Melon Farmers Original Version

Political Correctness vs. Free Speech


2020: July-Sept

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The right to critique ideas, philosophical, religious and other must be protected...

An open letter from Rowan Atkinson and others criticises Scotland's disgraceful censorship bill


Link Here11th August 2020
A joint open letter from over 20 individuals and organisations highlights their concerns over the impact on artistic expression and free expression of the draft Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill.

The letter co-ordinated by Humanist Society Scotland has support from authors Val McDermid, Chirs Brookmyre and Alan Bissett alongside arts administrators Dame Seona Reid and the artistic director of Dundee Rep, Andrew Paton. They join Cartoonists Rights International and academics such as Prof AC Grayling and Prof Timothy Garden Ash alongside many others.

The letter reads:

We represent a diverse group of individuals and organisations concerned about the impact on freedom of expression of the proposed Hate Crime and Public Order Bill as currently drafted.

We welcome the provisions to consolidate existing aggravated hate crimes and the repeal of the blasphemy law.

However, the Bill creates stirring up offences without any intent being examined; merely that the words, action, or artwork might do so. This offence could even be applied to being in possession of materials produced by someone else, where sharing the material could stir up hatred.

The unintended consequences of this well meaning Bill risk stifling freedom of expression, and the ability to articulate or criticise religious and other beliefs.

As currently worded, the Bill could frustrate rational debate and discussion which has a fundamental role in society including in artistic endeavour. The arts play a key part in shaping Scotland's identity in addition to being a significant economic contributor.

The right to critique ideas, philosophical, religious and other must be protected to allow an artistic and democratic society to flourish.

Fraser Sutherland, Chief Executive, Humanist Society Scotland
Andrew Copson, Chief Executive, Humanists UK
Scottish PEN
Index on Censorship
Chris Brookmyre, Novelist
Val McDermid, Writer
Elaine C Smith, Actor and Comedian
Dame Seona Reid, Arts Administrator
Alan Bissett, Playwright and Novelist
Ruth Wishart, Journalist and Broadcaster
Andrew Panton, Artistic Director Dundee Rep / Joint CEO Dundee Rep & Scottish Dance Theatre Ltd
Prof. Maggie Kinloch, Theatre Director & Chair Humanist Society Scotland
Ariane Sherine, Comedian and Journalist
Joan Smith, Journalist, novelist, and human rights activist
Peter Tatchell, Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation
Rowan Atkinson, Comedian
Prof. A C Grayling, Philosopher and Author
Prof. Timothy Garton Ash, Historian and author of Free Speech
Nick Ross, Television and Radio Presenter
Terry Anderson, Executive Director, Cartoonists Rights Network International
Gary McLelland, Chief Executive, Humanists International
Michael Connarty, Former MP and former Chair of Parliamentary Humanist Group
Dr Evan Harris, Former MP and former Vice-Chair of Parliamentary Humanist Group
Quilliam Foundation

 

 

Updated: You can't say that!...

BBC News responds to complaints about the factual use of the word 'nigger' whilst reporting what was said during a crime


Link Here9th August 2020
The BBC has issued a statement after a news reporter used the word 'nigger' when relaying how the word word used in a racially motivated crime.

Social Affairs correspondent Fiona Lamdin was fronting a segment about a black NHS worker who was hit by a car in a suspected racially aggravated assault, when she said the word whilst recalling racist language shouted at the victim by the attackers.

Viewers of the BBC report took to Twitter to criticise the reporter's use of the word, with one user writing : A white reporter just said the N word on BBC News...am I hearing this correctly? Another wrote about how they were absolutely flabbergasted at the news reporter's choice of language, adding: Have they apologised for this disgusting behaviour?

The BBC is also receiving complaints about the broadcast. Ofcom reported that it had received 280 complaints about the issue.

