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Gone With the Wind screening cancelled after cinema deems movie 'insensitive'

SUNDAY, AUGUST 27, 2017 9:38 AM GMT

An iconic cinema in Memphis, Tennessee, has stopped screening Gone With The Wind after the Orpheum Theatre's board deemed the 1939 classic “insensitive.”

Victor Fleming's film has been dropped from next year's summer movie series receiving “numerous comments” from cinema-goers regarding the screening earlier this month.

Based on Margaret Mitchell's book, Gone With The Wind focusses on a Southern plantation during the Civil War and Reconstruction periods. Over the years, the film has been heavily criticised for being sympathetic towards the South and depicting certain racial stereotypes.

“While title selections for the series are typically made in the spring of each year, the Orpheum has made this determination early in response to specific inquiries from patrons,” reads a statement from The Orpheum Theatre Group, received by Entertainment Weekly.

“The Orpheum appreciates feedback on its programming from all members of the mid-south community. The recent screening of Gone With the Wind at the Orpheum on Friday, August 11, 2017, generated numerous comments. The Orpheum carefully reviewed all of them.”

The statement adds: “As an organisation 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.”

Commentators took to the original event's Facebook page were polarising, some complaining about the screening, while others considered the screening to be an educational endeavour that could “teach our children and grandchildren what is wrong with slavery.”

Since the screening's cancellation was announced, the messages were overtaken by those expressing outrage that The Orpheum would stop showing the film.

The theatre's statement concluded how they will be “announcing an exciting movie series in the spring of 2018 that will, as always, contain both classic films and more recent blockbusters.”

Gone With The Wind won eight Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actress for Hattie McDaniel, who became the first African-American to receive an Academy Award. However, McDaniel's character Mammy has been seen as a controversial archetype for women of colour in film.

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