RE: [Videolib] More on Chan Films

Mike Tribby (
Mon, 4 Aug 2003 12:03:13 -0500

Jessica's point about Nero Wolfe being a de-sexed older white detective is
well-taken. Wolfe is also afraid to leave his house (not just reluctant,
afraid) and he's a borderline misogynist. The Wolfe stories are peopled by
a constant stream of stereotyped characters--not unlike the Perry Mason
stories, Nancy Drew stories and any number of other mystery series and their
filmic offspring. It's part and parcel of detective fiction. Should I
object to Mike Hammer stories on film because the Hammer character
represents a stereotypical view of white men as sleazy, violent and prone to
drinking? (Come to think of it, how could *I* in particular reasonably
object to that characterization?) Asking for contextualization when the
Chan films are presented sounds fine to me; I'd like to see more background
given for a lot of films shown on television, and if FMC leads the way on
this whether under pressure or not, good for them. But no pop ups, please.

Mike Tribby
Senior Cataloger
Quality Books Inc.
The Best of America's Independent Presses

-----Original Message-----
From: Jessica Rosner []
Sent: Monday, August 04, 2003 11:50 AM
Subject: Re: [Videolib] More on Chan Films

My mistake I did not read the attachment first, I know found NAATA's
response more annoying. In their initial attack they did went after the Chan
CHARACTOR not the white Actor portrayal, so I think they are just trying to
look better Charlie Chan is a MIDDLE AGED man so he just as desexed as Nero
Wolf and other such detectives, hardly news to fans of this genre. ( best
line in one discussion group on this mentioned that obese Montenegrins would
want Nero Wolf off the air for offensive stereotypes). They are grasping at
anything to justify censorship. They go on to refer to the 46 Chan films and
the offensive black stereotypes in many of those, FINE BUT THOSE WERE NOT
THE ONES FOX OWNS OR WAS BROADCASTING , another Red Herring. I especially
liked the part were they claimed they were not trying to "censor" films and
said that like violence & Sex there should somehow be "limits" on racial
stereotypes. This is a silly comparison and cable stations routinely run
plenty of sex & violence not seen on commercial networks. I don't want the
racial stereotype police deciding what is and is NOT offensive. Huge numbers
of films especially from the silent era through the forties contain racial
stereotypes of Blacks, Jews, Italians, Irish etc Who is supposed to decide
what gets aired and in what "context"

Also I still find it the height of hypocrisy ( Sorry Dennis) that NAATA
supports and ENCOURAGES screenings of films starring Anna May Wong & Sessue
Hayakawa many of which contain INCREDIBLY negative stereotypes of Asians but
tells us that we dare not watch Chan films without their guidance & sell
appointed context.

This is EXACTLY what gives the right ammunition to attack "liberal" media
and academia. Either you believe in free speech and access or you don't No
one should put limits on my ability to watch these films , though obviously
Fox can because they own them and caved into to NAATA ( frankly I do believe
Mrs. Murdoch theory as I don't see Rupert suddenly becoming PC)


Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018

> From: Gary Handman <> > Reply-To: > Date: Mon, 04 Aug 2003 08:15:18 -0700 > To: > Subject: [Videolib] More on Chan Films > > > Hello all! > > Just back from vacation, I found a note in my inbox from Eddie Wong of > NAATA. Attached is a response from NAATA re the Chan films. More > interestingly, Eddie tells me that NAATA is currently negotiating with > Fox for possibly showing the Chan films with historical context. > > stay tuned! > > > > Gary Handman > Director > Media Resources Center > Moffitt Library > UC Berkeley > > > > "In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of > life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles." > --Guy Debord > _______________________________________________ > Videolib mailing list > > >

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