In a statement about the broadcast, the BBC wrote on its website:

Clearly we would never want our reporting to become the focus of such an important story. We have listened to what people have had to say about the use of the word and we accept that this has caused offence but we would like people to understand why we took the decision we did.

This story was an important piece of journalism about a shocking incident. It was originally reported by some as a hit and run, but investigations indicated that racist language was used at the scene and it was then treated by the police as a racially aggravated attack.

The victim's family were anxious the incident should be seen and understood by the wider public. It's for this reason they asked us specifically to show the photos of this man's injuries and were also determined that we should report the racist language, in full, alleged to have been spoken by the occupants of the car.

Notwithstanding the family's wishes, we independently considered whether the use of the word was editorially justified given the context. The word is used on air rarely, and in this case, as with all cases, the decision to use it in full was made by a team of people including a number of senior editorial figures.

You are, of course, right that the word is highly offensive and we completely accept and understand why people have been upset by its use. The decision to use the word was not taken lightly and without considerable detailed thought: we were aware that it would cause offence. But, in this specific context we felt the need to explain, and report, not just the injuries but, given their alleged extreme nature, the words alleged to have been used - a position which, as we have said, was supported by the family and the victim.

These are difficult judgements but the context is very important in this particular case.

We believe we gave adequate warnings that upsetting images and language would be used and we will continue to pursue this story.

Update: 18,600 complaints

6th August 2020. See article from bbc.co.uk

The BBC has received more than 18,600 complaints about the factual use of the word 'nigger' in a TV news report.

Broadcast regulator Ofcom said it received 384 complaints about the same report.

In its fortnightly bulletin, the BBC said it had received 18,656 complaints about the incident by Sunday 2 August. That makes it the second-most complained about incident since the BBC began using its current system in 2017. Only Newsnight's biased opening monologue about Dominic Cummings in May received more, with 23,674.

Update: The left eats itself and so the BBC has to offer grovelling apology

9th August 2020. See article from bbc.co.uk

BBC director general Tony Hall has apologised and said a mistake was made after a news report containing a factual use of the word 'nigger' was broadcast last month.

The BBC initially defended the use of the slur after more than 18,600 complaints were made.

Hall said he now accepts the BBC should have taken a different approach. In an email, sent to all BBC staff, Hall said:

I recognise that we have ended up creating distress amongst many people.

In his message, Hall emphasised it was the BBC's intention was to highlight an alleged racist attack. He said:

This is important journalism which the BBC should be reporting on and we will continue to do so. Yet despite these good intentions, I recognise that we have ended up creating distress amongst many people.

The BBC now accepts that we should have taken a different approach at the time of broadcast and we are very sorry for that. We will now be strengthening our guidance on offensive language across our output.

Every organisation should be able to acknowledge when it has made a mistake. We made one here.

 

 

Hungary tires of social media interference in free speech...

Hungarian data censor proposes a law requiring that social media companies justify why they ban people


Link Here 5th August 2020
Hungary's Data Protection Chief has proposed new legislation which would enable social media platforms to ban people from their services only with a compelling reason, while also granting the right to Hungarian authorities to review the decisions.

The head of the Hungarian Data Protection Authority (NAIH), requested a regulation on social media at a meeting of the Digital Freedom Working Group, according to which community profiles can only be suspended for compelling reasons. Also, according to Attila Péterfalvi, Hungarian authorities should have the right to review these decisions.

The justice ministry's digital freedom committee aimed at improving the transparency of tech firms has penned a letter to the regional director of Facebook asking whether the company's supervisory board complied with the requirements of political neutrality and transparency in its procedures, Justice Minister Judit Varga said:

Péterfalvi said:

I made the suggestion of establishing a Hungarian authority procedure in which the Hungarian authorities would oblige Facebook to review unjustified suspensions so that freedom of expression would remain free indeed.

 

 

Wrong think...

