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


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48 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

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

I think you are reading something extra into what I posted. I don't think we should be afraid of negative stereotypes. We should be able to discuss the stereotypes and understand them in a wider context as societal constructs.

Primarily I was talking about a performer's range. Why couldn't he play a thug or a murderer? We could also say this about Vincent Price who became typecast as villains. Why couldn't he play nice upstanding fellows instead of crooks, deviants or madmen. In Hollywood it's about giving an actor a chance to demonstrate his/her range.

If Sidney Poitier felt compelled to play non-aggressive roles, that might have been because he was pressured that way. Instead of being free to play a broader range and variety of types. 

There shouldn't be a problem with his playing a thug. White actors play thugs and adulterers and liars and murderers. Some Italian-American actors play a lot of gangster roles and are stereotyped because of it but it's how they earn a living on screen. Why not let a black actor also have that latitude to play a lot of different roles, including the villains, to increase their fame and fortune?

Because Poitier had to be an unrealistic perfect role model as a white-friendly type of black man, it limited him as an actor in terms of the roles he could play and earn money playing.

Nowhere in my comments did I say that all black men had to be presented the same way. But because Sidney was playing his roles the same, it tells me that he was severely limited in range at that time. Whether that was his choosing or not, it's still what happened to him.

The oreo expression is something I learned from black friends of mine. Friends who feel it is disingenuous for blacks to act white. Conversely, there are also whites who act black and face scorn because of it.

Again I have no shame regarding stereotypes. I see this all as a business of acting for a living and being able to play all types, including stereotypes (and hopefully subverting the stereotypes as well).

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17 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

What this statement sounds like is that to be "black on the inside" is to be a violent thug? Ouch!

1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

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.

Yeah, like all Irish people act the same way or all politicians are the same or any other dumb stereotype. Sorry, after reading Poitier's books his film portrayals seem very much like the man he is in real life. I could see why he'd be attracted to those roles, maybe even challenged by them.

My favorite criticism of Fred Astaire's "Mr Bojangles of Harlem" number is how loose wristed Fred dances-oh my! Horrid Black stereotype! But Bill Robinson sometimes incorporated his hands this way for fluidity & emphasis and Astaire was simply imitating him. (not unlike Cagney imitating Cohen's weird dancing style in Yankee Doodle Dandy)

I very much liked TCMs spotlight on Gays in Film, Asians in Film and most enjoyed the Native Americans in film spotlight. They were thoughtful & had different POV from the cohosts. When the common factor is "exploitation", the conversation itself become exploitative.

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16 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Friends who feel it is disingenuous for blacks to act white. Conversely, there are also whites who act black and face scorn because of it.

Haha I love this! What is acting black or acting white? Or Swedish? OK, well Canadians are polite, so you got me there.

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19 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

What this statement sounds like is that to be "black on the inside" is to be a violent thug

Maybe step back for a second. Nowhere in my posts did I talk about black on the inside. That is your phrase NOT mine.

It feels as if you are grafting your own fiction on to my responses.

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10 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

Haha I love this! What is acting black or acting white? Or Swedish? OK, well Canadians are polite, so you got me there.

Are you confusing nationality with race in the above response? That's what it seems like. 

***

Watch a movie like SOUL MAN where a white guy plays black. Watch THE WATERMELON MAN where a black guy plays white.

I did not invent these constructs. I am not holding up negative portrayals as exemplary. Instead I am talking about portrayals of ALL types, which ALL actors should be able to play within their race as well as outside their race.

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slaytonf,

What I am saying is I DID read something here recently that mentioned "Blazing Saddles" as being a racist film. They were not seeing it for the point you relayed to me. I admit I cannot remember the title of the piece, but I know I didnt dream it either. "Blazing Saddles", among other movies and shows, were being ridiculed and criticized for the material in it and was not being portrayed as the film Mel Brooks had made to turn it on it's head as you referred to. They were seeing at for what they saw and heard and not the actual way Brooks made it.

