Gone with the Wind disclaimer on FOX Classics

"Scenes which depict racism are not endorsed by FOX Classics."

On Saturday night FOX Classics ran a disclaimer ahead of its screening of Gone with the Wind.

The screening was part of a tribute to the late Bill Collins, 12 months on from his passing.

It included Collins’ previous introduction to the 1939 film, one of his all-time favourites.

Amongst the praise he showered, Collins said, “Just take a look at this magnificent woman, Hattie McDaniel, the first black person to get an Academy Award. And she deserved it as Mammy in Gone with the Wind. You can’t imagine Gone with the Wind without her.

“And you probably can’t imagine it without Butterfly McQueen,” he continued.

“Butterfly McQueen what an extraordinary characterisation.”

9 Responses

  1. I don’t see an issue doing this, so many titles were created in a different time. The issue is if people what these titles banned, that’s when you hide history and we never learn.

  2. How will/would this work with shows like Benson or Soap (Benson was a butler); The Love Boat (Issac was a bartender), will all TV shows that have African American characters in subordinate roles have such a disclaimer at the front of each episode? There’s been countless movies over the years that surely would ‘need’ the same disclaimer if they were genuinely concerned and consistent.

    1. Well, none of the shows you mention are currently on air anywhere in Australia, but if they were, you would say that the black characters in them are often shown to be the smartest people in the room, so I don’t see where the problem is

  3. Except the complaint has always been, since 1936 with the book and 1940 with the premier of the film (from which the black cast were excluded), is it doesn’t feature enough racism and prejudice thus presenting a romanticised and dangerously appealing view of slavery and The South.

    Which is of course why Hollywood made 12 Years A Slave, which was a commercial hit, won best film at the Golden Globes, Oscars and BAFTAs and was based on Northup’s biography, the best first hand account life in the South’s system of slavery.

  4. The wording of this disclaimer is problematic. Instead of a neutral statement that the content may offend, they have chosen to put in subjective opinion in the second half of the first paragraph.

    By using the word unfortunately, and stating that the views are “commonplace in some sections” they are dictating how the viewer is meant to feel, and aligning themselves squarely with one opinion.

    Why not condense this to GWTW “is a product of its time and scenes which depict ethnic and racial prejudices are not endorsed by Fox Classics.”

    1. It’s a deliberate statement that (rightly, and correctly) calls out racism in the 21st century, using very few words, as a precursor to a film that may offend some viewers. Anyone that has a problem with this is, frankly, part of the problem.

      TV channels, like us all, have the responsibility to call out racism for what it is – disgusting and unacceptable. Half a paragraph of text on a black and white disclaimer is the absolute least that Fox Classics could have done.

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