Labour demands the faster implementation of internet censorship


Link Here28th July 2020
Full story: Online Harms White Paper...UK Government seeks to censor social media
More censorship legislation is needed to protect people online after social media giants' failure to tackle hate speech on their websites, claims the Labour Party.

Jo Stevens, shadow secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, claimed the UK desperately needed legislation forcing platforms to act because self-regulation isn't working.

The Labour party is accusing the Government of delaying the introduction of an online harms bill to protect Internet users. It comes after politicians and campaigners condemned Twitter for being too slow to remove anti-Semitic tweets by rapper Wiley.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he has written to Instagram and Twitter to make it clear that they need to act immediately to remove social media posts that Labour does not like.

 

 

Offsite Article: You can't defeat racism with censorship...


Link Here28th July 2020
Calls for social-media censorship in the wake of Wiley's anti-Semitic rant are dangerous and wrong. By Fraser Myers

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

The Scottish government is deliberately intending to stifle free speech...

With a disgraceful new bill whose public consultation has just closed


Link Here 26th July 2020
A public consultation has closed on changes to Scotland's hate crime laws that will diminish free speech even further.

The plans to make it a criminal offence to stir up hatred, criticise or insult anyone based on their age, disability, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.

The bill will massively step up the definitions of what people are not allowed to stay lest it be considered insulting to easily offended identity groups, particularly sensitive religions. The bill also extends from people's words into the possession of material that might be considered critical of sensitive identity groups.

The disgraceful bill has been opposed by many particularly the most effected, like newspapers.

Opposition to the bill has united the Catholic Church and the National Secular Society in opposition to the plans - along with academics, playwrights and newspaper columnists who all say they fear the proposed legislation will pose a threat to their freedom of speech. For example comedians could become too frightened to dare make a joke about a Scotsman, an Englishman and an Irishman walking into a bar.

The public were invited to make their views known to the Scottish parliament's justice committee before midnight on 24 July.

Amanda Millar, president of the Law Society of Scotland, said:

It was right that laws provide a clear message that hatred should have no place in our society. However, we have significant reservations regarding a number of the bill's provisions and the lack of clarity, which could in effect lead to restrictions in freedom of expression, one of the foundations of a democratic society. We have real concerns that certain behaviour, views expressed or even an actor's performance, which might well be deemed insulting or offensive, could result in a criminal conviction under the terms of the bill as currently drafted.

Scottish Labour criticised the offence of stirring up hatred and accused ministers of failing to learn the lessons of the repealed Offensive Behaviour at Football Act. The party's justice spokesman James Kelly said:

There is a significant divergence from similar law in England and Wales where intent is required for a person to be criminalised for behaviour which another finds insulting. Under the current proposals, the law here would not require this intent to be present - which sets an alarming legal precedent and could result in the criminalisation of expressions of religious views.

In its submission to Holyrood's Justice Committee, the Scottish Newspaper Society warned that it contained highly dangerous measures which pose a serious threat to freedom of expression in its broadest sense. The organisation's director, John McLellan, said it had the potential to provoke a string of vexatious complaints against journalists and columnists, which could then lead to police investigations. He raised further concerns about provisions against communicating insulting material:

It would also be an offence to distribute it, which potentially could see newspaper delivery boys and girls, or shops, fall foul of the law.

Allowing courts to direct the destruction of material had echoes of darker times and could lead to the banning of books or censorship of the internet, he warned.

He added that JK Rowling, who has recently faced a deluge of criticism from transgender rights activists after she expressed her views online, would almost certainly have seen her subjected to a police investigation had the proposed law been in force.

 

 

Offsite Article: Fetishising debate...


Link Here26th July 2020
'progressive' and authoritarian MP decides that free speech, and even simple debate, is unacceptable

See article from rt.com

 

 

Proving the QAnon conspiracy...

Twitter proves that there is a liberal elite silencing the right


Link Here24th July 2020
Twitter's threat to shadowban accounts and hashtags linked to the pro-Trump QAnon movement has merely validated followers' fears that they are being controlled by a liberal elite.

