You can go watch it right now, if that's how you'd like to spend your day! HBO Max’s temporary pulling of Gone With the Wind is completely defensible, and shouldn’t be the slightest bit controversial. The cynicism of this is as disgusting as it is unsurprising. Witness the unbearably pompous Ben Shapiro, who denounced those who would "Remove all 'offensive' content" on Twitter Wednesday night. It's unclear how people on Twitter even could "cancel" Cracker Barrel. Watch out, Blazing Saddles. In that case, as in that of Gone With the Wind, users are welcome to avert their eyes for a few seconds to avoid such an insidious disclaimer. It later returned, with a disclaimer … 1.3k. This same controversy happened back when Disney+ launched, and a few cultural scolds went nuts when they found out the company included disclaimers before some older movies, while otherwise not altering them at all. The conservative freakout about “the woke” supposedly wanting to ban Blazing Saddles is about 1000 times as large as any actual real-world attempt by wokesters to ban Blazing Saddles – as was clear to anyone who clicked on that trending topic. The NAACP, the black press and others knew what was going on, all the way back in 1939. It temporarily removed the film from HBO Max, a streaming service that’s existed for less than three weeks. It’s been a ridiculous argument every time it’s been made for years – and I’ve addressed it before, in this space – but once again: Blazing Saddles is one of the most stridently anti-racist movies in history. No one on the left, as far as I can tell — and I spent way too much time digging around on search engines and Twitter looking for shreds of evidence — has even suggested censoring "Blazing Saddles." There's not even a Twitter egg with two followers that conservatives can cite as evidence that the libs are coming to clamp down on "Cheers. It's a neat trick, honestly: Let's pretend to debate a movie no one is attacking in order to avoid debating a movie that even Ted Cruz and other conservatives know is indefensible. Blazing Saddles is the latest film to get a video disclaimer on HBO Max. If WarnerMedia/HBO were memory-holing Gone With the Wind forever, pulling it from circulation in all forms of media or, like, destroying the master negative, that would be censorship. The Curious Disappearance of Judith McNaught: What Happened to ‘The Sweetest Thing’? The former indeed looked at … Understandably, Jacqueline Stewart’s Blazing Saddles introduction is a lot less full of caveats than the one that accompanied Wind, on account of, well, Blazing Saddles being almost infinitely less racist than Gone With The Wind. The entire censorship campaign against this film is occurring in the imaginations of Cruz and his fellow nutbar conspiracy theorists. The outrage over liberals supposedly blackballing this comedy classic, which features both fart jokes and anti-racist satire, appears to have been kicked off by Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican and onetime anti-Trump presidential candidate: "Here's a radical idea: Don't censor Gone With The Wind. The Twitter account for the white supremacist site VDare (why they get to have a Twitter account is another question altogether) whined: "Black Twitter is trying to cancel Cracker Barrel. There are no op-eds from woke Hollywood people calling for any of this. You're next. Jacqueline Stewart, who recorded a similar intro for "Gone With the Wind," introduces Mel Brooks' film "Blazing Saddles" from 1974 This scene, in particular, is the last 50 years of Republican political messaging in 70 seconds: There are a lot of dumb things about this discussion, but here’s the biggest one: There’s virtually no one on the left arguing for the cancellation of Blazing Saddles, but many, many people on the right are assuming that people on the left MIGHT cancel it. By convincing people who already avoid it not to eat their dreadful food? Don't censor Blazing Saddles. If they made alterations to the film itself, I would also object strenuously, on film preservationist grounds. Sales rank: 60 (was 5,409) Mel Brooks' 1974 Western spoof gets a new introduction, as already happened with Gone With the Wind. But of course loudmouth conservatives — always eager to play First Amendment martyrs even as they cheer on actual assaults on free speech, such as tear-gassing peaceful protesters so Donald Trump can stage a photo-op without hecklers — have worked themselves into a tizzy about the alleged censorship to which neither they nor the film are actually being subjected to. Vivien Leigh and Hattie McDaniel in a still from the film 'Gone with the Wind'. But back then, as of now, the not-banned Gone With the Wind surged to the top of Amazon’s charts. As for the other frequent argument, it really doesn’t matter if Blazing Saddles could never be made today. Obviously Game of Thrones has to go right now. Nevertheless, Jacqueline Stewart’s tutorial betrays and dilutes the movie’s heart and soul, its moral literacy, with her patronizing and simple-minded exercise in … police caused people to