped. I don't know about you, but I am perfectly capable of deciding for myself what I find problematic or offensive. I don't need people who have no clue what life outside of their narrow world  deciding that for me. I am so saddened by the direction that TCM has taken since Robert Osborne passed away. The focus of the hosts' commentaries now seems to be on their  personal agendas instead of just presenting and enjoying great classic films.  They have become the new  Senator Joe McCarthy.

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7 minutes ago, Bevie said:

Maybe not yet. This is the first step. They are creating a problem where there is none and if they stir up enough of the "woke" crowd, (Oh how I hate that term) full on censorship is not far behind. Look how something as innocent as Dr Seuss's childrens books  and a fun toy like Mr. Potato Head have fared from this crowd. it's not funny anymore; the book burnings are coming if these people aren't stopped. I don't know about you, but I am perfectly capable of deciding for myself what I find problematic or offensive. I don't need people who have no clue what life outside of their narrow world  deciding that for me. I am so saddened by the direction that TCM has taken since Robert Osborne passed away. The focus of the hosts' commentaries now seems to be on their  personal agendas instead of just presenting and enjoying great classic films.  They have become the new  Senator Joe McCarthy.

Thanks. But I think they are stirring up the Right while they are taking a page from the handbook of the Woke Left. They want to educate the Right.

At the same time they are trying to use politics to increase their visibility and bring new attention to the films they broadcast. The whole things reeks of desperation and it manipulates/exploits the personal belief systems of ALL viewers.

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1 hour ago, KidChaplin said:

"Wait...there were Black, Asian, Indian actors in that movie. If they found it so bad, why didn't they say no to the script or idea?!"

It was a choice of accepting those roles or not working. 

1 hour ago, KidChaplin said:

For example, I see racist fingerpointing at "Blazing Saddles."

No you don't.  The movie is a satire of racist stereotyping, breaking them and turning them on their heads.  That is what Mel Brooks made the movie to do.

 

1 hour ago, CinemaInternational said:

Incidentally, Mickey Rooney had less than 2 and a half minutes of screentime in Breakfast at Tiffany's.....

Well, that makes it all right.

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As far as GWTW, I see nobody mentions the rape seen.  In real life, M.M. was raped by her husband and she was one of those lay back and enjoy it.  Butterfly McQueen told Selznik (sp?), I think, not to let her get slapped (by Scarlett?) in one of the scenes for real (it was demeaning to say that the two actors/actresses weren't good enough to throw a "fake" slap."  Finally, Gable was homophobic, which is why Cukor got kicked off the film.

I believe we should also re-examine the Holocaust denying/Jew hater/misogynistic Mel Gibson.  As a Jew, after his film about the Jews killing Jesus, many Jews, including me (at work no less) thought it was realistic.  Still boycott him.

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I note that Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Rope are among the films that Turner Classic Movies has deemed “troubling and problematic,” joining the ranks of Gone with the Wind in a new series called “Reframed: Classic Films in the Rearview Mirror,” which seeks to scrutinize old movies through the lens of today’s identity politics.

Apparently the new TCM series also seeks to pick apart such innocuous movies as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? and My Fair Lady.

According to TCM: “Many of the beloved classics that we enjoy on TCM have stood the test of time in several ways, nevertheless when viewed by contemporary standards, certain aspects of these films can be troubling and problematic.” They added that the series will explore how these movies “can be reframed so that future generations will keep their legacy alive.”

Psycho will be put under the microscope for its alleged portrayal of gender identity and the way it supposedly equates transgenderism with mental illness and violence. The Hitchcock classic, which was first released in 1960, stars Anthony Perkins as a motel manager whose split personality involves dressing up as his deceased mother to carry out a murder.

Rope (1948), inspired by the Leopold and Loeb homicides, tells the story of two roommates who dare to hide the body of their victim in their New York apartment just as they are about to host a dinner party. TCM is expected to explore the movie’s take on the protagonists’ gay relationship.

TCM will dissect Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) for actor Mickey Rooney’s performance as a Japanese man, and will scrutinize the musical My Fair Lady (1964) for any hints of misogyny in Professor Henry Higgins’ (Rex Harrison) tutelage of Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn).

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (1967) will be examined for the now-problematic Sidney Poitier. The Oscar-winning Poitier was a huge Hollywood star at the time, but today he is no longer so beloved because his fanbase was mostly white audiences, according to TCM.

Stanley Kramer, of course, was known as a “message” director – in fact, many say he did little else – nevertheless, the movie was one of the first major Hollywood releases to portray an interracial romance in a positive way and was considered progressive for its time.

