Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Does anyone find SONG OF THE SOUTH (1946) offensive...?


TopBilled

Recommended Posts

Yep BingFan. You can count me as one who thinks your post contained such a perfectly rational and well worded overview of this issue that it did indeed deserve to be posted twice! ;)

 

(...and I ain't kiddin' here, actually...great post, sir!)

Well, thanks for the kind words, but I really didn't mean to have it appear twice. I'm not sure how that happened -- I just wrote it one time and his "Post" once. The mysteries of cyberspace...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, thanks for the kind words, but I really didn't mean to have it appear twice. I'm not sure how that happened -- I just wrote it one time and his "Post" once. The mysteries of cyberspace...

 

Yeah, I know. That sort of thing occasionally happens around here for some odd reason.

 

(...just couldn't resist bein' my usual wisenheimer while acknowledging what I thought was that excellent post of yours, that's all) ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

The other interesting thing about this is that although there were objections when the film was being made and when it was released in '46, it still hit theatres. And it kept returning to U.S. theatres for the next forty years-- so despite all those objections, it was profitable or else it would not have been re-released so many times. It is easy to see that the film was denied a 50th anniversary DVD, because by the time 1996 rolled around, the country was deep in the throes of political correctness-- something from which it has not fully recovered.

 

And yet movies that are far more "politically incorrect" and arouse far stronger negative passions get released on DVD all the time---The Passion of the Christ and The Last Temptation of Christ, just to name two of the more obvious examples of films that received long and loud protests at the time of their theatrical release.  These films get released on DVD because despite their controversial nature, there's an actual "fan base" for them that extends beyond a handful of nostalgic senior citizens and an even smaller number of curiosity seekers.

 

What would almost certainly happen with the re-release of The Song of the South is that Disney would get stuck with bad publicity, it wouldn't sell that many copies, and if it ever played on TV it would be recorded by most of the people who otherwise might have possibly bought it.  To be blunt, it simply isn't worth the aggravation for a beancounting business like Disney from an overall strategic point of view.

 

You can deride their actions as cowardly, and you'd probably be right, but I think that this is the most logical explanation for why we'll never see the DVD. The potential customer base for it is simply nowhere near big enough to make up for the likely blowback.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The other interesting thing about this is that although there were objections when the film was being made and when it was released in '46, it still hit theatres. And it kept returning to U.S. theatres for the next forty years-- so despite all those objections, it was profitable or else it would not have been re-released so many times. It is easy to see that the film was denied a 50th anniversary DVD, because by the time 1996 rolled around, the country was deep in the throes of political correctness-- something from which it has not fully recovered.

 

And yet movies that are far more "politically incorrect" and arouse far stronger negative passions get released on DVD all the time---The Passion of the Christ and The Last Temptation of Christ, just to name two of the more obvious examples of films that received long and loud protests at the time of their theatrical release.  These films get released on DVD because despite their controversial nature, there's an actual "fan base" for them that extends beyond a handful of nostalgic senior citizens and an even smaller number of curiosity seekers.

 

What would almost certainly happen with the re-release of The Song of the South is that Disney would get stuck with bad publicity, it wouldn't sell that many copies, and if it ever played on TV it would be recorded by most of the people who otherwise might have possibly bought it.  To be blunt, it simply isn't worth the aggravation for a beancounting business like Disney from an overall strategic point of view.

 

You can deride their actions as cowardly, and you'd probably be right, but I think that this is the most logical explanation for why we'll never see the DVD. The potential customer base for it is simply nowhere near big enough to make up for the likely blowback.

 

Great point;  And as time marches on I assume there is less and less interest in the film but a greater chance of pushback by groups in the business (so to speak),  of pushing back.     Just not worth it from a business POV.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is no problem if Disney never releases 'SONG OF THE SOUTH' on DVD in the U.S. for 'MANDINGO' is out there and easily available on VHS or DVD for those seeking to watch a trashy, racial potboiler (literally!). 

