Racial content sweeps away 'Gone With the Wind' screening in Tennessee
The film had been shown at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis for 34 straight years.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A Tennessee theater has canceled a long-running screening of "Gone With the Wind" because of racially insensitive content in the classic 1939 film.
Officials at Memphis' Orpheum Theatre have announced that the film will not be shown during its summer movie series in 2018. Theater president Brett Batterson says in a statement that "the Orpheum cannot show a film that is insensitive to a large segment of its local population."
The film was shown at the Orpheum on Aug. 11. This is the 34th straight year it has screened at the theater.
"Gone With the Wind" tells the story of the daughter of a Georgia plantation owner during and after the Civil War.
Batterson tells the Memphis Commercial Appeal a "social media storm" played a role in the decision.
The Orpheum Theatre's Facebook page is filled with comments mainly criticizing the decision to stop showing the classic film.
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."
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