The US conspiracy theory (really an ecosystem of interlinked conspiracy theories) is centered around the cryptic disclosures of a supposedly high-ranking government employee going by the moniker Q.

The supporters believe that the eponymous Q is posting coded messages online to inform Trump's supporters about a secret war against the right, and preparing them for an imminent event in which the president overthrows the evil cabal and imprisons its members.

Generally they believe that Donald Trump is fighting against a secretive and evil global cabal, members of which include former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the billionaire liberal philanthropist George Soros, who both have been hate figures for the American political right for many years.

Twitter's thread vowing to take further action on QAnon activity across the service induced a collective persecution-complex orgasm across the Q community, who mostly interpreted the deplatforming threat as an admission that QAnon was every bit the threat to the ruling power structure they've always believed they were.

The company warned some 150,000 accounts will be affected by the new rule, implying that sharing QAnon content is behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm. Tellingly, they didn't cite any specific incidents, and mainstream media that have reported on the ban don't seem to care what harm has in fact resulted from the fevered speculation over cryptic Q breadcrumbs.

 

 

No Country For Young Women...

The BBC tries to defend its racist and divisive social media post that it was forced to take down after a public backlash


Link Here16th July 2020

No Country For Young Women
BBC Sounds, 30 June 2020 16 July 2020

Summary of complaint

We received some complaints about the content of the podcast, No Country For Young Women, and a BBC social media post which promoted it.

Our response

The comments which prompted a reaction were not part of the podcast, and featured only in a short social media clip, which we've removed. The podcast episode itself is an in-depth and broad discussion on racism, class, feminism and stereotypes.

No Country For Young Women is a long running podcast series which predominantly explores the experiences of young black and Asian women in the UK. It features in-depth discussions with a wide variety of guests, who share views on important and complex topics in a way that is relevant to the conversations of many young people.

Some listeners felt that opposing views should have been included in the same discussion in the interest of balance, but this isn't required as a matter of course. Due impartiality takes into account the context of the series. It allows for a range of input to be heard over a period of time too, rather than within each and every edition. With No Country For Young Women, each topic is handled through the lens of the hosts, Sadia Azmat & Monty Onanuga, and their guests' experiences and backgrounds. Some of these themes have had very recent developments and the discussion is sure to evolve -- we may return to similar topics at a later date.

 

 

Updated: Duffy Recommends...

365 Days, an erotic thriller on Netflix


Link Here16th July 2020
365 Days (365 DNI) is a 2020 Poland drama by Barbara Bialowas.
Starring Michele Morrone, Anna Maria Sieklucka and Bronislaw Wroclawski. BBFC link IMDb

Massimo Torricelli, a young and handsome boss of a Sicilian Mafia family, has no other option but to takeover after his father has been assassinated. Laura Biel is a sales director in a luxurious hotel. She has a successful career, but her private life lacks passion. She is taking one last shot to save her relationship. Together with her partner and friends, she takes a trip to Sicily. Laura does not expect that Massimo, the most dangerous man on the island, will get in her way, kidnap her, hold her captive and give her 365 days... to fall in love with him. "365 dni" is the first Polish erotic film. It is based on the best-selling novel of the same name from author Blanka Lipinksa.

A British singer named Duffy is asking Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to remove the sexy film 365 Days claiming that it glorifies rape and sex trafficking.

365 Days is an erotic thriller from Poland that has been likened to Fifty Shades of Grey . It is quite sexy for Netflix and has become the services's biggest movie of the summer. The film is is about a mobster who kidnaps a woman he's been stalking, holding her captive for an entire year so that she'll fall in love with him. Naturally, she eventually does fall for her hunky captor and has a lot of sex with him, in various positions filmed from many angles.

The films detractors have organised a petition against the film which has been signed by about 54,000 people.

