[Videolib] Re: Charlie Chan and Fox

Gary Handman (ghandman@library.berkeley.edu)
Mon, 07 Jul 2003 08:17:59 -0700

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Dear Eddie

Thanks for your thoughtful note; I appreciate your contacting us. As I=20
am sure you aware, the discussion group I represent (The American Library=20
Association Video Round Table/Videolib listserv) comprises librarians,=20
educators, film/video producers and distributors--about 650 individuals in=
=20
all. As a group, we have enormous respect for NAATA and its programs. The=
=20
VRT has worked very hard over the past 15 years to establish close working=
=20
relations with independent filmmakers and distributors. We feel strongly=20
that video librarians and indie film and video producers must continue to=20
work closely together to ensure the availability of diverse, quality=20
collections and programming in libraries and schools. At the same time, as=
=20
librarians and educators, it is equally important to us to ensure and=20
protect freedom of expression, freedom to view, and continuing access to=20
the full-range of our printed and visual heritage. We are very aware of=20
the long and painful history of negative stereotypes in the media in this=20
country, and we celebrate the growing diversity of voices and visions=20
available on film and video that are striving to counteract these=20
images. It is our strong position, however, that no one is served by=20
ignoring the past or by limiting access to the cultural record, good, bad,=
=20
or ugly. To attempt to rectify the ills of history by hiding or censoring=
=20
them is to tread on a dangerously slippery slope, indeed. It is, instead,=
=20
our job as librarians and educators to provide both broad access to these=20
images and a context in which to view, study, and discuss them in a=20
hopefully more enlightened light.

We would very much like to work with both NAATA and Fox to develop a way to=
=20
present the Charlie Chan films in a historical and cultural perspective. I=
=20
look forward to discussing the possibilities further with you.

Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley

Professor Linda Williams
Chair
Film Studies Department
UC Berkeley

Mark Berger
Adjunct Professor of Film
UC Berkeley

Professor Chris Berry
Film Studies Program
UC Berkeley

Dennis McGuire
Head of Digital and Media Services
Columbia College Chicago
624 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605
(v) 312.344.7434
(f) 312.344.8062

Christopher Lewis
Media Librarian/Humanities Collection Manager
American University Library
202.885.3257
AIM: congolene

Brigid Duffy
Audio Visual/ITV Center
San Francisco State University
San Francisco CA 94132-4200
E-mail: bduffy@sfsu.edu

Marc Sober
Media Research Specialist voice : (410)396-5487
Humanities Department FAX : (410)396-5410
Enoch Pratt Free Library e-mail: msober@epfl.net
400 Cathedral St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

Julie Williamsen
Theater, Media Arts & Communications Librarian
2322 Harold B. Lee Library
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah 84602
(801) 422-6763 phone
(801) 422-0466 fax

Tom Boghossian
California Institute of the Arts

Mary Kirby
The Library Media Project
evolved from the MacArthur Foundation
Library Video Project (1988-1998)
Chicago, Illinois
e-mail: kirby@librarymedia.org
phone: 800-847-3671

Foster Flint
Assistant Dean LRC
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

Danette Pachtner
Duke University
Perkins Library Reference
Box 90175
Durham, NC 27708-0175
Phone: 919-660-5929
danette.p@duke.edu

Karen Fischer
Audio Visual Librarian
Mansfield/Richland County Public Library
Mansfield, OH

Ron Sigler
Media Consultant

Joyce Owens
Head of Information Services
Fine Arts Library
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405

Arne Lunde
Post-doctoral Faculty Fello
UC Berkeley

Carleton L. Jackson
Librarian, Nonprint Media Services
4210 Hornbake Library
University of Maryland, College Park MD 20742
301-405-9226,
301-314-9419 fax
cj2@umd.edu