 

   ► Don't fret about not seeing Uncle Remus when you can watch Susan George and Ken Norton get it on. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is no problem if Disney never releases 'SONG OF THE SOUTH' on DVD in the U.S. for 'MANDINGO' is out there and easily available on VHS or DVD for those seeking to watch a trashy, racial potboiler (literally!). 

 

   ► Don't fret about not seeing Uncle Remus when you can watch Susan George and Ken Norton get it on. 

 

There's a big difference. Disney product is marketed to children and families. 'Mandingo' is not.

 

Disney's releasing of the movie is not worth the criticism they'd get - a criticism that they are attempting to propagandize children to unacceptable racial stereotypes.

 

'Mandingo' is NC-17 - for adults, who presumably know what's what.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Disney's releasing of the movie is not worth the criticism they'd get - a criticism that they are attempting to propagandize children to unacceptable racial stereotypes.

 

I don't understand how anyone could think this way.

 

A kind gentle old black man who tells funny and interesting stories to black and white children gathered around the fireplace at his house. A hero. A wonderful man. A problem solver. A man who has good advice for kids and helps them when they are in trouble. A Santa Claus in person.

 

Black and white kids playing together and don't notice they are black or white.

 

I just don't get it.

 

I think that people who don't want this film released today are people who don't want to admit that we can all socialize together and get along together.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand how anyone could think this way.

 

A kind gentle old black man who tells funny and interesting stories to black and white children gathered around the fireplace at his house. A hero. A wonderful man. A problem solver. A man who has good advice for kids and helps them when they are in trouble. A Santa Claus in person.

 

Black and white kids playing together and don't notice they are black or white.

 

I just don't get it.

 

I think that people who don't want this film released today are people who don't want to admit that we can all socialize together and get along together.

 

Well then, look at THIS way then, Fred!

 

(...and not that you'll see this, of course) LOL

 

Because this flick doesn't have people blowin' the heads off of other people, and/or because it doesn't feature any space aliens or superheroes AND/OR because the special effects in it were NOT done by some computer, the chances of THAT many sn*t-nosed little kids today, and be they black or white OR whatever, actually being enticed to sit down and WATCH this happy little fun-filled tale containing little moral lessons are PROBABLY pretty darn freakin' slim ANYWAY!!! LOL

 

(...leaving aside all these possible "racist factors" and/or "Disney bein' gun-shy" issues of course!)

Link to post
Share on other sites

The other interesting thing about this is that although there were objections when the film was being made and when it was released in '46, it still hit theatres. And it kept returning to U.S. theatres for the next forty years-- so despite all those objections, it was profitable or else it would not have been re-released so many times.

 

There is a hidden factor that I learned about in the news business. There are small groups of people who can threaten big-time boycotts of companies, and the leaders of these people are excellent scam artists. If  they claim to be "offended", they can threaten to organize big boycotts which, in reality, they can not actually organize because they can't get enough people to join it, But they claim they will not organize such a boycott if the offending company gives them a lot of money. They can get millions of dollars in "donations" like this, for various kinds of mass "sensitivity" projects, classes, education projects, etc.

 

So, while a DVD of SONG OF THE SOUTH might not actually generate a real massive boycott today, there are these "organizations" that could threaten Disney and squeeze millions of dollars out of them, by threatening a big boycott. This would cut down on the profitability of a commercial release of the DVD.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

So, while a DVD of SONG OF THE SOUTH might not actually generate a real massive boycott today, there are these "organizations" that could threaten Disney and squeeze millions of dollars out of them, by threatening a big boycott. This would cut down on the profitability of a commercial release of the DVD.

Probably today it would generate a petition. The NAACP would weigh in, too-- but as we have seen with the black IMDB poster I quoted, the NAACP does not represent all blacks (as much as it likes to think it does).