As far as other races and cultures working in controversial or offensive films, I dont think we can say that every single, solitary person that wasnt white bent their beliefs just to get work. Look at both sides of the coin. There were Native Americans that were offended by the Redskins, there were Native Americans that were not. That being one of many examples. Plus, the absolute fact, that some refuse to believe, that shows things as they really were. One of the writers of "The Andy Griffith Show" was asked how come their arent more black people in Mayberry. He said for the simple fact there wasnt very many black people in 1960 small town North Carolina.

I'm just saying cancel culture needs to focus a little more clearly at what they are pointing their microscopes at.

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I became aware of the existence of the REFRAMED series on Friday March 5, a day too late to watch Episode 1 live.  No problem, right?  They repeat their original content, plus there'd be episodes 2, 3 & 4 on consecutive Thursdays, right?  WRONG.  It's been PULLED from their schedule.  I've been desperately trying to find it in TV listings and Google searches, but it's GONE.  I'll be delighted if someone can prove me wrong.  I can find NO coverage if the Why's & Wherefore's of its removal (one can surmise it generated TOO MUCH HEAT).  Does anyone have any actual insight on this?  NOT whether it deserved to be pulled, just the nuts & bolts of its removal, and whether it's being rescheduled.  THANKS.       UPDATE:  If you use the TCM site's search engine, the words REFRAMED CLASSICS  now produce NO results.  They've erased its existence

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Ok so know one wants to get the point of cancel culture everyone's just in there on little worlds when this whole thing blows up and innocent people are hurt over some political nonsense I hope you sleep well.

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I want to apologize for my previous posts I'm just having a bad day it's unfair to take my problems out on a bunch of strangers talk about whatever you want but from here on I will no longer talk race or politics on this forum.

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1 hour ago, lvlv52 said:

I became aware of the existence of the REFRAMED series on Friday March 5, a day too late to watch Episode 1 live.  No problem, right?  They repeat their original content, plus there'd be episodes 2, 3 & 4 on consecutive Thursdays, right?  WRONG.  It's been PULLED from their schedule.  I've been desperately trying to find it in TV listings and Google searches, but it's GONE.  I'll be delighted if someone can prove me wrong.  I can find NO coverage if the Why's & Wherefore's of its removal (one can surmise it generated TOO MUCH HEAT).  Does anyone have any actual insight on this?  NOT whether it deserved to be pulled, just the nuts & bolts of its removal, and whether it's being rescheduled.  THANKS.       UPDATE:  If you use the TCM site's search engine, the words REFRAMED CLASSICS  now produce NO results.  They've erased its existence

IvIv52, if you download the "Watch TCM" app, you can go back to the listings which have already aired. The REFRAMED discussions preclude and conclude the films which were already shown. 

The series is still set to air the remaining Thursdays this month: https://www.tcm.com/articles/Programming-Article/020930/reframed-classic-films-in-the-rearview-mirror

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7 hours ago, KidChaplin said:

They were not seeing it for the point you relayed to me. I admit I cannot remember the title of the piece, but I know I didnt dream it either.

One article where the author is so clueless they can't tell the difference between satire and stereotyping hardly seems to justify your comments about the movie.  If you are just trying to convince yourself or others who already think like you, something that made so little an impression you can't remember where you read it, or the title, let alone the author might do, but don't expect to convince anyone else.

7 hours ago, KidChaplin said:

As far as other races and cultures working in controversial or offensive films, I dont think we can say that every single, solitary person that wasnt white bent their beliefs just to get work. Look at both sides of the coin. There were Native Americans that were offended by the Redskins, there were Native Americans that were not. That being one of many examples. Plus, the absolute fact, that some refuse to believe, that shows things as they really were. One of the writers of "The Andy Griffith Show" was asked how come their arent more black people in Mayberry. He said for the simple fact there wasnt very many black people in 1960 small town North Carolina.