Michael Vollmar-Grone
Audiovisual Librarian

Blaine Waterman
Media Librarian
San Francisco Public Library

Pat McGee
Patricia B. McGee
Coordinator of Media Services
University Library
Tennessee Technological University
Cookeville, TN 38501
931-372-3789
pmcgee@tntech.edu

Erika Day
Media Librarian
University of Virginia

Jeanne Mueller
Washington Centerville Public Library
111 W. Spring Valley Rd.
Centerville, OH 45458

John F. M=FCller
Sonoma State University Library
Jean & Charles Schulz Information Center - Multimedia Department
1801 East Cotati Ave.
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
john.muller@sonoma.edu
Phone: (707) 664-2590
FAX: (707) 664-2090

Jeffrey W. Pearson Phone: (734) 763-3758
Librarian, Film & Video Library Fax: (734) 764-7087
University of Michigan e-mail: jwpearso@umich.edu
Shapiro Library, Room 2178
919 S. University
Ann Arbor MI 48109-1185

Susan Albrecht
Wabash College

Becky Tatar
Unit Head, Periodicals, Audiovisual
Aurora Public Library
1 E. Benton Street
Aurora, IL 60505
PHONE: 630-264-4100
FAX: 630-896-3209
www.aurora.lib.il.us
E-mail: bltata@aurora.lib.il.us

Charlie Matthews
Music Art Media Librarian
Nashua Public Library
2 Court Street
Nashua, NH 03060
603-589-4607

Lisa Irwin
Audiovisual Services
Kalamazoo Public Library
Library of the Year 2002
(269) 553-7923
lisai@kpl.gov

Lynn A. Lonergan
Chief, Acquisitions Section
Air University Library
600 Chennault Circle, MAFB AL 36112
Voice: 334.953.2509/ Fax: 334.953.1192

Patricia Hornbeck
Middlebury College
Sunderland Language Center
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802)443-2268 phone
(802)443-2075 fax
Email: hornbeck@middlebury.edu

Kathleen Elaine Pallan
Educational Media Center
mtech2@worthington.k12.oh.us

Troy Davis
Media Services Librarian
University of Tennessee Libraries
245 John C. Hodges Library
Knoxville TN 37996
troydavis@utk.edu

Randy Pitman
Publisher/Editor
Video Librarian
8705 Honeycomb Ct. NW
Seabeck, WA 98380
Tel: (800) 692-2270; Fax: (360) 830-9346
Email: vidlib@videolibrarian.com
Web: www.videolibrarian.com

Dena Lynn Grover
Adult services Librarian
Roseville Public Library
Roseville California

Eileen Simmons
Assistant Director and Head of Reference
Everett Public Library
Everett, WA 98201

Tim Markus, MLIS
Head of Cataloging
The Evergreen State College Library
Olympia, WA 98505

Mike Tribby
Senior Cataloger
Quality Books Inc.

Jerry Notaro,
University Librarian
University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Kathleen A. Turnquist, Director
Audio Visual Institute of DuPage
630-495-2843
www.avidmediacenter.org

Katherine Litwin
Sales Representative
Libraries & Educational Accounts
klitwin@facets.org

Sarah Andrews
University of Iowa Library

Kelly Bryant
Library Materials Specialist
Southern Oregon Educational Service District
101 N. Grape St. Medford, OR 97501
541.772.2751 1.800.636.7453
Please note new email address
kelly_bryant@soesd.k12.or.us

Sharon Herfurth
Development Consultant
Central Texas Library System
Austin, TX

Mike Boedicker
Audiovisual Director & Webmaster
Danville Public Library
319 N. Vermilion, Danville, IL 61832
(217) 477-5223 ext. 123 / Fax: (217) 477-5230
Library homepage: http://www.danville.lib.il.us
Personal homepage: http://homepage.cooketech.net/~michaelj/