 

I really don't think re-releasing SONG OF THE SOUTH would hurt Disney too much. It would certainly send a strong message to those prone to politically correct-minded temper tantrums. It shouldn't be that a group of people are holding a corporation and the fans of this film hostage. 

 

Also, there is no way one film like this is going to break Disney. Disney is so diversified at this point, that even if there was a temporary backlash and groups boycotted upcoming new releases by the company, it is not even going to make a dent in Disney's overall fortunes. I would bet the company's real estate holdings are worth more than its entertainment products. And people are not going to stop taking kids to the theme parks because of it. In short, it will be business as usual and SONG OF THE SOUTH will not have any direct bearing on long-term revenues.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand how anyone could think this way.

 

A kind gentle old black man who tells funny and interesting stories to black and white children gathered around the fireplace at his house. A hero. A wonderful man. A problem solver. A man who has good advice for kids and helps them when they are in trouble. A Santa Claus in person.

 

Black and white kids playing together and don't notice they are black or white.

 

I just don't get it.

 

I think that people who don't want this film released today are people who don't want to admit that we can all socialize together and get along together.

 

Really you don't understand how anyone could think that way?     You made really good points related to The Mikado and why you don't wish for it to be altered.     But as you noted in that thread,  there were people that insisted (really demanded),  that it be altered.

 

It really shouldn't be very difficult for anyone to understand why some people and \ or groups might be offended by things.  Of course we can view their POV as silly,  being overly sensitive,  misguided etc...  BUT to not understand why they would feel the way they do?   To me that is disrespectful.  

 

For example,  coming soon Fox will get on their annual 'Christmas is being attacked' rant with their prime example being stores greeting customers with Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas.    I  find Fox' rant to be silly, overly sensitive and misguided but I understand what is driving their rant each are every year.  

 

Also we do NOT all get along.   To pretent there isn't race issues in the USA today,  is being as silly as those that would want to ban this movie.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  BUT to not understand why they would feel the way they do?   To me that is disrespectful.  

 

No it's not.

 

I know why some don't like the movie.  Other people also know why.

 

You see, about 90-95% of people who are said to "not like" such and such, are being spoken for by only 5-10% of the troublemakers who claim to speak for everyone. 

 

I've never heard anyone in real life complain about the movie, The complaints only turn up on the internet and are written by the people who want to claim that they know what "everyone else" thinks and they claim to know how "everyone else" SHOULD think.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No it's not.

 

I know why some don't like the movie.  Other people also know why.

 

You see, about 90-95% of people who are said to "not like" such and such, are being spoken for by only 5-10% of the troublemakers who claim to speak for everyone. 

 

I've never heard anyone in real life complain about the movie, The complaints only turn up on the internet and are written by the people who want to claim that they know what "everyone else" thinks and they claim to know how "everyone else" SHOULD think.

 

So you do understand why some may find the movie offensive?   It appears so,  but as you know I have a hard time understanding you and I don't wish to put words in your mouth.

 

As for a small percentage speaking for a group;  yes, that is very true.   Sub-Groups are formed to give the impression they represent the larger group.     

Link to post
Share on other sites

Because this flick doesn't have people blowin' the heads off of other people, and/or because it doesn't feature any space aliens or superheroes AND/OR because the special effects in it were NOT done by some computer, the chances of THAT many sn*t-nosed little kids today, and be they black or white OR whatever, actually being enticed to sit down and WATCH this happy little fun-filled tale containing little moral lessons are PROBABLY pretty darn freakin' slim ANYWAY!!! LOL

 

"Pretty darn freakin' slim" should be more like "between slim and none".  That doesn't mean that they shouldn't release it, since "between slim and none" would also describe the potential market for countless other "classic Hollywood" DVDs that routinely get released.  It does mean that Disney might not think it's worth the aggravation.  Of course it wouldn't "break" Disney, but on balance it wouldn't likely help their bottom line.

