One of Hollywood’s iconic films has come under some serious scrutiny in Memphis, Tennesse
The city’s historic Orpheum theater has decided to cancel its annual screening of ‘Gone with the Wind’ after some accused the iconic film of being racially insensitive.
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The president of the theater said: “the Orpheum cannot show a film that is insensitive to a large segment of its local population”
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The move has enraged those who believe America’s left wing is attempting to rewrite the country’s Civil War history.
Based on the 1936 novel by Margaret Mitchell the film was originally released in 1939. It won a total of eight Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. Hattie McDaniel, the actress who played a slave called “Mammy” in the film became the first African-American actor to be nominated for and win an Academy Award.
The Orpheum Theatre has long included ‘Gone with the Wind’ as part of its summer movie series, with cinema buffs turning up each year to be transported to the picturesque Tara Planation, located in Georgia, during the Civil War.
The theater once again screened the film on August 11, but not everyone was eager to see Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler grace the screen this time around.
Instead, many accused the film, which features slavery and a narrative that is sympathetic towards the South, of being racist. Many of those complaints were submitted to the theater, which later announced it would no longer be showing the movie.
“The recent screening of Gone with the Wind at the Orpheum on Friday, August 11, 2017, generated numerous comments. The Orpheum carefully reviewed all of them…as an organization whose stated mission is to ‘entertain, educate and enlighten the communities it serves,’ the Orpheum cannot show a film that is insensitive to a large segment of its local population,” Brett Batterson, president of the Orpheum, said in a statement.
The theater made clear that although title selections for the summer series are typically made in the spring of each year, the Orpheum “has made this determination early in response to specific inquiries from patrons,” the Orpheum said, as quoted by Entertainment Weekly.
The decision to drop the iconic American classic from its summer line-up marks the end of a 34-year tradition for the theater.
Although the theater’s screening of the film took place on the same evening as the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which has made media headlines for weeks, Batterson told the Commercial Appeal that the decision was made “before Charlottesville.”
He made clear that although the film’s screening has “been questioned every year,” it was this year’s “social media storm” that “really brought it home,” referring to comments made on the theater’s Facebook page.
While the so-called social media storm did indeed include plenty of critics who believe the film is racist, others took to Twitter to express anger at the theater’s decision, believing the film to be a classic and a part of America’s history.
One person expressed their surprise at the move by questioning whether it was actually “real life.”
Did I really just read that a theatre cancelled a showing of “Gone with the Wind” for being “insensitive”? Is this real life?? pic.twitter.com/IuUqSE4Rzt
— Marianna Neal (@ImpressionBlend) August 27, 2017