Mary Salvato
Acquisitions
Carlsbad City Library
Carlsbad, CA 92009

Dylan McGinty
First Run/Icarus Films

Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018
jrosner@kino.com

At 09:00 PM 7/2/2003 -0400, you wrote:
>-- Gary and Joan,
>I was forwarded your email and wanted to open up some dialog. As you=20
>know, NAATA was one of the group's asking Fox to cancel the Chan=20
>series. I'm sure you can understand the reasons why Asian Americans find=
=20
>Chan to be an offensive stereotype.
>I also understand your position. I believe that Fox or any network that=20
>chooses to show racially stereotypical movies should alert the viewers to=
=20
>the broader context of the work. The History Channel apparently does this=
=20
>by having a panel discussion before and after the broadcast of "Birth of a=
=20
>Nation," DW Griffith paen to the KKK. Having Fox do this with the Chan=20
>films would educate the audience. Most commercial networks, however,=20
>aren't in the education business. All they care about is getting the ads=20
>sold. So if it is a choice between having racist movies on air without=20
>contextualization and not having them on air at all, I still favor not=20
>having them on air at all. The emails that are coming to NAATA reveal a=20
>great ignorance about racism and media literacy. People who tell us that=
=20
>we should "turn the channel" and "lighten up" really don't understand that=
=20
>racial stereotypes have a detrimental impact on Asian American=20
>self-esteem, not to mention engender racial hatred.
>Fox has opened the door to bring back the series. On the Fox Movie=20
>Channel Website, they say they will leave it up to public=20
>opinion. Perhaps, we will have to deal with this issue and can work=20
>together on getting Fox to put some strong disclaimers or additional=20
>commentary as the series continues.
>I regret that things are going in this direction. If we had left the=20
>Civil Rights Bill up to a public opinion poll, there would still be=20
>segregated housing in the South. Progress comes with some amount of=20
>pain. The victims of racial stereotyping in films have borne the burden=20
>too long.
>I hope to hear from you.
>
>Eddie WongExecutive DirectorNAATA145 9th St., Ste 350S.F., CA 94103415=20
>863-0814 ext. 103415 863-7428 faxe: eddie@naatanet.orgurl; =
www.naatanet.org
>become a NAATA member, visit www.naatanet.org/aboutus

Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley
ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC

"What is cinema? Nothing. What does cinema want? Everything. What can
cinema do? Something."
--Jean-Luc Godard, Histoire(s) du cinema=20
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Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Dear Eddie

Thanks for your thoughtful note; I appreciate your contacting us.    As I am sure you aware, the discussion group I represent (The American Library Association Video Round Table/Videolib listserv) comprises librarians, educators, film/video producers and distributors--about 650 individuals in all.  As a group, we have enormous respect for NAATA and its programs.  The VRT has worked very hard over the past 15 years to establish close working relations with independent filmmakers and distributors.  We feel strongly that video librarians and indie film and video producers must continue to work closely together to ensure the availability of diverse, quality collections and programming in libraries and schools.  At the same time, as librarians and educators, it is equally important to us to ensure and protect freedom of expression, freedom to view, and continuing access to the full-range of our printed and visual heritage.  We are very aware of the long and painful history of negative stereotypes in the media in this country, and we celebrate the growing diversity of voices and visions available on film and video that are striving to counteract these images.  It is our strong position, however, that no one is served by ignoring the past or by limiting access to the cultural record, good, bad, or ugly.  To attempt to rectify the ills of history by hiding or censoring them is to tread on a dangerously slippery slope, indeed.  It is, instead, our job as librarians and educators to provide both broad access to these images and a context in which to view, study, and discuss them in a hopefully more enlightened light.  

We would very much like to work with both NAATA and Fox to develop a way to present the Charlie Chan films in a historical and cultural perspective.  I look forward to discussing the possibilities further with you.

Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley

Professor Linda Williams
Chair
Film Studies Department
UC Berkeley

Mark Berger
Adjunct Professor of Film
UC Berkeley

Professor Chris Berry
Film Studies Program
UC Berkeley

Dennis McGuire
Head of Digital and Media Services
Columbia College Chicago
624 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605
(v) 312.344.7434
(f) 312.344.8062
 
Christopher Lewis
Media Librarian/Humanities Collection Manager
American University Library
202.885.3257
AIM: congolene

Brigid Duffy
Audio Visual/ITV Center
San Francisco State University
San Francisco CA 94132-4200
E-mail: bduffy@sfsu.edu
 
 Marc Sober
Media Research Specialist voice : (410)396-5487
Humanities Department FAX : (410)396-5410
Enoch Pratt Free Library e-mail: msober@epfl.net
400 Cathedral St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

Julie Williamsen
Theater, Media Arts & Communications Librarian
2322 Harold B. Lee Library
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah 84602
(801) 422-6763 phone
(801) 422-0466 fax
 
Tom Boghossian
California Institute of the Arts

Mary Kirby
The Library Media Project
evolved from the MacArthur Foundation
Library Video Project (1988-1998)
Chicago, Illinois
e-mail: kirby@librarymedia.org
phone: 800-847-3671

Foster Flint
Assistant Dean LRC
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

Danette Pachtner
Duke University
Perkins Library Reference
Box 90175
Durham, NC 27708-0175
Phone: 919-660-5929
danette.p@duke.edu

Karen Fischer
Audio Visual Librarian
Mansfield/Richland County Public Library
Mansfield, OH
 
Ron Sigler
Media Consultant

Joyce Owens
Head of Information Services
Fine Arts Library
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405

Arne Lunde
Post-doctoral Faculty Fello
UC Berkeley

Carleton L. Jackson
Librarian, Nonprint Media Services
4210 Hornbake Library
University of Maryland, College Park MD 20742
301-405-9226,
301-314-9419 fax
cj2@umd.edu

Michael Vollmar-Grone
Audiovisual Librarian

Blaine Waterman
Media Librarian
San Francisco Public Library

Pat McGee
Patricia B. McGee
Coordinator of Media Services
University Library
Tennessee Technological University
Cookeville, TN 38501
931-372-3789
pmcgee@tntech.edu

Erika Day
Media Librarian
University of Virginia

Jeanne Mueller
Washington Centerville Public Library
111 W. Spring Valley Rd.
Centerville, OH 45458

John F. M=FCller
Sonoma State University Library
Jean & Charles Schulz Information Center - Multimedia=20 Department
1801 East Cotati Ave.
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
john.muller@sonoma.edu
Phone: (707) 664-2590
FAX: (707) 664-2090

Jeffrey W. Pearson Phone: (734) 763-3758
Librarian, Film & Video Library Fax: (734) 764-7087
University of Michigan e-mail: jwpearso@umich.edu
Shapiro Library, Room 2178
919 S. University
Ann Arbor MI 48109-1185

Susan Albrecht
Wabash College

Becky Tatar
Unit Head, Periodicals, Audiovisual
Aurora Public Library
1 E. Benton Street
Aurora, IL 60505
PHONE: 630-264-4100
FAX: 630-896-3209
www.aurora.li= b.il.us
E-mail: bltata@aurora.lib.il.us

Charlie Matthews
Music Art Media Librarian
Nashua Public Library
2 Court Street
Nashua, NH 03060
603-589-4607

Lisa Irwin
Audiovisual Services
Kalamazoo Public Library
Library of the Year 2002
(269) 553-7923
lisai@kpl.gov

Lynn A. Lonergan
Chief, Acquisitions Section
Air University Library
600 Chennault Circle, MAFB AL 36112
Voice: 334.953.2509/ Fax: 334.953.1192

Patricia Hornbeck
Middlebury College
Sunderland Language Center
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802)443-2268 phone
(802)443-2075 fax
Email: hornbeck@middlebury.edu

Kathleen Elaine Pallan
Educational Media Center
mtech2@worthington.k12.oh.us

Troy Davis
Media Services Librarian
University of Tennessee Libraries
245 John C. Hodges Library
Knoxville TN 37996
troydavis@utk.edu