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I saw this movie as a child of seven I thought that all the children-Black and White-were slaves and didn't think anything about it.  It was like Christians being Baptist, Catholic or Methodist.  When I used the term "white slave" in describing the movie to my mother you can imagine her reaction; it would be years before I learned what the term meant in the modern world. 

 

I want to see this movie so I can appreciate or deride it as an adult.  My memories of it are warm like the episodes of Amos & Andy I saw at that same time; today I might understand why film and series are deemed offensive by some.  I would probably cringe at parts, as I do with Gone With the Wind, and enjoy those that are worthy to be.  What I really object to is a company as plastic as Disney not giving me the chance.  That why I buy none of their products or patronize their "Empire to the North". 

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I saw this movie as a child of seven I thought that all the children-Black and White-were slaves and didn't think anything about it.  It was like Christians being Baptist, Catholic or Methodist.  When I used the term "white slave" in describing the movie to my mother you can imagine her reaction; it would be years before I learned what the term meant in the modern world. 

 

I grew up in the South in an era that still had Plantations and plantation houses and worker's shacks, and mostly-black workers. Some of the foremen were white with some white kids. Lots of both white and black families still lived in old shacks in the 1940s when I was a kid. My grandparents in Mississippi didn't have electricity until about 1950, and eventually gas heat and running water by the late 50s or early 60s. This was common in rural areas.

 

So, I saw the film not so much as "slaves" but poor plantation workers and the rich plantation owners.. We black and white kids didn't associate with one another very much, since we had different languages, literally, and we usually couldn't understand each other. Lots of slang expressions in each language. They couldn't understand us much either. In my childhood, I went to school with one black kid (in Montana) and I briefly had one black playmate my age (in the South) whose father worked on a dairy farm where my grandparents lived.

 

And of course our schools were segregated back in those days. Black people saw the same films I saw, because if the theater was large enough to have a balcony, blacks had their seating in the balcony. We could hear them laughing up there at the same jokes we laughed at.

 

In real life, many black people spoke clearly like Uncle Remus, but others spoke with a lot of fast talking slang like Br'er Rabbit and Br'er fox.

 

As a kid, when I saw the film, I saw all the "poor" kids in the movie as being equal (except for the "low class" bad white boys), and I saw Bobby Driscoll as being equal too (equal to the blacks and other poor kids in the movie, because he fit in with them), but I saw his mother as being somewhat bad and "uppity". Originally, my parents saw this film with me and they liked it too.

 

Back in those days, lots and lots of white people in the South were poor and we were sometimes treated with disrespect by the rich whites, since we weren't rich and we weren't as educated as they were.

 

Uncle Remus was similar to my two grandfathers who used to tell us kids stories about the old days. Every time I watch the film, after a while, the races gradually disappear and I just see people.

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I saw this movie as a child of seven I thought that all the children-Black and White-were slaves and didn't think anything about it.  It was like Christians being Baptist, Catholic or Methodist.  When I used the term "white slave" in describing the movie to my mother you can imagine her reaction; it would be years before I learned what the term meant in the modern world. 

 

I want to see this movie so I can appreciate or deride it as an adult.  My memories of it are warm like the episodes of Amos & Andy I saw at that same time; today I might understand why film and series are deemed offensive by some.  I would probably cringe at parts, as I do with Gone With the Wind, and enjoy those that are worthy to be.  What I really object to is a company as plastic as Disney not giving me the chance.  That why I buy none of their products or patronize their "Empire to the North". 

My memories of it are warm like the episodes of Amos & Andy I saw at that same time

 

We were just discussing this today, and how much we miss Kingfish and 'do da name Ruby Begonia mean anythin' to ya?'.

 

Ah, good times.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand how anyone could think this way.

 

A kind gentle old black man who tells funny and interesting stories to black and white children gathered around the fireplace at his house. A hero. A wonderful man. A problem solver. A man who has good advice for kids and helps them when they are in trouble. A Santa Claus in person.

 

Black and white kids playing together and don't notice they are black or white.

 

I just don't get it.