just start noticing in the last few years that Gone With the Wind was racist, well, take a look at this thread. Close. Except that there continues to be zero evidence of any move to disappear these sitcoms from any prominent liberal voices. And in the meantime, before Gone With the Wind returns to HBO Max, it’s right there to rent from Amazon, Apple, or other VOD providers for just $4. Gone With the Wind sucks. Adam Serwer of The Atlantic, one of today’s most incisive writers on race, also pointed out why this is all so ridiculous: But then, of course, there’s the other stupid debate we get to have again: The Blazing Saddles one. HBO Max Adds Adds Disclaimer For Blazing Saddles With "Proper Social Context" The new content adding context is similar to the one also added before Gone With the Wind… But it's a price they're willing to pay for the larger goal, which is spreading misinformation. A sharp comedy, Blazing Saddles is now being reexamined through the same lens as Gone with the Wind. Due to the fact that Gone with the Wind has temporarily been pulled from HBO Max due to its depiction of a rosy, slave-owning antebellum South, a new, strange rallying cry has started up on Twitter saying to ban Blazing Saddles next. Instead of defending "Gone With the Wind", conservatives have bizarrely pivoted to defending "Blazing Saddles," Mel Brooks' satirical 1974 Western that depicts the trials and tribulations of a black sheriff in an all-white town. The newly-launched streaming service had previously added a similar intro to Gone with the Wind, which attempts to provide historical context for some of its outdated portrayals of race. And 'Cheers' is going to be gone, because it has mostly an all-white cast. We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously, Your email address will not be published. Blazing Saddles, which delivers a brutally funny savaging of racism, is so effective primarily because it is never patronizing or simple-minded. "You know what's going to happen next," declared Joe Concha, a reporter for the conservative site The Hill, declared during a Thursday morning appearance on Fox News. Mel Brooks’s smash hit 1974 comedy Blazing Saddles, which seems to have been added to HBO Max since the Gone With The Wind dust up and is known for its liberal use of the feared and loathed “n-word”, arrived with a similarly patronising disclaimer already installed. The lambasting of imaginary liberals with their imaginary censorship has of course already spread to Fox News. (There's a scene in which a group of white men, including Rhett Butler, wreak havoc on a black neighborhood, an act portrayed as necessary to defend the honor of Scarlett O'Hara. Is “Blazing Saddles” next? All rights reserved. "A show like 'Seinfeld', which was politically incorrect at times, that's going to be gone. But as always, it’s a ridiculous leap to interpret, say, “Blazing Saddles at 45: Hilarious and Troublesome” as a veiled call for censorship. In the book, these characters are explicitly members of the Ku Klux Klan.) Of the “Great Movies” of old Hollywood, it’s by far the worst. And when the movie comes back, they’re not going to edit it or censor it. A friend posted a comment on FB, and one of his friends that I don’t know brought up Blazing Saddles, and claimed it was “racist.” This is my response, edited for Quora: Blazing Saddles isn’t racist. God forbid Americans are reminded they once had a country and a culture.". HBO Max has as much right not to stream that movie as they do not to stream "Amos 'n' Andy" or "Small Wonder," the 1980s sitcom about a family with a robot for a daughter, which is not racist but just really terrible. TCM host and University of Chicago cinema and media studies professor Jacqueline Stewart provides the intro to Blazing Saddles. If we are to create a more just, equitable and inclusive future, we must first acknowledge and understand our history.”. HBO Max adds racist-language disclaimer to Blazing Saddles. Blazing Saddles, Gone With The Wind & Other Relics Of The Past Are Going Fast! While it’s widely believed that Gone with the Wind has very racists portrayals […] But none of that is on the table, or even close to on the table. HBO Max has been under fire since it … If Gone With the Wind is “banned,” then Mel Brooks’ ’70s Western, with its racial stereotypes and n-words, must not be far behind. There doesn't even appear to be any hyperbolic Twitter chatter Kelly can point at to justify her paranoia. Due to the fact that Gone with the Wind has temporarily been pulled from HBO Max due to its depiction of a rosy, slave-owning antebellum South, a new, strange rallying cry has started up on Twitter saying to ban Blazing Saddles next. This tactic also allows conservatives to whip themselves into an outrage without having to defend "Gone With the Wind," a movie that literally celebrates the racist violence that Black Lives Matter protesters are currently denouncing. They’re not banning it. It's already calcifying in right-wing circles that "Blazing Saddles" is somehow or other getting censored, and that's happening