It's hard to follow your rationale here.  But it looks like you don't have any evidence to support your belief.  I have made no more of a formal study of the subject than it seems you have, but I have never seen any statement from any minority actor--African-American, Latino, Japanese, Chinese, etc.--or any analysis by a movie scholar which has indicated they were indifferent or accepting of the roles which could not help being hurtful and repellent to perform.  In fact, what little I have heard and read has indicated the opposite.  For instance, there is the well-known quote by Hattie McDaniel about her career:

When a friend criticized her for ''playing so many servant parts, or 'handkerchief heads' as they came to be called,'' McDaniel responded, ''Hell, I'd rather play a maid than be one.'' As Mr. Jackson notes, ''She certainly had had experience as a maid both in movies and real life.''

That's from an article here: https://www.nytimes.com/1989/10/15/books/id-rather-play-a-maid-than-be-one.html

To find out more about the way minority actors thought about their roles, you can search for articles about Clarence Muse.  That is, if you are sincere about this dialog.  If you're just looking around for anything to justify your preconceptions, well, nevermind.

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On 3/6/2021 at 8:38 PM, TopBilled said:

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.

15 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Maybe step back for a second. Nowhere in my posts did I talk about black on the inside.

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Sorry, I can't seem to format text into that post above....but there's my mistake. I didn't quote correctly because it strikes me as an absurd statement. I know you were just repeating someone else's oft used phrase, but think about it.... it's crazy!

I have a tough time understanding arguments of human behaviour based on skin tone-the definition of stereotype.

As for separate races,  it's a made up category. Human race. People have separated each other by size, gender, appearance, location, language all sorts of things. This separation is reflected in many classic films and should be viewed as such-historical time capsule of a (hopefully) past culture.

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2 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Sorry, I can't seem to format text into that post above....but there's my mistake. I didn't quote correctly because it strikes me as an absurd statement. I know you were just repeating someone else's oft used phrase, but think about it.... it's crazy!

I have a tough time understanding arguments of human behaviour based on skin tone-the definition of stereotype.

As for separate races,  it's a made up category. Human race. People have separated each other by size, gender, appearance, location, language all sorts of things. This separation is reflected in many classic films and should be viewed as such-historical time capsule of a (hopefully) past culture.

Maybe some of the classifications are scientific/biological? I don't know, I am not a scientist. But sociology and science tend to merge together sometimes and that's where we have social scientists making observations about ways in which our culture at large is transacted. Of course that culture changes across different eras/time periods.

I think I have made enough posts on various threads to support the statement I am not a racist and I do not like stereotypes. However, in terms of the acting profession (and casting) I think a performer who is able to play a range of types has more chances of being financially successful because there are more acting jobs open to them. That's all I was saying.

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20 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I think you are reading something extra into what I posted. I don't think we should be afraid of negative stereotypes. We should be able to discuss the stereotypes and understand them in a wider context as societal constructs.

Primarily I was talking about a performer's range. Why couldn't he play a thug or a murderer? We could also say this about Vincent Price who became typecast as villains. Why couldn't he play nice upstanding fellows instead of crooks, deviants or madmen. In Hollywood it's about giving an actor a chance to demonstrate his/her range.

If Sidney Poitier felt compelled to play non-aggressive roles, that might have been because he was pressured that way. Instead of being free to play a broader range and variety of types. 

There shouldn't be a problem with his playing a thug. White actors play thugs and adulterers and liars and murderers. Some Italian-American actors play a lot of gangster roles and are stereotyped because of it but it's how they earn a living on screen. Why not let a black actor also have that latitude to play a lot of different roles, including the villains, to increase their fame and fortune?

Because Poitier had to be an unrealistic perfect role model as a white-friendly type of black man, it limited him as an actor in terms of the roles he could play and earn money playing.

