Gone With the Wind is gone from a Memphis theater — despite a 34-year tradition — and by Monday opponents were mounting a fiery Shermanesque march through social media to cast shame on its ban as “racially insensitive.”
“Common sense has gone with the wind in my hometown of Memphis,” tweeted Fox News host Todd Starnes. He claimed the film had been “done-in by a bunch of meddling, no-account, liberal Yankee carpetbaggers.”
The Orpheum Theatre canceled a long-running screening of GWTW because of “racially insensitive content” in the 1939 film, which won eight Oscars and was based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning 1936 book of the same name.
The 78-year-old film’s content is hardly a surprise: It has long been scrutinized and criticized for its romanticized depiction of the antebellum bad old days of slavery in the South.
African Americans have complained about it for years to little effect. But GWTW also is the first film in which a black performer — Hattie McDaniel, who played main character Scarlett O’Hara’s slave “Mammy” — won a best-supporting actress Oscar.
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