without a single liberal or leftist actually saying or doing anything. Directed by Mel Brooks, Blazing Saddles stars Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder and serves as a satire of early Hollywood Westerns. Sure, a mediocre parody site called Broad Street Beacon wrote a story a few years ago titled “Protests Break Out Over Proposed Blazing Saddles Showing,” but it was, you know, not real (and not particularly funny, either.) This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. SALON ® is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as a trademark of Salon.com, LLC. ", Even the kinds of right-wingers who don't pretend not to be white supremacists have chosen to flail against imaginary liberal crusades rather than defend "Gone With the Wind." The ensuing freakout was swift and immense, from those who seem to believe that, following the last three weeks of American history, THIS is the injustice worth getting exercised about. Among the many ironies at work here is the fact that if "Blazing Saddles" were made today, the same right-wingers who pretend they are defending it from fictitious censors would be outraged at the film. Partner with us and earn money through our affiliate program! January 1940 – The way Gone with the Wind was covered in the Black press was the opposite of how it was covered in the white press. Your email address will not be published. Anything by John Hughes … Woody Allen… could go on & on… & on…& on…," tweeted Megyn Kelly, the former Fox News host whose enthusiasm for creativity does not extend to anyone who depicts Santa or Jesus as black. "Blazing Saddles" is far from the only movie or TV show that conservatives are heroically defending against the hordes of imaginary liberals who are coming for culture with their cancellation shears. Thankfully, it was already made, in 1974, and doesn’t need to be made again. But in the meantime, Blazing Saddles remains blessedly unbanned. While it's widely believed that Gone with the Wind has very racists portrayals of slave labor, is Blazing Saddles really racist as well? Well, for one thing, nobody is actually censoring anything, and no one anywhere is censoring or canceling or even temporarily withdrawing "Blazing Saddles." The new intro comes from University of Chicago cinema and media studies professor Jacqueline Stewart, who also did the intro for Gone With the Wind. So, we get to do this stupid thing again, huh? Thankfully, it was already made, in 1974, and doesn’t need to be made again. This came just two days after Shapiro had ranted about how sports media should censor all anti-racist and pro-LGBT content, and because they declined to do so, "My place of comfort has been removed from me." Though even if he had pushed for full banishment, one writer in one newspaper doesn’t have the power to get movies banned all by himself. (And also, not to get too judge-y here, quite a bit more comical.) The problem here? Let’s be clear about what happened: HBO did not ban, censor, or “blacklist” Gone With the Wind. Breitbart wrote a piece in 2014, listing “10 reasons to believe the left will eventually ban Blazing Saddles,” but six years later, none of the ten have yet come to fruition. They’re adding a disclaimer or possibly a brief pre-show discussion providing some context, both of which users will likely be able to skip. Start typing to see results or hit ESC to close. There is no call to withdraw "Friends" or "Game of Thrones" or even "Sixteen Candles," the John Hughes movie Kelly is clearly thinking about but avoids naming because she knows she can't defend either the anti-Asian racism or the celebration of date rape in the movie. It’s both a dead-on parody of the racist tropes of the Western genre, and an overall condemnation of both white conservative racial panic and the tendency of right-wing plutocrats to hide behind the grievances of poor whites. CE5: Making Alien Contact through Meditation, How the Joker is the Perfect Embodiment of Carl Jung’s Jester Archetype, should “go the way of the Confederate flag.”, Vince Vaughn, Trump, and the Latest Backlash to a Non-Backlash, “Blazing Saddles at 45: Hilarious and Troublesome”, “10 reasons to believe the left will eventually ban Blazing Saddles,”, Sony is buying anime streaming service Crunchyroll for $1.17 billion, Coming Up: A one-night-only premiere of a new ‘Sopranos’ documentary, The Undoing: Demystifying the Complex Mind of a Charming Psychopath, Unpacking the Cliché-Riddled Narrative of ‘Emily in Paris’, 'Hamilton' on Disney+ is a Hit - and No, it Won't Be "Cancelled" » LIVING LIFE FEARLESS. The buying out of Blazing Saddles, To Kill a Mockingbird and Casablanca. Sure, the occasional thinkpiece about the movie will touch on elements that haven’t held up that well. Associated Press articles: Copyright © 2016 The Associated Press. The spoof comes after HBO Max included proper social context notices for Gone with the Wind and Blazing Saddles. “Let ‘Gone With the Wind’ be gone with the wind,” the award-winning actress told The Associated Press in a recent interview. "Let's do