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TCM- What happened?


VikingHead2000
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Tonight I was watching “The French Connection” and to my surprise it was edited. The scene after Popeye is ready to leave the police precinct he calls his partner “a dumb ginney” and tells him not to trust “a n*****”. Yes, Popeye’s not a likable character, but why censor that scene? Being a longtime viewer of TCM, I’m really surprised that TCM is now censoring its films. What a joke! Unfortunately TCM has done what they’ve never said they would do. They’ve bent the knee to the social justice warriors. I thought, I’d never would say this but, TCM has gone woke. “The French Connection” is just the beginning of what’s to follow. I’m no longer a fan and viewer of what I used to love. Shame on you TCM. 

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First off, is TCM even still advertising that they are commercial free AND uncut? I can't remember specifically hearing that familiar phrase lately. Second, it could be the print that TCM obtained.  It's on Watch TCM, so I could look myself. Can anybody give me the approximate time into the film that the censored portion occurs? 

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16 minutes ago, LuckyDan said:

I saw the Movies! edit of Chinatown a few years ago and noted that "screwing" (in the reproductive sense) was allowed but "Chinaman" was silenced. Has anyone ever used that term as an epithet? 

Actually, for a couple of decades now I think it's been considered good form to say Asian if you don't specifically know somebody is Chinese. The problem is, I work with a guy who is from India and now he is offended when I say Asian because he is Asian too! So NOW I have to switch to East Asian and South Asian. It just gets exhausting, all of this walking on egg shells. 

To your specific question. I do think "Chinaman" is considered maybe not an epithet but offensive.

And as late as 1999 on what was the Disney channel back then I can remember an old short being shown that talks about the composition of the "We are Siamese" song from Lady and the Tramp. I bet Disney has THAT buried under their vaults at this point! 

EDIT:

Here is the short I saw in 1999 on the Disney channel:

 

 

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10 hours ago, VikingHead2000 said:

Tonight I was watching “The French Connection” and to my surprise it was edited. The scene after Popeye is ready to leave the police precinct he calls his partner “a dumb ginney” and tells him not to trust “a n*****”. Yes, Popeye’s not a likable character, but why censor that scene? Being a longtime viewer of TCM, I’m really surprised that TCM is now censoring its films. What a joke! Unfortunately TCM has done what they’ve never said they would do. They’ve bent the knee to the social justice warriors. I thought, I’d never would say this but, TCM has gone woke. “The French Connection” is just the beginning of what’s to follow. I’m no longer a fan and viewer of what I used to love. Shame on you TCM. 

Probably because William Friedkin was on he had to have asked since they've never done this before to my knowledge.

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Just out of curiosity I looked at MovieCollector's big schedule of everything ever shown on TCM. Specifically I was looking for "Babes on Broadway" (1941) which has a big blackface number as the finale. It was last shown in October 2018. The time before that it was shown December 2017. It has been shown a total of 38 times since TCM came on the air.  This means that from the time TCM came on the air until October 2018 it was shown once about every seven or eight months, but hasn't been shown in over three years. I'd say that this film will probably never be on TCM again because of that number. And I sure am glad Criterion put out Swing Time when they did, because they probably for sure would not release it now. 

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TCM has mistakenly shown edited prints before--I remember this happening to The Outfit (and films in the wrong aspect ratio many times). They showed The Bad News Bears (with a little kid dropping N-bombs) a few weeks ago. But an even better test will be coming up this Friday, since Blazing Saddles is on at midnight ET.

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58 minutes ago, LsDoorMat said:

First off, is TCM even still advertising that they are commercial free AND uncut? I can't remember specifically hearing that familiar phrase lately. Second, it could be the print that TCM obtained.  It's on Watch TCM, so I could look myself. Can anybody give me the approximate time into the film that the censored portion occurs? 

The scene in question is at approximately the 10-minute mark of the film.  On WatchTCM, there is also the introduction with Ben and William Friedkin at the beginning, so the edit occurs at around 16:20.

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6 minutes ago, KingoGondo said:

TCM has mistakenly shown edited prints before--I remember this happening to The Outfit (and films in the wrong aspect ratio many times). They showed The Bad News Bears (with a little kid dropping N-bombs) a few weeks ago. But an even better test will be coming up this Friday, since Blazing Saddles is on at midnight ET.

That will be interesting since TCM's parent company owns that film so they control what print gets shown. 

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1 hour ago, sewhite2000 said:

So .... you WANT to hear white people saying that word?

I don't care who says what as long as the movie is left pristine.   I'm sure there are plenty of movies out there that use pejorative and offensive terms for white people, and I know for sure that if TCM showed them and uncensored, I wouldn't complain one bit.  

Sepiatone

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I was more surprised to discover TCM back on my basic Comcast plan !?

PONEY BOY -SODA POP - ****? no commercials = what channel is on? TCM!?🤔

 

but yes I too caught the French Connection last night - noticed an allusion to The Shining - trophy🏆 for anyone who can place it?

 

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5 hours ago, KingoGondo said:

So...you WANT some hacks at TCM arbitrarily, at their whim,  replacing the artistic vision of the director and writer(s)?

I'm not a fan of censorship in general, but I don't mind 15 seconds of a 50-year-old movie in which a character casually espouses a couple of racial slurs being removed. And as other posters on here have already pointed out, you (and I) have no idea if the "hacks" at TCM are responsible for its omission, or if this is just the print they received. 

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Interesting post. I know the Movies Network censors their films, I hadn't noticed TCM doing it especially when West Side Story was on last week. All the deragatory names were called I believe when they sat down to discuss the rumble.

Tomorrow night, Swing Time is coming on, let's see if they take the number out where Fred Astaire is wearing Black Face as a tribute to Bill BoJangles Robinson. Shaft is coming on TCM Tuesday night, let's see if any of the language is censored here and during Superfly which comes on later.

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