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Ben Mankewitz versus Robert Osbourne


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> You didn't understand what I was saying, Quiller.

>

> I'm trying to make the point that it wouldn't make

> sense (for example) to hire as hosts an

> African-American woman and a Native American male, if

> neither one of them knew *anything* about movies and

> neither one of them could make an effective

> presentation.

>

> See the point I'm trying to make?

 

I understood what you were saying, Cinemascope. In reality, my post was directed more towards Earthworm's comment. (It just seemed easier to quote your message.)

 

I think that it has to be a given that whatever new host TCM hires (if ever) must possess genuine credentials of some sort. But I believe there to be an inherent value in TCM making an effort to hire a host that comes from different background than the white male-dom of both R.O. and B.M. And since in a more recent post, you've reiterated your desire to see a more regular female voice on the channel, I get the feeling that we're probably in agreement.

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I had no idea Osborne was 75. Looks like he's in his 60s. He should have another 10 good years, at least.

 

As someone mentioned, all Osborne and Mankewitz do is give us info or trivia on the movies, so a female host won't be giving us a "female" perspective.

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Well Quiller I guess we could agree that it's best to aim and strike a good balance, considering all factors involved.

 

And yes, of course I think America badly needs to move away from having only white males in all top positions, from President down to even TCM hosts. ;)

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twister, there are other ways to try to find a "balance" than you appear to imply. For example, dividing up host duties so that it's easier to have a well-balanced team, maybe divide it all up eventually into 4 or 5 hosts, making it easier to have a diverse team. :)

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I respect your viewpoint, while "balance" is great in some areas, I don't see why it is essential for TCM to have 4 or 5 hosts for "balance". Can you explain why this is essential? I suppose maybe a woman has a different perspective on a film than a man - but why isn't Mr. Osborne adequate? I just don't seem to understand why this would be necessary at TCM.

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When we speak of "balance" then we open the door for every single group to want to be included in this "balance" and I think it would be opening a can of worms. TCM would have to be fair to every single group out there and then we'd be wasting more time with TCM having multiple hosts, discussions, debates, etc. instead of just focusing on watching the classic films. I myself could care less who the host of TCM is - I just want to see the classic films. I think what TCM has as the format is quite adequate but that is just my opinion. I don't think TCM wants to get into "politics" - but rather focus on showing classic films.

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Point well taken - but I never even thought of it till you mentioned it. I look forward to having a woman do some of the hosting duties at TCM - but sometimes their voices grate on my nerves - like Molly Haskell. Whatever makes you happy - it really isn't the focal point of contention for me. Truthfully, I never even noticed Robert Osborne until weeks after I started watching TCM - I just tune in when the classic film starts...sometimes I even put him on "mute"...LOL

 

In the scheme of life - it's not that important to me - so whatever everyone else likes is what I would go for - no problem.

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cinemascope- "But I don't know how many people really want to work until they're 85 and/or never think about retirement."

 

Well, he could have "retired" 10 years ago and didn't. And what would he be retiring from, a deadening civil service job? No, introducing some movies and doing some interviews. Why would he ever want to retire from that?

And then do what, just watch movies without introducing them? lol

 

My point is if a person likes what he's doing, he should want to do it as long as he can. And it looks like Osbourne likes what he's doing.

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In all the time I've been watching TCM, I think I could count on the fingers of one hand the amount of times RO has given the impression that he did not like the movie about to show. He has made references to the acting and directing techniques, as well as cinematography, but so rarely I cannot think of one time when he gave the impression that it was not a movie to enjoy. Ben, on the other hand, has made reference to certain things, such as, like discussed in the last thread about this subject, that a certain movie is a 'really just a chick flick', which sends the message to me reading, "guys, unless your wife or girlfriend forces you, you're not going to like this movie." He also visibly sneers at certain actors/actresses names, also giving the impression he does not care for them. I look forward to RO's lead-ins, because often, although I am not really anxious to see it, I will watch it for whatever RO suggests looking for. That to me, is the stamp of a good host; one who makes you feel welcome, and wants you to have a good time.

 

Anne

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Are you 85? If not, you're not talking from experience.

 

You don't know what it might be like to feel like taking it a bit easier, or whether it might even be medically recommended that someone take it a bit easier. And you also probably didn't read the article about RO in which it explained how much work went into writing the introductions, flying off to Atlanta regularly and taping a whole bunch of them in just a few hours.

 

There's no reason why someone RO's age might not *need* to retire even if they enjoy what they're doing. If a person like RO wants to keep going, great, but don't assume that's going to be what they want to do.

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Just as long as we move away from having a white male on-screen 100% of the time when there's a host....

 

I'm sorry, but I can't just let that pass. There are only two hosts on TCM at the present time. It just happens that they were born male and Caucasian, probably more through a collaboration of male and female parents than a TCM desire.

 

One, Osborne, happens to be a film scholar and writes a daily column in a show business newspaper, The Hollywood Reporter.

 

The other, Mankiewicz, has hosted a news magazine show and a satellite radio show, in addition to knowing a lot about Hollywood because he "is the grandson of writer Herman Mankiewicz and great-nephew of director Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who between them wrote and directed such films as Citizen Kane (1941), All About Eve (1950), Guys and Dolls (1955), The Pride of the Yankees (1942), Dinner at Eight (1933) and Cleopatra (1963)." (from the info release by TCM upon his hiring).

 

If TCM was hosted by twelve white males, then I could understand your objection and would readily agree...but there are only two hosts altogether. That they are both male and white isn't what I would think of as defying the laws of chance. So, when both do their jobs very well, I can't see a request to "move away from having a white male on-screen 100% of the time when there's a host."

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filmlover, I'm sorry, but you either misunderstood my earlier statement, or are deliberately trying to misrepresent it.

 

I'm not calling the current situation into question due to the current hosts. What I *am* saying is, that although it's always been like that since TCM started, hopefully it won't be like that *always*.

 

Just like when people say hopefully someday we'll have a president who is not a white male, it's not necessarily a criticism of all past U.S. presidents.

 

Now do you understand what I am saying, or are you going to continue to misrepresent what I said?

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I wasn't calling into question the race factor, really, more about the "male" factor. I just think with there only being two hosts, there is a very good possibility that they could be two males or two females. That one is male and the other not female just doesn't seem bad to me.

 

I wasn't trying to misinterpret what you were saying, that's why I presented the sentence exactly as you wrote it.

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Yes, but honestly, the factors here are more complicated than just gender and race alone.

 

Because we live in a country where for the longest time, all power and almost all wealth was concentrated only in the hands of white males.

 

Because we are a very diverse nation, and we *should* expect a modicum of diversity everywhere we look.

 

Because up to now, for any number of reasons, TCM has not been a place where we can look at permanent hosts and think "diversity".

 

I mean, even the guest programmers seem to be predominantly white males.... *that* is something to think about....

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