this — every episode of Friends needs to go right now. #FreeSpeech #ArtisticFreedom," Cruz tweeted on Wednesday. In spite of its significance, Gone with the Wind has always been a controversial film. If not, you hate women (& LGBTQ ppl, who also don't fare well on Friends). (Photo by MGM Studios/Getty Images) Referring to Blazing Saddles, a … (Salon/Warner Bros./MGM/Columbia Pictures), ------------------------------------------, temporarily suspended offering "Gone With the Wind", simultaneously both a classic Hollywood movie, a rancid, regressive work that celebrates slavery, after a Los Angeles Times op-ed by John Ridley, even as they cheer on actual assaults on free speech, tear-gassing peaceful protesters so Donald Trump can stage a photo-op without hecklers, Christian Toto, has claimed that the movie, does not extend to anyone who depicts Santa or Jesus as black, the celebration of date rape in the movie, Shapiro had ranted about how sports media, meant their freedom to say whatever racist or offensive stuff they want, Troll Nation: How The Right Became Trump-Worshipping Monsters Set On Rat-F*cking Liberals, America, and Truth Itself. Unboxing the Gone With the Wind Blu-ray Boxset. As for the other frequent argument, it really doesn’t matter if Blazing Saddles could never be made today. Posted by 23 days ago. Hell, by defending "Blazing Saddles" long and hard enough, the right may persuade a few naive liberals to attack it, under the assumption that if conservatives are this fired up about it, it must be a racist movie. The move followed an op-ed published in the Los Angeles Times earlier in the week by John Ridley, the screenwriter of 12 Years a Slave and numerous other films, suggesting that HBO “take it off your platform for now.”. I’m sure it’ll happen any day now, though. HBO Max Adds Disclaimer to Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles Just as she did for Gone with the Wind, TCM's Jacqueline Stewart contextualizes the comedy classic They certainly don't want to back themselves into a corner where they need to explain why they're not also demanding that HBO stream "Amos 'n' Andy" or "Birth of a Nation.". Claudine Longet and All Her Shades of Grey. Gone With the Wind is a drama that glorifies the confederacy, Blazing Saddles is a comedy that condemns racism, they could not be more different. Blazing Saddles has been streaming on HBO Max since July 28 HBO added a warning before, delivered by University of Chicago professor Jacqueline Stewart warns of … (Photo by MGM Studios/Getty Images) Referring to Blazing Saddles, a … It’s completely theoretical, based on stuff that hasn’t ever happened and probably never will. Blazing Saddles is currently streaming on HBO Max, along with … The plot of the movie — in which the white residents of a small town chafe (at least initially) under the leadership of a black sheriff, even though he's the best man for the job — would read like a direct commentary on how Trump and his supporters reacted to Barack Obama, if the movie hadn't come out 34 years before Obama's election. Following the Gone With the Wind news, Blazing Saddles was soon trending on Twitter. The intro itself is done by the University of Chicago professor and TCM host Jacqueline Stewart. Ultimately, this entire effort to fake a debate over "Blazing Saddles" or "Friends" or "Seinfeld" is an effort to draw public attention away from police in numerous cities who are using tear gas, rubber bullets, batons and other violent tactics to quell protests against police brutality and other forms racist violence. pic.twitter.com/gkLHh3JksN. It’s overlong at four hours, which is spent with a whiny, awful protagonist, and is entirely steeped in disgustingly racist, Lost Cause ideology. Required fields are marked *. These racist depictions were wrong then and are wrong today, and we felt that to keep this title up without an explanation and a denouncement of those depictions would be irresponsible. The shameless hypocrisy of right-wingers isn't far below the surface, after all. Lumenick was right, though. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. She also did the intro for Gone With the Wind. Follow her on Twitter @AmandaMarcotte and sign up for her biweekly politics newsletter, Standing Room Only. The idea of "you can't make Blazing Saddles these days" has been around since the SR-71 song "Politically Correct." These depictions are certainly counter to WarnerMedia’s values, so when we return the film to HBO Max, it will return with a discussion of its historical context and a denouncement of those very depictions, but will be presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Copyright © 2019 Salon.com, LLC. As a response to the Black Lives Matter movement, and in an effort to wrestle with Hollywood’s racial biases, Gone with the Wind was temporarily removed from HBO Max. Material from any prominent liberal voices miss out on weekly new content or exclusive deals https... The Black Press and others knew what was going on, all the way back in.... 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