Now Duffy has weighed in against the film citing her own experience with being drugged in a restaurant and being abducted. She found the premise of 365 Days was just a little too familiar to the singer, so she wrote an open letter calling Netflix irresponsible for airing the film.

Update: Noted by the New Zealand film censor

7th July 2020. See article from rnz.co.nz

 When it was first launched in New Zealand, 365 Days carried a rating of R16, but that was bumped up after Chief Censor David Shanks got involved. Shanks said:
We felt that age rating was inadequate, we thought that this was more at the 18-plus level. We also wrote to Netflix and advised that they should warn for sexual violence as well as potentially highly impactful content in this film that viewers should be warned about.
Shanks said it was frustrating that the legislation his office operated under was from 1993, and therefore did not cover streaming services. But there was a bill before parliament which if passed, would change that and allow for Netflix to rate films more in line with New Zealand standards.

 

Update: A petition to ban 365 Days

16th July 2020. See article from standard.co.uk

A petition to ban the Polish Netflix film has gained about 70,000 signatures.

The Change.org petition's author, fitness influencer Mikayla Zazon, wrote:

Netflix clearly stands on the side of the abusers by having a movie that glorifies, romanticizes, and condones sexual assault trending on their top 10 recommended movies to watch around the globe.

As a social media public figure and a victim of these crimes, I am outraged and heartbroken that this movie shows up on teens' 'watch next' recommendation.

By taking down this movie on Netflix, we can protect sexual violence in adolescent women and adult women. And we can prevent boys from seeing such horrific behaviour as permission to sexual assault and rape women.

 

 

Offsite Article: Opinion columnist and editor Bari Weiss resigns from the New York Times...


Link Here 15th July 2020
And she explains in detail how free speech has been badly compromised at the once proud newspaper

See article from bariweiss.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Now the police are arresting 12-year-olds for hate speech...


Link Here 13th July 2020
Pre-teens who send racist messages need a slap or a talking to -- not a set of handcuffs.

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Commented: A Letter on Justice and Open Debate...

Harper's Magazine publishes an open letter from 150 authors including JK Rowling regarding their stance on free speech, open dialogue and debate


Link Here12th July 2020

Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial. Powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts. But this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity. As we applaud the first development, we also raise our voices against the second. The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy. But resistance must not be allowed to harden into its own brand of dogma or coercion204which right-wing demagogues are already exploiting. The democratic inclusion we want can be achieved only if we speak out against the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.

The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty. We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought. More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms. Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes. Whatever the arguments around each particular incident, the result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal. We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement.

This stifling atmosphere will ultimately harm the most vital causes of our time. The restriction of debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society, invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation. The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away. We refuse any false choice between justice and freedom, which cannot exist without each other. As writers we need a culture that leaves us room for experimentation, risk taking, and even mistakes. We need to preserve the possibility of good-faith disagreement without dire professional consequences. If we won't defend the very thing on which our work depends, we shouldn't expect the public or the state to defend it for us.

See signatures from harpers.org which include JK Rowling and Salman Rushdie

Offsite Comment: The spectre of censorship and intolerance stalks today's left

12th July 2020. See article from theguardian.com   by Nick Cohen

The attacks on the signatories of a letter fearing the future of free speech proved the letter's point

 

 

Instagram to block LGBT conversion therapy...

But doesn't the transgender journey convert a gay person into a straight person?


Link Here 10th July 2020
Full story: Instagram Censorship...Photo sharing website gets heavy on the censorship
Instagram will block the promotion of conversion therapy, which tries to change a person's sexuality or gender identity.

Campaigners are urging the government to act now on a two-year-old promise to make the practice illegal. This year, 200,000 people have signed an online petition calling for action.

In 2018, the government announced that gay conversion therapies were to be banned as part of a government plan to improve the lives of gay and transgender people, but activists note that such a ban has not been initiated. The government has since said it will consider all options for ending the practice.

