If this theater company thought their patrons wouldn’t give a damn, they were wrong.
A historic Memphis, Tennessee, theater, which has shown “Gone With the Wind” screenings for 34 years, has decided to remove the classic film from its schedule due to its racially “insensitive” content.
The move comes after violence erupted at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month. The president of the Orpheum Theatre said the decision to remove the 1939 film was not directly related to the recent headlines.
“The Orpheum appreciates feedback on its programming from all members of the mid-south community,” Orpheum president Bret Batterson said in a statement to Vulture. “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.”
His statement continued, “This is something that’s been questioned every year, but the social media storm this year really brought it home.
Batterson also noted the popularity of the film has “leveled off” in recent years.
Movie-goers took to the Orpheum’s Facebook page to blast the theater’s decision.
“This is the stupidest thing I have heard lately and believe me there have been some really stupid things done lately in the name of ‘racism’ – How ignorant are you people – Never will I go to this theater or any other one that promotes this BS,” one person wrote.
Many people called for a boycott on the theater’s Facebook page.
“Gone With The Wind” won eight Academy Awards including Best Picture. Hattie McDaniel, who played “Mammy” was the first African-American actress to win an Academy Award.
You can find Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @SashaFB.
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