MEMPHIS, TN — 1930’s film classic “Gone With the Wind” has been banned from screening due to what activists have deemed “racially insensitive” content.
The Oscar winning film starring Vivien Leigh and Clarke Gable, has been removed from a historic Memphis, Tennessee theater that had showcased “Gone With the Wind” screenings for more than 34 years.
In a statement, the president of the Orpheum Theatre confirmed the decision to ban the film on the basis of its “insensitive” content.
“The Orpheum appreciates feedback on its programming from all members of the mid-south community,” Orpheum president Bret Batterson 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.”
“This is something that’s been questioned every year,” Batterson’s statement continued, “but the social media storm this year really brought it home.”
Film lovers were quick to voice their outrage over the decision, with many taking to Orpheum’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/events/1690854501220051/permalink/1743908129248021/?action_history=null) to vent their frustration.
“This is the stupidest thing I have heard lately and believe me there have been some really stupid things done lately in the name of ‘racism’ – How ignorant are you people – Never will I go to this theater or any other one that promotes this BS,” one commenter wrote.
“A full boycott of the Orpheum should commence immediately, and not cease until this abominable decision is rescinded. Period,” wrote another.
According to the film fact website IMDB, Hattie McDaniel, who played “Mammy” in the 1939 film, was the first African-American actress to be nominated for an Academy Award.
Based on the 1936 novel by Atlanta’s Margaret Mitchell, “Gone With the Wind” was set in the South during the Civil War and included scenes involving slavery. The movie won eight Oscars, including picture of the year.