 Said TCM host Jacqueline Stewart: “That opens up all kinds of complications for black viewers who felt that he wasn’t a representative of the race as a whole.” To me this is representative of the contest between black conservatives such as Candice Owen and folks like Al Sharpton who think that, as blacks, one can’t be woke enough.

John Ford’s The Searchers (1956), starring John Wayne, will also receive a racial analysis. The seminal Western film follows the Wayne character’s attempt to rescue his niece (Natalie Wood), who was kidnapped by Comanches. The movie is considered one of the greatest films of all time and has influenced many other movies, including Taxi Driver and American Sniper. According to TCM:  “The Wayne character is overtly racist, and many argue that the label also applies to the film itself, as the characterization of Indigenous people is both stereotypical and underdeveloped.”  I suppose that they’re obliquely referring to Natalie Wood’s involuntary cultural appropriation, in which case every movie featuring a non-Native American who played a Native American will be under scrutiny:  Michael Ansara, Jeff Chandler, Charles  Bronson, Cameron Mitchell, Chuck Connors, and Donna Reed are just a few that come to mind.

Gone with the Wind was already in the hot seat for glorifying the antebellum South. Other movies in the TCM series include The Jazz Singer, Stagecoach, Tarzan, the Ape Man, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Sinbad, the Sailor, and The Children’s Hour.

Applying these “criteria” to what TCM deems “problematic,” one imagines that most John Wayne fare is off limits or in dire need of “context,” particularly some scenes in The Quiet Man, or maybe Judy Garland (although not in black face; still suggestive of a “minstrel show”) singing Swanee River in A Star is Born.  As the Luftwaffe camp commandant in The Great Escape informed “Ramsey, the SBO” (James Donald) as he reviewed the dossiers of recalcitrant POWs who had attempted numerous prior escapes: “The list is almost endless.”      

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All of this brings to mind Willie Best and other Black actors.  Seems nothing is being said about them and there was nothing ambiguous about their roles.

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2 hours ago, cinecrazydc said:

I note that Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Rope are among the films that Turner Classic Movies has deemed “troubling and problematic,” joining the ranks of Gone with the Wind in a new series called “Reframed: Classic Films in the Rearview Mirror,” which seeks to scrutinize old movies through the lens of today’s identity politics.

Apparently the new TCM series also seeks to pick apart such innocuous movies as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? and My Fair Lady.

According to TCM: “Many of the beloved classics that we enjoy on TCM have stood the test of time in several ways, nevertheless when viewed by contemporary standards, certain aspects of these films can be troubling and problematic.” They added that the series will explore how these movies “can be reframed so that future generations will keep their legacy alive.”

Psycho will be put under the microscope for its alleged portrayal of gender identity and the way it supposedly equates transgenderism with mental illness and violence. The Hitchcock classic, which was first released in 1960, stars Anthony Perkins as a motel manager whose split personality involves dressing up as his deceased mother to carry out a murder.

Rope (1948), inspired by the Leopold and Loeb homicides, tells the story of two roommates who dare to hide the body of their victim in their New York apartment just as they are about to host a dinner party. TCM is expected to explore the movie’s take on the protagonists’ gay relationship.

TCM will dissect Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) for actor Mickey Rooney’s performance as a Japanese man, and will scrutinize the musical My Fair Lady (1964) for any hints of misogyny in Professor Henry Higgins’ (Rex Harrison) tutelage of Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn).

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (1967) will be examined for the now-problematic Sidney Poitier. The Oscar-winning Poitier was a huge Hollywood star at the time, but today he is no longer so beloved because his fanbase was mostly white audiences, according to TCM.

Stanley Kramer, of course, was known as a “message” director – in fact, many say he did little else – nevertheless, the movie was one of the first major Hollywood releases to portray an interracial romance in a positive way and was considered progressive for its time.

 Said TCM host Jacqueline Stewart: “That opens up all kinds of complications for black viewers who felt that he wasn’t a representative of the race as a whole.” To me this is representative of the contest between black conservatives such as Candice Owen and folks like Al Sharpton who think that, as blacks, one can’t be woke enough.

John Ford’s The Searchers (1956), starring John Wayne, will also receive a racial analysis. The seminal Western film follows the Wayne character’s attempt to rescue his niece (Natalie Wood), who was kidnapped by Comanches. The movie is considered one of the greatest films of all time and has influenced many other movies, including Taxi Driver and American Sniper. According to TCM:  “The Wayne character is overtly racist, and many argue that the label also applies to the film itself, as the characterization of Indigenous people is both stereotypical and underdeveloped.”  I suppose that they’re obliquely referring to Natalie Wood’s involuntary cultural appropriation, in which case every movie featuring a non-Native American who played a Native American will be under scrutiny:  Michael Ansara, Jeff Chandler, Charles  Bronson, Cameron Mitchell, Chuck Connors, and Donna Reed are just a few that come to mind.