Nowhere in my comments did I say that all black men had to be presented the same way. But because Sidney was playing his roles the same, it tells me that he was severely limited in range at that time. Whether that was his choosing or not, it's still what happened to him.

The oreo expression is something I learned from black friends of mine. Friends who feel it is disingenuous for blacks to act white. Conversely, there are also whites who act black and face scorn because of it.

Again I have no shame regarding stereotypes. I see this all as a business of acting for a living and being able to play all types, including stereotypes (and hopefully subverting the stereotypes as well).

Some people need to make up their minds.   That Poitier might have been "pressured" to take on non-aggressive, thuggish roles as an African-American movie character makes no sense since in his earlier acting experience was in a time that movie makers couldn't care less about how black people were represented in movies.  So, HOW is Poitier playing a doctor in NO WAY OUT  seen as him "acting white"?  You mean you  think black men couldn't be doctors back then?   I'd hate to think you believe that.  And given that in those days black people were trying to overcome those negative stereotypes in both movies AND real life, the less negative examples in movies was at least a foot in the door.  I mean, NObody thought ALL white guys were thugs because a white guy played one in a movie, right?  But somehow, back then, a BLACK guy playing a movie thug would have been seen as no big stretch to non-black movie goers.  So, Poitier's "range" would have been lost to most of 'em.  And as far as I know, no black people I was ever acquainted with complained about Poitier being an "Oreo" or "Tomin' " as another way to put it.   Tell me please, what about Sidney's role in BLACKBOARD JUNGLE  made you think he was "acting white"?  Or in LILIES OF THE FIELD, or  PARIS BLUES and PRESSURE POINT?  WHICH movie role or roles gave you that impression?   And another consideration....

Maybe those "thuggish" black man roles were never OFFERED to him, plus being a black actor in those days, he didn't have the CLOUT to DEMAND any role he wished?   Sure, studio heads and producers recognized his talent, but he was STILL the "token" in that town.  And too, if he HAD played several of those roles, many people today, black AND white would be complaining that, " All they ever let Poitier do was play negative stereotypes in movies.  No better than black actors and actresses only playing maids and butlers in older movies.  Might as well just called him SYDNEY FETCHIT!"  ;)    And remember too----

When DENZEL WASHINGTON "stretched" out to play a "thuggish" role in TRAINING DAY his largely African-American fan base didn't like the idea and raised much holy hell and complaints.  Chances are then that Sidney's Black fan base, had he also done "thuggish" roles might have loudly complained.  But also as mentioned, in Sidney's time not keeping the fan base happy meant a possible loss in profit for the film maker,  who wasn't(and still isn't) in business to grant an actor's  wish fulfillment.   But these days it's a bit different.

Sepiatone

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21 hours 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.

They could just do a disclaimer before the movie indicating their lack of "consent".  What they're doing now is a disservice to the viewer in that it doesn't allow for them to come to their own conclusions, or think they're capable of coming to an objective one.   It's almost as if TCM is trying to sway their audience  into what to think or how to feel.

Sepiatone

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slaytonf,

Look, you bring up my comments about the movie. Again, you are taking me wrong. All I was saying is that the author of the piece had mentioned some of the radical cancel culture bringing up "Blazing Saddles" as a racist movie and didn't see it the way Brooks made it. There are no comments from me about the movie at all. Period. I was merely pointing out what I saw. That's it. 

And I'm not saying there havent been any actors or actresses bend themselves to take an offensive role or be in an offensive movie. I was just saying that I dont think every single actor or actress has.

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Endless cancel culture.  And now a panel of "experts" pontificating and clucking their tongues.

I'd be more worried about the endless glorification and cartoonification of violence in comic book movies than stereotypes in old movies.

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

They could just do a disclaimer before the movie indicating their lack of "consent".  What they're doing now is a disservice to the viewer in that it doesn't allow for them to come to their own conclusions, or think they're capable of coming to an objective one.   It's almost as if TCM is trying to sway their audience  into what to think or how to feel.

