Proving that not even legendary Hollywood films are sacred, a Tennessee theater cancelled showings of 1939's "Gone With the Wind" due to complaints of racist content.
The Commercial Appeal reported on Friday that the film would no longer be shown at Memphis's Orpheum Theatre.
Statements from The Orpheum Theatre Group
A statement provided to The Commercial appeal by The Orpheum Theater Group read:
While title selections for the 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 appreciates feedback on its programming from all members of the mid-south community. 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.
Orpheum Theatre added that the film would not be screened during 2018's Summer Movie Series — an event in which the film was featured annually for over 34 years.
Brett Batterson, president of the Orpheum Theatre Group said, “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.”
Batterson added that the decision to pull "Gone With the Wind" from the theatre's repertoire was made before the Charlottesville, Virginia attack.
“This is something that’s been questioned every year, but the social media storm this year really brought it home,” Batterson said, and referred to complaints received by the theater after its final Aug. 11 showing.
"The Orpheum carefully reviewed all of them," Batterson said of the complaints. "This is about the Orpheum wanting to be inclusive and welcoming to all of Memphis."
The film is set on a southern plantation home during the Civil War and features both black and white players as the main characters.
While much of the film featured slavery, the result of the product was a first-time Academy Award win by a black actress.
Hattie McDaniel, a house servant named Mammy, won the first-ever Academy Award given to a black entertainer.
The organization's Facebook page was inundated with comments about the decision to discontinue "Gone With the Wind" showings, both in support of the move and chastising the decision.
One follower said, "It's a dangerous time when books and movies are banned. This is getting scary."
Another wrote, however, "Slowly but surely, we will rid this community of all tributes to white supremacy."
"I thought that Chick Ghostbusters movie looked awful," another commenter wrote. "Know what I did? I didn't go see it. Every time someone caves to this liberal mob, they get a little stronger."
Another follower added, "It's people like YOU is why all this racist hate violence is happening, you cave in to all this liberal PC crap that empowers more racial hate and absolute nonsense. When people start shaming liberals by calling on their BS is when this will end."