Gone with the Wind was already in the hot seat for glorifying the antebellum South. Other movies in the TCM series include The Jazz Singer, Stagecoach, Tarzan, the Ape Man, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Sinbad, the Sailor, and The Children’s Hour.

Applying these “criteria” to what TCM deems “problematic,” one imagines that most John Wayne fare is off limits or in dire need of “context,” particularly some scenes in The Quiet Man, or maybe Judy Garland (although not in black face; still suggestive of a “minstrel show”) singing Swanee River in A Star is Born.  As the Luftwaffe camp commandant in The Great Escape informed “Ramsey, the SBO” (James Donald) as he reviewed the dossiers of recalcitrant POWs who had attempted numerous prior escapes: “The list is almost endless.”      

Thanks for posting this. 

Most of these films are easy "targets" though I am not sure why SINBAD THE SAILOR is being included except for the fact it is an RKO film in the Turner library. Someone want to tell me why this one is problematic?

I do think the above comment about John Wayne films is correct. Wayne's films are endearing to conservative right-wing audiences. That in itself will be problematic.

The thing about Sidney Poitier's roles is that he was being required to play non-aggressive non thuggish black characters. No villains. Basically the term "oreo" applies to most of his roles-- black on the outside, white on the inside...which is why he was popular with white audiences. As a result, he was severely typecast and never really allowed to demonstrate his range. At least not in the 50s or 60s In the 70s, he increased his range though more as a director than as an actor.

 

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slaytonf,

I respond to two responses...

1. Uh, yes, I do. Before you just flat tell me, "No, I dont", I am not referring to myself. I am referring to our current cancel culture bringing up "Blazing Saddles." They are not seeing what you are pointing out to me.

2. I believe many other races and cultures were in movies where they didn't have a problem with the material or did see the comedy / message in it. And Richard Pryor and Cleavon Little were in an OK position to turn down one movie. You are assuming that they both were so determined to work, they would bend their morals or beliefs. I dont think either of them were so hard up that they just had to get "Blazing Saddles."

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Not even used car salesmen can complain about Psycho. I love cancel culture, not so

much for what it does, but for how it drives the wingnuts wild. Keep up the good work.

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Being a normal human adult, I don't think I need to be "educated" about films that were made decades ago. They were made to be entertainment, not a political statement. They are a record of the times and can't be judged through the eyes of the 21st century. I am sure TCM thinks I am an uneducated rube who needs to be led around by the nose and needs these things explained to me in small words and short sentences, but I can just as easily turn TCM off. I will not be lectured to by the likes of Hollywood media. Lucky for me I own most of these movies and can watch them any time I like, without being told to watch out for the bad parts.

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1 hour ago, KidChaplin said:

1. Uh, yes, I do. Before you just flat tell me, "No, I dont", I am not referring to myself. I am referring to our current cancel culture bringing up "Blazing Saddles." They are not seeing what you are pointing out to me.

Can you cite any instances Blazing Saddles (1974) has been criticized as exploiting and perpetuating racist stereotypes?

 

1 hour ago, KidChaplin said:

2. I believe many other races and cultures were in movies where they didn't have a problem with the material or did see the comedy / message in it. And Richard Pryor and Cleavon Little were in an OK position to turn down one movie.

Do you have any evidence to substantiate your beliefs?  I was referring James Shigeta, to Hattie Mcdaniel, to Butterfly Mcqueen, to Eugene Jackson, to Louise Beavers, to Philip Ahn, to Clarence Muse, to Alfonso Bedoya, and to the thousands of others faced with the choice of performing stereotypical and demeaning roles  or not working.

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8 hours ago, slaytonf said:

Can you cite any instances Blazing Saddles (1974) has been criticized as exploiting and perpetuating racist stereotypes?

 

I spit my coffee seeing this a few years ago....I had only seen it as a teen and DID NOT GET THE JOKE then. It actually had to be explained to me as an adult. Now does THAT tell you anything about racism in film?

When showing someone under thirty  GUESS WHO"S COMING TO DINNER, the reaction is always "what's the problem?" they don't have a clue that inter-racial marriage was discouraged, frowned upon and even illegal in some parts of the US (I was shocked to find that out too!)