 

I think that people who don't want this film released today are people who don't want to admit that we can all socialize together and get along together.

 

I don't either. You'll have to talk to some African-Americans if you want to get it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That doesn't mean that they shouldn't release it, since "between slim and none" would also describe the potential market for countless other "classic Hollywood" DVDs that routinely get released.  It does mean that Disney might not think it's worth the aggravation. 

 

Yep. How much is setting off some racial-watch organizational blowback worth to a company that markets its product to children?

 

Fred doesn't understand this simple reality and TopBilled "likes" Fred's inability to understand it. I guess both of them can't be bothered to discuss it with those African-Americans who do have a problem with the movie.

 

Now me, I've never seen the movie and wouldn't have a problem with it even if I had because I really don't care about "perceived racial stereotypes".

 

At all.

 

But that doesn't prevent me from knowing that others do and that Disney is factoring that in its decision to keep the movie vaulted.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up in the South in an era that still had Plantations and plantation houses and worker's shacks, and mostly-black workers. Some of the foremen were white with some white kids. Lots of both white and black families still lived in old shacks in the 1940s when I was a kid. My grandparents in Mississippi didn't have electricity until about 1950, and eventually gas heat and running water by the late 50s or early 60s. This was common in rural areas.

 

So, I saw the film not so much as "slaves" but poor plantation workers and the rich plantation owners.. We black and white kids didn't associate with one another very much, since we had different languages, literally, and we usually couldn't understand each other. Lots of slang expressions in each language. They couldn't understand us much either. In my childhood, I went to school with one black kid (in Montana) and I briefly had one black playmate my age (in the South) whose father worked on a dairy farm where my grandparents lived.

 

And of course our schools were segregated back in those days. Black people saw the same films I saw, because if the theater was large enough to have a balcony, blacks had their seating in the balcony. We could hear them laughing up there at the same jokes we laughed at.

 

In real life, many black people spoke clearly like Uncle Remus, but others spoke with a lot of fast talking slang like Br'er Rabbit and Br'er fox.

 

As a kid, when I saw the film, I saw all the "poor" kids in the movie as being equal (except for the "low class" bad white boys), and I saw Bobby Driscoll as being equal too (equal to the blacks and other poor kids in the movie, because he fit in with them), but I saw his mother as being somewhat bad and "uppity". Originally, my parents saw this film with me and they liked it too.

 

Back in those days, lots and lots of white people in the South were poor and we were sometimes treated with disrespect by the rich whites, since we weren't rich and we weren't as educated as they were.

 

Uncle Remus was similar to my two grandfathers who used to tell us kids stories about the old days. Every time I watch the film, after a while, the races gradually disappear and I just see people.

Great post, Fred. Thanks for sharing your memories of watching this wonderful motion picture in the theatre.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Fred doesn't understand this simple reality and TopBilled "likes" Fred's inability to understand it. I guess both of them can't be bothered to discuss it with those African-Americans who do have a problem with the movie.

 

We know there are non-blacks that probably don't like the film. And as we have already established earlier in the thread, there are blacks who do like it and do not find it controversial.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We know there are non-blacks that probably don't like the film. And as we have already established earlier in the thread, there are blacks who do like it and do not find it controversial.

 

That's not the subject of my post. What Fred says he doesn't get is why Disney would feel it's not worth the blowback to re-release it. And you liked that.

 

It's such a simple thing to understand and yet you two apparently don't. Can you say "mental block"?

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's not the subject of my post. What Fred says he doesn't get is why Disney would feel it's not worth the blowback to re-release it. And you liked that.

 

It's such a simple thing to understand and yet you two apparently don't. Can you say "mental block"?

 

You misunderstood my post. I was talking about the last part of your statement, about people not liking the film. This: "a criticism that they are attempting to propagandize children to unacceptable racial stereotypes."

 

Regarding the blowback, you must have missed my post about Disney using the money scales to make their decision about whether or not to release a DVD.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...