×

Tennessee Theater Cancels Annual ‘Gone With the Wind’ Screening After Complaints of Racial Insensitivity

A Memphis movie theater canceled its annual screening of “Gone With the Wind” following complaints of racially insensitive content.

The Orpheum Theatre has aired the classic 1939 film for the past 34 years during its summer movie series. The theater received complaints after the movie’s screening this year, which took place the night before the deadly events of a “Unite the Right” rally by white nationalists on Aug. 12. Moviegoers criticized the film’s romanticized portrayal of slavery and life on a Southern plantation.

“Gone With the Wind” will not play in 2018’s screening series as a result. “The recent screening of ‘Gone With the Wind’ at the Orpheum on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, generated numerous comments,” Brett Batterson, president of the Orpheum Theater Group, said in a statement to the New York Times. “The Orpheum carefully reviewed all of them. 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.”

The theater’s decision, however, has generated mixed responses from its fanbase. While some decry its “censorship” of the Oscar-winner, others applaud the theater for pulling the screening.

“Shame on you for removing ‘GWTW.’ I have always enjoyed shows and performances at your venue. You have lost a loyal customer due to your small minded censorship,” one commenter wrote on the Orpheum Theatre’s Facebook page.

Another said, “I applaud your difficult but proper decision to cut ‘Gone With The Wind’ from your film choices. Most in our culture have moved on, and I hope those angered can find other ways to watch the film while remaining supporters of your important and unique business.”

More Film

  • Themba Ntuli and Ashley Lazarus

    Ashley Lazarus, Director of Apartheid-Era Cult Classic, Returns to Screen

    DURBAN–Director Ashley Lazarus, whose film about the interracial friendship between two young boys during the apartheid era became a South African cult classic in the 1970s, is set to return to the big screen with a film that builds on his life-long passion for early-childhood education. “Teacher Wanted” is the inspirational story of a teacher [...]

  • Channing Tatum

    Channing Tatum's Free Association Partners With Atwater Capital for Film Development Fund

    Free Association, a production company led by Channing Tatum, Peter Kiernan and Reid Carolin, has entered into a film development fund with Atwater Capital. The four-year $2 million revolving fund stipulates that Atwater will finance a minimum of five films with Free Association. Michael Parets, VP of production, will oversee the deal. Free Association will [...]

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    Box Office: Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Takes on 'Lion King'

    Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” will have to take on much more than a changing showbiz landscape. This weekend, the washed-up actor and his majordomo are battling Disney’s juggernaut “The Lion King” at the domestic box office. Tarantino’s R-rated auteur [...]

  • Margot Robbie Once Upon a Time

    Margot Robbie Says 'Barbie' Movie Will Put 'Positivity' Into the World

    Over the last 10 years, Margot Robbie has stepped into the skates of Tonya Harding, taken up the mantle of Harley Quinn and, next up, she’s playing the world’s most famous doll, Barbie. The live-action film is due out in 2020 and set to be written by Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, while Robbie serves [...]

  • 2018 NALIP Gala

    National Association of Latino Independent Producers Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

    Ben Lopez has seen the future of the entertainment industry, and says it is the Latinx community. “In the next 20 years, we’re going to be prioritized — because not only will we have the numbers demographic-wise, we’ll have the spending power,” says Lopez, the executive director of the National Assn. of Latino Independent Producers, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content