Re: [Videolib] Censorship from NAATA & Fox Movie Station

Gail Fedak (
Wed, 2 Jul 2003 13:17:57 -0500

Unfortunately, public schools are already on their way to privatization in
the form of corporate sponsorships - to pay for what the local school boards
and state departments of education are unable (read unwilling) to support.
Is it acceptable - no. Is it inevitable - it appears to be.

In advocating that Fox Movie Station refrain from showing Charlie Chan
movies, NAATA and other Asian American groups are missing a golden
opportunity to offer discussions about stereotyping and other cultural
issues related to these films. The History channel regularly shows movies
about historical events and intersperses the broadcasts with discussions
among historians and others knowledgeable about the depicted event. Why did
NAATA not offer to work with Fox along a similar line to provide cultural
education to a mass audience?

How can we determine the degree of our progress to improve anything if we
cannot be informed of the source of the problem?

Willing to sign Gary's petition,
Gail B. Fedak
Manager, Instructional Media Resources
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
phone 615-898-2740
fax 615-898-2530

----- Original Message -----
From: "Lisa Irwin" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2003 11:12 AM
Subject: RE: [Videolib] Censorship from NAATA & Fox Movie Station

> Linda,
> Just wondering what you think about applying the same rationale to public
libraries and public schools. If the public doesn't want to pay for them,
do you think it is acceptable that public schools and libraries are
privatized by the for-profit sector as well?
> Lisa Irwin
> Audiovisual Services
> Kalamazoo Public Library
> Library of the Year 2002
> (269) 553-7923
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Linda Fox []
> Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2003 11:34 AM
> To:
> Subject: RE: [Videolib] Censorship from NAATA & Fox Movie Station
> Jed;
> I think we have given the broadcast spectrum away to the highest
> bidders (media moguls) and will continue to do so - because we must
> continue to lower taxes. If the public doesn't want to pay for the
> broadcast spectrum (and they don't ) then it goes to private hands. The
> same way that we now have a Pepsi Arena here in Albany, NY. Because the
> city didn't want to pay for the arena. Since the Pepsi company now owns
> arena, they can for example, decide not to allow Eminem to perform
> there. I think it's an old but increasingly true adage - that he who
> pays gets to make the rules. If our public officials insist on lowering
> taxes and increasing privitization, corporations will be making the
> decisions and "we the people" have "sold" them that right - for lower
> taxes.
> Just a note - the ALA didn't define censorship as control by a
> government entity - Webster's dictionary did.
> Have a good day.
> Linda Fox (not Fox news)
> >>> 07/02/03 11:05AM >>>
> I think the ALA is missing the boat. Like so many things, government
> has
> outsourced censorship. Have we given away the monopoly on broadcast
> spectrum without retaining any interest in it as a commons?
> Jed
> PS Does anybody know who controls the performance license for the
> Charlie
> Chan films
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of Linda Fox
> Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2003 10:09 AM
> To:
> Subject: RE: [Videolib] Censorship from NAATA & Fox Movie Station
> Of course the ALA has an Office of Intellectual Freedom. But the Fox
> Channel is a private organization that can do as it pleases.
> Censorship
> is specifically defined as a banning of information by a public or
> government agency (like a school or a state government office). On a
> somewhat different but related note: There is a book titled Censorship
> 2001: 25 Years of Censored News (Available on amazon). The book tells
> the stories that never make to your news broadcasts. Take a look at -
> get it from your local library. You will be shocked!
> News channels make decisions (right or wrong) all the time about what
> they will and will not show their viewers. And isn't that why there
> was
> such a hue and cry over the latest FCC decision about ownership of the
> media? This is much bigger than Charlie Chan. Charlie Chan is the tip
> of
> this proverbial iceberg.
> Linda Fox - Director VOICE: (518) 786-3221
> School Library System FAX: (518) 786-6401
> Capital Region BOCES E-MAIL:
> 6G British American Blvd. URL:
> Latham, NY 12110 Member - NYLA Legislative Committee
> Member
> >>> 07/02/03 09:34AM >>>
> I agree. Mr. Chan is a hero of mine. So what can we do about it?
> Doesn't
> the ALA have a group involved in censorship issues?
> Jed Horovitz
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of Mary M.
> Kirby
> Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2003 7:59 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [Videolib] Censorship from NAATA & Fox Movie Station
> Bravo, Jessica. This would be terrible censorship, if indeed it
> happens.
> Has the NAATA watched these movies before deciding to "ban them"?
> Sure
> doesn't sound like it.
> Mary Kirby
> Library Media Project
> At 06:56 PM 7/1/03 -0400, you wrote:
> 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
> 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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