Speaking exclusively to the BBC, Tara Hopkins, EMEA public policy director, Instagram, said the company is changing the way it handles conversion therapy content:

We don't allow attacks against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity and are updating our policies to ban the promotion of conversion therapy services. We are always reviewing our policies and will continue to consult with experts and people with personal experiences to inform our approach.

Earlier this year, Instagram banned the promotion of conversion therapy in ads. From Friday, any content linked to it will now be banned across the platform.

 

 

Mermaid Lives Matter...

The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen vandalised with cryptic grafitti


Link Here5th July 2020
Copenhagen's iconic The Little Mermaid statue in was vandalised on Friday but police and commentators were mystified about the slogan daubed on the rock. An unknown person has scrawled the words 'Racist Fish' on it.

According to police other statues around Copenhagen have also been vandalised with various phrases. Police also said that on June 16, someone had written racist on a statue of Danish King Christian IV, who ruled between 1588 and 1648.

 

 

Campaigners get their Rocks Off...

Amazon Prime censors 4 episodes of 30 Rock over blackface


Link Here5th July 2020
Four episodes of 30 Rock in which characters appear in blackface are to be taken down, at the request of creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock.

Fey wrote that the episodes are best taken out of circulation and apologised for pain they have caused. The episodes will be removed from streaming services Amazon Prime and Hulu, as well as purchase platforms, including iTunes and Google Play. No re-runs will be shown on TV either.

They include a live episode with guest star Jon Hamm in series six. He appeared in a wig and blackface, part of a spoof of an old US radio and TV show titled Amos n Andy.

Two episodes of the hit US series featured Jane Krakowski's character Jenna - one from series three, Believe in the Stars, and the other from series five, called Christmas Attack Zone. The Believe in the Stars episode (2008) involved Jenna and Tracy Jordan (played by Tracy Morgan) deciding to swap identities in order to determine whether black men or white women faced more challenges in society.

The fourth and final episode being pulled by the studio is the East Coast version of season five's Live Show - the first live episode of 30 Rock.

 

 

Offsite Article: Why Parler is worth a punt...


Link Here4th July 2020
True liberals should embrace any challenge to Twitter's stifling monopoly. By Andrew Doyle

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Commented: Sky Recommends...

Sky adds PC disclaimer to 16 movies in its Sky Movies line up


Link Here3rd July 2020

The statellite and cable subscription service, Sky Cinema, has issued a political correctness disclaimer to its subscribers that some of its content contains outdated attitudes, languages and cultural depictions which may cause offence today. Sixteen films have the warning:

  • Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). The only non-white character in the film Mr Yunioshi is played by white actor Mickey Rooney. Pretending to be a Japanese man, he wears fake teeth and puts on a Japanese accent.
  • The Jungle Book (1967 and 2016 live-action remake). There have been suggestions the character of orangutang King Louie, which did not feature in Rudyard Kipling's original novel, implied inequality between African Americans and Caucasians. It has also been claimed the character's portrayal is based on what white people thought about black people at the time, such as his poorer linguistic skills and him wanting to be like the other men.
  • Aladdin (1992). Critics have expressed concerns over the story's use of Orientalist stereotypes, while casting decisions also came under scrutiny, with Aladdin, Princess Jasmine and the genie played by white actors in the animation.
  • The Goonies (1985). The portrayal of Clever Data, a gadget freak who helps the boys in situations, speaks in a stereotypically Asian accent.
  • Dumbo (1941). Dumbo has been accused of containing racist stereotypes of African Americans at the time in the form of black crows, who use jive-like speech patterns. The main bird is even named Jim Crow, a nod to the racist segregationist Jim Crow laws of the time, and is voiced by a white actor.
  • Aliens (1986). The film has been accused of hi-tech racism and android apartheid due to the way in which humans in the film deal with the presence of other. It has been suggested the character of Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver, treated them with fear and suspicion.
  • Trading Places (1983). The film was littered with controversies, including Dan Akroyd wearing blackface, continuous stereotyping of black people and women and frequent use of the n-word throughout the movie.
  • Flash Gordon (1980). The film's antagonist, Ming the Merciless, played by Max von Sydow, is viewed as a classic example of Yellow Peril xenophobia.
  • Gone With The Wind (1939). Gone With The Wind has been criticised for romanticising slavery and glosses over the horrors of slavery. The film also features the word 'nigger' throughout, which was used in the book.
  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Some criticised the film for feeding on racial stereotypes and on Western beliefs that Arabs needed foreigners to guide them.
  • Tropic Thunder (2008). Robert Downey Jr appeared in blackface for the comedy blockbuster, while many considered use of the word retard, uttered 17 times in the film to denote a person with learning difficulties, as unacceptable.
  • The Jazz Singer (1927). The musical drama was criticised for Al Jolson's use of blackface, though many have since pointed to the fact the actor was a civil rights advocate, often backing projects by black artists, including playwright Garland Anderson.
  • The Littlest Rebel (1935). Perhaps Shirley Temple's most controversial movie, The Littlest Rebel, in which she appears in blackface, is also accused of glorifying Confederate ideals, with black slaves appearing unhappy to be set free.
  • The Lone Ranger (2013). Questions were raised over Johnny Depp's portrayal of Tonto, a Native American, as it sparked a debate over whether actors should play a race other than their own. The actor himself said he considered the role an attempt to try to right the wrongs of the past, meaning poor portrayals of Natives in Hollywood.
  • Balls of Fury (2007). The ping-pong based comedy starring Christopher Walken was criticised for caricaturing Asian characters and carrying racist jokes and a running gag making fun of blind people.
  • T he Last Samurai (2003). Tom Cruise's role as a captain hired to train the Japanese army to fight a Samurai rebellion is considered problematic by some for the sense of American superiority portrayed in the film.
Sky say that they are reviewing a number of their titles across their platform and are adding any warnings where they think it necessary to flag issues of cultural sensitivities and attitudes which may cause offence as part of its broader commitment to tackle racial injustice.

 

Update: Can art survive woke culture?

3rd July 2020. See article from spiked-online.com by Nick Dixon

Sky's bizarre film warnings show we no longer trust people to make or consume culture unattended.

 

 

Offsite Article: Living in silenced times...


Link Here2nd July 2020
We're facing a tsunami of censorship. By Toby Young

See article from spectator.co.uk

 

 

Bad Habit...

260,000 petitioners call for film to be banned over a female actor playing the role of Jesus


Link Here1st July 2020
Habit is a 2020 USA film by Janell Shirtcliff.
Starring Bella Thorne, Bria Vinaite and Paris Jackson. IMDb

The casting of Jackson, a model and actor who is the daughter of the late pop star Michael Jackson, opposite Bella Thorne and musician Gavin Rossdale in the film was announced in April .

The plot synopsis suggests that Thorne plays a street smart party girl with a Jesus fetish [who] gets mixed up in a violent drug deal and finds a possible way out by masquerading as a nun. Jackson's gender-bending take on the religious figure was reported to include a nose ring, tousled waves and a traditional robe.

Echoing PC rules that selectively ban actors from playing roles based on a different ethnicity ('blackface'), the petitioners claim that it is unacceptable for a female to play a male role.The petitioners denounce the film as Christianophobic garbage, and call for the film to be banned. The petition has attracted about 260,000 signatures.

The petition, which names Warner Bros and Lionsgate as its targets, claims that Jackson will play Jesus as a lesbian, though there is no mention of this in any publicly available reports of the film. The petition also claims the film is blasphemous.

The project previously sparked protest from a christian organisation called One Million Moms , which claimed the film was sacrilegious and ridicules people of faith. It has started its own petition which has attracted about 69,000 signatures.


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