Earlier this month, we reported that Turner Classic Movies was launching a new series called “Reframed Classics.” The series is taking a 18 controversial films from the 1920s through the 1960s that some now say have problematic elements to them.
The premiere of the series examined the classic 1939 movie Gone With The Wind.
The movie is now seen as problematic by the left because it romanticizes slavery and the Civil War-era South.
In this video clip, some of the TCM hosts talk about what they like best about the introductions they give to movies and how some of the films they show may have content that’s problematic.
Ben Mankiewicz Speaks Out
One of the hosts, Ben Mankiewicz, spoke out this week to say why the network is doing this. He feels that now is the right time to revisit these classics.
“We’re doing this series because we’re in the middle of a nation-wide conversation about race, sexism, sexual orientation and gender,” Mankiewicz told Fox News. “For more than a hundred years, movies have played a critical role in shaping how we see each other. Mostly, the movies have enhanced our understanding of the human condition, but in other cases, they’ve reinforced deeply negative stereotypes that have contributed to an uneven playing field.”
“For 27 years, TCM has been bringing classic movies to modern audiences, putting the films in their proper cultural and historical context,” Maniewicz added. “As the guardians of these movies, we think it’s critical that they are part of this national conversation because as we move forward, they can play a vital role in helping us grow together.”
There are some people who like the idea of discussing classic movies, but have complaints as well.
I’m really happy @tcm has taken the time to add context to these older films because watching Gone with the Wind while black has always been a weird experience, and acknowledgement of the why behind that goes a long way in preserving these films.
— CharlesBLK (@CharlesBlk) March 12, 2021
The idea of this series is good, although hopefully they do a better job than they did last week with Gone With The Wind. No mention of Hattie’s oscar win. No mention that people love the movie because they’re invested in Scarlett’s journey, the romance triangle, etc.
— Scott Plissken (@scottplissken) March 11, 2021
Jacqueline Stewart Defends Series
Jacqueline Stewart, a University of Chicago professor who is the first African American host on Turner Classic Movies, also spoke out to defend the series.
“We know millions of people love these films,” Stewart said. “We’re not saying this is how you should feel about Psycho or this is how you should feel about Gone with the Wind. We’re just trying to model ways of having longer and deeper conversations and not just cutting it off to ‘I love this movie. I hate this movie.’ There’s so much space in between.”
Stewart added that she is hoping the series will encourage both longtime classic movie fans and curious viewers to have discussions instead of “cancelling” or dismissing these films.
“I think there’s something to be learned from any work of art,” she said. “They’re all historical artifacts that tell us a lot about the industry in which they were made, the cultures that they were speaking to.”
Push To ‘Cancel’ Gone With The Wind
Last year, filmmaker John Ridley called on HBO Max to remove Gone With The Wind because it “romanticizes the Confederacy in a way that continues to give legitimacy to the notion that the secessionist movement was something more, or better, or more noble than what it was — a bloody insurrection to maintain the ‘right’ to own, sell and buy human beings.”
WarnerMedia, which owns HBO Max, responded by saying that the movie is “a product of its time” that depicts racial prejudices.
It also added a disclaimer seen at the beginning of the movie that featured Stewart warning of how “problematic” the movie is.
It’s sad that liberals are out to “cancel” some of the most beloved films of all time.
If only they would just let these movies of the past be seen for what they are, and allow the rest of us to enjoy them in peace.