Randy Pitman
Publisher/Editor
Video Librarian
8705 Honeycomb Ct. NW
Seabeck, WA 98380
Tel: (800) 692-2270; Fax: (360) 830-9346
Email: vidlib@videolibrarian.com
Web: www.videolibrarian.com

Dena Lynn Grover
Adult services Librarian
Roseville Public Library
Roseville California

Eileen Simmons
Assistant Director and Head of Reference
Everett Public Library
Everett, WA 98201

Tim Markus, MLIS
Head of Cataloging
The Evergreen State College Library
Olympia, WA 98505

Mike Tribby
Senior Cataloger
Quality Books Inc.

Jerry Notaro,
University Librarian
University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Kathleen A. Turnquist, Director
Audio Visual Institute of DuPage
630-495-2843
www.avidmediacenter.org

Katherine Litwin
Sales Representative
Libraries & Educational Accounts
klitwin@facets.org

Sarah Andrews
University of Iowa Library

Kelly Bryant
Library Materials Specialist
Southern Oregon Educational Service District
101 N. Grape St. Medford, OR 97501
541.772.2751 1.800.636.7453
Please note new email address
kelly_bryant@soesd.k12.or.us

Sharon Herfurth
Development Consultant
Central Texas Library System
Austin, TX

Mike Boedicker
Audiovisual Director & Webmaster
Danville Public Library
319 N. Vermilion, Danville, IL 61832
(217) 477-5223 ext. 123 / Fax: (217) 477-5230
Library homepage: http://www.danville.lib.il.us
Personal homepage: http://homepage.cooketech.net/~michaelj/

Mary Salvato
Acquisitions
Carlsbad City Library
Carlsbad, CA 92009

Dylan McGinty
First Run/Icarus Films

Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018
jrosner@kino.com





At 09:00 PM 7/2/2003 -0400, you wrote:

-- Gary and Joan, 
I was forwarded your email and wanted to open up some dialog.  As you= know, NAATA was one of the group's asking Fox to cancel the Chan= series.  I'm sure you can understand the reasons why Asian Americans= find Chan to be an offensive stereotype. 
I also understand your position.  I believe that Fox or any network= that chooses to show racially stereotypical movies should alert the viewers= to the broader context of the work.  The History Channel apparently= does this by having a panel discussion before and after the broadcast of= "Birth of a Nation," DW Griffith paen to the KKK.  Having= Fox do this with the Chan films would educate the audience.  Most= commercial networks, however, aren't in the education business. All they= care about is getting the ads sold.  So if it is a choice between= having racist movies on air without contextualization and not having them= on air at all, I still favor not having them on air at all.  The= emails that are coming to NAATA reveal a great ignorance about racism and= media literacy.  People who tell us that we should "turn the= channel" and "lighten up" really don't understand that= racial stereotypes have a detrimental impact on Asian American self-esteem,= not to mention engender racial hatred.
Fox has opened the door to bring back the series.  On the Fox Movie= Channel Website, they say they will leave it up to public opinion. = Perhaps, we will have to deal with this issue and can work together on= getting Fox to put some strong disclaimers or additional commentary as the= series continues. 
I regret that things are going in this direction.  If we had left the= Civil Rights Bill up to a public opinion poll, there would still be= segregated housing in the South.  Progress comes with some amount of= pain.  The victims of racial stereotyping in films have borne the= burden too long.
I hope to hear from you.

Eddie WongExecutive DirectorNAATA145 9th St., Ste 350S.F., CA  94103415= 863-0814 ext. 103415 863-7428 faxe:  eddie@naatanet.orgurl;  www.naatanet.org become a NAATA member, visit www.naatanet.org/aboutus

Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley
ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC

"What is cinema? Nothing. What does cinema want? Everything. What= can
cinema do? Something."
        --Jean-Luc= Godard, Histoire(s) du cinema=20

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