Thursday, June 25, 2020
I Don't See The Big Deal With 'Gone With The Wind'
'Gone With The Wind' is one of those movies that critics have raved about for decades. I've never seen the movie nor do I care to do so. It's just not my thing. However, I have read about how black people were depicted in the movie as "willing slaves" or "incompetent". Because of this, we end up with this movie that's been around since before my dad was born coming with a warning label as if we're incompetent as well.
Now, because I've not seen the movie then maybe I don't understand the extremes of which the slaves may have been depicted. However, I don't think that you throw a disclaimer on it because of it. Does that mean that we'll have disclaimers for music videos that show women being degraded by men? Do we have a four minute speech at the beginning of "Old Yeller" because of what people may perceive as animal cruelty?
Look, slavery happened. And it infuriates me to know that people were treated like that. My people. But, TV is make-believe. The reason why 'GWTW' hasn't bothered me in my 48 years on this planet is because I haven't watched it. And that's what I would advise people to do if they feel outraged about how blacks were depicted in this film. Just don't watch. Don't even sweat the "gone with the wind plantation" mentality.
Who cares if some white people watch it and get their jollies from seeing black people mistreated? They were racists anyway if they got enjoyment out of that, so why make a big deal out of people who probably aren't going to change?
I don't want to see lengthy disclaimers in front of my movies due to racial insensitivty, excessive violence, gratuitous booty shots, or whatever. No apologies in front of "A Time To Kill" or "Mississippi Burning" or whatever unflattering movies that may be out there. And there are thousands of them.
Most people generally know what they are getting when they sit down to watch a movie. And if they don't know and happen to get a few minutes into it to discover that there's something about it that they don't like then they can change the channel.
Maybe there's a discussion that can be had about whatever was unpleasing about the movie, but please don't force movies to do this regularly. Let these movies serve as talking points for productive discussions about racism. Although I appreciate the effort, but disclaimers still won't change the systemic racism in this country in my opinion or even come close. That's an entirely different discussion.