[Videolib] Censorship from NAATA & Fox Movie Station

Jessica Rosner (jrosner@kino.com)
Tue, 01 Jul 2003 18:56:29 -0400

I am sure I am opening up a BIG can of worms here but I am VERY upset
and sad that due a complaint from NAATA and other Asian American
organizations the Fox Movie Channel has abruptly cancelled showings of
the classic Charlie Chan films from the thirties. I think it is appalling
and tragic that ANY media organization would encourage censorship to the
extent of preventing films from being seen. What is particularly
upsetting is that I doubt most of these people have ever WATCHED these
films. While the issue of white actors playing Asian roles can be endlessly
debated , do we ban ALL films in which white actors play Indians, Blacks,
Asians , Non- Jews playing Jews etc ? In fact the Chan character IS NOT
the shuffling pigeon English speaking buffoon described in NAATA's letter of
complaint , but a well educated , well spoken HERO who always solves the
mystery the white police CAN'T . I realize it is not
my place to tell someone what is and is not a stereotype of their group but
I would love to know exactly WHICH films people watched to come to this
conclusion. The Charlie Chan films are much prized by film & mystery buffs
and are wonderful "B" movies that helped launch the careers of many notable
directors, writers & actors
To get these films "banned" by removing them from TV ( You can't get them
legally on video) is the worst kind of censorship. Should Kino stop selling
BROKEN BLOSSOMS or THE CHEAT since they contain respectively a white actor
playing a Chinese character and a stereotype of a lustful Asian. I hope they
plan on campaigning against the many of the films by starring Anna Mae Wong
& Sessue Hayakawa which often contain stereotypes for worse than Charlie
Chan even if the actors were Asian

It is just inexcusable to encourage Fox or anyone to remove
a film that you find offensive. If they wanted Fox to do some after
commentary or have links to a web site explaining their position that would
have been an excellent way of getting their view across. This is censorship
pure & simple

There is one amusing bit of irony in that the highest rated show
on the Fox News Channel is Bill O'Reilly who spends a LOT of time
attacking the "left" for their "PC" attitudes on cultural issues
I suggest he look in his own backyard.
Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018

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