Why not let the movies speak for themselves? Why not allow younger viewers to discover historical subjects in movies on their own? I remember being confused then shocked as a 12 year old seeing "whites only" signs when traveling in the South. I also remember being thoroughly disgusted at Mickey Rooney's performance in BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S the first time seeing it. That feeling carries into every Charlie Chan movie I've ever seen.

We don't need a panel of "experts" to tell us what's right/wrong in our culture & history. We can just allow the movies to illustrate it for us.

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I'm sorry but actors like fred astaire wearing blackface and Mickey Rooney as an Asian is just inexcusable white people have done a lot terrible things to people no one alive today is responsible for the actions of people in the past but their using the same political system and laws of oppression personally I'm against cancel culture but as a black man in America who can't walk into a store without being watched or asked if I belong there I get it so after 400 years of this if the only form of justice people can come up with is banning a few people from Twitter and banning some books Jesus Christ take that L and let's just move on because seriously no one around today have actaully been in a real fight for their right to live so let's stop complaining and get over ourselves.

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3 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

I spit my coffee seeing this a few years ago....I had only seen it as a teen and DID NOT GET THE JOKE then. It actually had to be explained to me as an adult. Now does THAT tell you anything about racism in film?

That's the best justification of TCM's programming I've read.  As you say yourself, you did not learn of the point of gag on your own, but had to have it explained to you.

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15 hours ago, TopBilled said:

 

The thing about Sidney Poitier's roles is that he was being required to play non-aggressive non thuggish black characters. No villains. Basically the term "oreo" applies to most of his roles-- black on the outside, white on the inside...which is why he was popular with white audiences. As a result, he was severely typecast and never really allowed to demonstrate his range. At least not in the 50s or 60s In the 70s, he increased his range though more as a director than as an actor.

 

My problem with this comment is that it indicates a paradox in thought.  For what we may really know, Poitier may have been drawn to many of his roles because they WEREN'T of "Aggressive, thuggish" black characters, which both then and now might have seemed as negative stereotypes.  THEN the complaints today would be in a different light.   Like it's almost as if you're complaining that Poitier's "non-aggressive, non thuggish" black characters were some kind of Hollywood deception.  That the truth was that black people were the opposite of how Poitier portrayed them in his movies.    It's like when Poitier's character in GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER  says to his character's Father, he could almost be talking to you when he says( and a favorite line in the flick)--

"You still think of yourself as a colored man.    I think of myself, as a MAN!"  

Your "Oreo" comment seems too, to indicate a belief that all black men should be seen as all behaving identically.  As in a way that white people can identify as "black behavior".   Like not only do they all LOOK alike, but ACT alike as well.

For shame.

Sepiatone

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Words fail me in trying to convey how much I HATE this idea. As far as I can tell, these pre-film discussions are nothing but video "trigger warnings." 

It's embarrassing, condescending and infantilizing of the TCM audience.

Hard not to see this as the beginning of a slippery slope.

Yesterday, scrolling through a Tumblr, I came across a still from Visconti's Rocco and His Brothers and found myself wondering if someday (soon) TCM will need to "discuss" this one with us before each airing because there's a rape in it.


This is bad, bad business.

PS: If TCM feels so strongly that a "discussion" of these films is necessary...guess what? You can tell us to head to tcm.com for it. That's what websites are for!!!

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From Wikipedia: 

 

Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit (He who is silent, when he ought to have spoken and was able to, is taken to agree)

— Latin proverb
If TCM were not to record their objection to racist stereotyping, it would mean their consent to it in the movies that they show.
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2 hours ago, Millenniumman said:

I'm sorry but actors like fred astaire wearing blackface and Mickey Rooney as an Asian is just inexcusable white people have done a lot terrible things to people no one alive today is responsible for the actions of people in the past but their using the same political system and laws of oppression personally I'm against cancel culture but as a black man in America who can't walk into a store without being watched or asked if I belong there I get it so after 400 years of this if the only form of justice people can come up with is banning a few people from Twitter and banning some books Jesus Christ take that L and let's just move on because seriously no one around today have actaully been in a real fight for their right to live so let's stop complaining and get over ourselves.

What Is a Run-on Sentence? Definition and Examples | Grammarly

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7 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

From Wikipedia: 

 

Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit (He who is silent, when he ought to have spoken and was able to, is taken to agree)

— Latin proverb
If TCM were not to record their objection to racist stereotyping, it would mean their consent to it in the movies that they show.

By that criterion, how many films WOULDN'T require an "explanatory" intro?

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