Sepiatone

As I have mentioned before StarzEncore does this for many Westerns that it shows.  Along with MA, V, etc. at beginning of movies, they also have OCD - Outdated Cultural Depictions.  TCM could do something similar or maybe with a few sentences as to why it is OCD (or whatever they want to call it).  No need for people to explain to the viewers and create all this turmoil.

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12 minutes ago, ElCid said:

No need for people to explain to the viewers and create all this turmoil.

Exactly. Like I said, allow the viewer to be shocked when they see it, rightly so.

And didn't Poitier portray a teen thug in BLACKBOARD JUNGLE?

In the 60's & 70's I thought Americans were on the road to acceptance & integration, certainly within my circles it has evolved that way. The whole subject has me confused.

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On 3/6/2021 at 12:34 AM, kingrat said:

Funny, I never think of that character as being a transvestite. There's a logical reason that character dresses in that fashion, and apparently only for that particular reason. (I'm trying to avoid spoilers, just as you did.) Anyone upset by that film for that reason can always rent To Wong Foo With Love, Julie Newmar or Priscilla, Queen of the Desert or various other films.

I'm actually more offended by bad performances of stereotypical gay characters, like Martin Balsam in The Anderson Tapes, than I am by the three-dimensional killers in Rope, which are very well played by John Dall and Farley Granger.

Agreed. It's even explained in the film at the end that Norman wasnt a transvestite....

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1 hour ago, TikiSoo said:

Exactly. Like I said, allow the viewer to be shocked when they see it, rightly so.

And didn't Poitier portray a teen thug in BLACKBOARD JUNGLE?

In the 60's & 70's I thought Americans were on the road to acceptance & integration, certainly within my circles it has evolved that way. The whole subject has me confused.

It is sort of like TCM is trying to come up with a solution to a problem that does not exist.  Not saying racism and other forms of discrimination are not problems, but rather having to explain it to people today.  Everybody either knows it is (was) wrong or will never accept that it is (was) wrong.

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TB:  "........Because Poitier had to be an unrealistic perfect role model as a white-friendly type of black man, it limited him as an actor in terms of the roles he could play and earn money playing.

Nowhere in my comments did I say that all black men had to be presented the same way. But because Sidney was playing his roles the same, it tells me that he was severely limited in range at that time.

Whether that was his choosing or not, it's still what happened to him....."

 

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11 hours ago, ElCid said:

As I have mentioned before StarzEncore does this for many Westerns that it shows.  Along with MA, V, etc. at beginning of movies, they also have OCD - Outdated Cultural Depictions.  TCM could do something similar or maybe with a few sentences as to why it is OCD (or whatever they want to call it).  No need for people to explain to the viewers and create all this turmoil.

The only "turmoil" I see this creating here Cid, is the "turmoil" that grates on the nerves of those resistant to progress and/or those who are resistant to being preached to by someone other than their clergyman. And of which btw, NEITHER of these applying to ME, as in regard to the latter, I'm not a religious man, and in regard to the former, I've always believed that progress is an inevitable human course, and thank GOD for it. Well, IF there IS a "God", of course.

Don't ya THINK?! I mean, THIS seems to ME to be the only damn "turmoil" these little "history lessons" are creating.

And so once again I'll just say here that personally I don't give a DAMN if TCM feels the need to present these little "history lessons" to the hoi polloi before and after these so-called  "problematic" films are shown, and JUST as LONG as they CONTINUE to present them and in a complete and uncut form. And 'cause, when they STOP doin' that, THAT'LL be when I'LL start experiencing a little "turmoil"!

(...aaah, but of course NOW I'll probably start hearing from those who personify the characteristics that I mentioned in my first sentence up there and who'll now attempt to give me the ol' "slippery slope" argument...BUT lucky for ME, not only am I NOT as religious man, but I've never "believed" in those "slipperly slope" arguments EITHER!)

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