“Gone With the Wind” Removed from Theatre, Deemed Offensive-Truth!
Summary of eRumor:
“Gone With the Wind” was removed from the a Summer Screening Series of the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis in August 2017 because some people found its portrayal of African-Americans, slavery and racial stereotypes offensive.
The Orpheum Theatre Group announced in August 2017 that it wouldn’t show “Gone With the Wind” anymore during its Summer Screening Series in response to feedback from those who found the film offensive.
The story first appeared on at the USA Today Network’s Commercial Appeal publication based in Tennessee on August 25, 2017, under the headline, “‘Gone with the Wind’ Is Gone – From Memphis Theatre After 34 Years.” The report cites a statement released by Brett Batterson, president of the Orpheum Theatre Group, that said the theatre’s August 11 screening of the 1939 classic would be the last:
“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.”
Orpheum Theatre Group reps went on to say that the decision to remove “Gone With the Wind” from its film series wasn’t tied to white nationalist protests in Charlottesville, or any singular event, but to negative public feedback received over the course of years:
“This is something that’s been questioned every year, but the social media storm this year really brought it home,” said Batterson, referring to online complaints about “Gone With the Wind,” which sparked much “feedback” about the film, pro and con, from both members of the general public and scholars, including Rhodes College history professor Charles McKinney, director of the school’s Africana Studies Program.
According to the statement released by the theater, the screening on Aug. 11 — the same night, coincidentally, as the Charlottesville white supremacist march —“generated numerous comments. The Orpheum carefully reviewed all of them.”
“This is about the Orpheum wanting to be inclusive and welcoming to all of Memphis,” Batterson said.
He said “Gone with the Wind” attracted about 1,300 patrons, a “good” showing but far from the turnout that accompanied the film in the past. The film’s popularity “has leveled off,” he said.
Adapted from Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 classic, “Gone With the Wind” won eight Academy Awards and has generated widespread critical claim. But it’s also generated plenty of controversy from the onset. But Gone With the Wind sparked boycotts and protests back in 1939, too. Even then, some found the film’s portrayal of “happy slaves,” racial stereotypes and the fact that African-American cast members were not invited to the film’s premier unacceptable, AMC reports:
The ever-popular film has also had its share of detractors, for its benign antebellum Southern racial stereotypes (of happy slaves living on the plantation) – its overall portrayal of slavery and race. Many forget that Hattie McDaniel and other black cast members were not allowed to attend the premiere of the film in racially-segregated Atlanta in mid-December 1939. There were protests and boycotts by African-Americans when the film opened in major cities.
In the end, it’s true that “Gone With the Wind” was removed from a Memphis theatre in August 2017 because some deemed it offensive.