After receiving “numerous comments” about a recent screening of “Gone With the Wind,” the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee has opted not to include the 1939 classic in next summer’s screening series. After reviewing customers’ statements and complains, the theater’s board has deemed the film “insensitive.”
“While title selections for the series are typically made in the spring of each year, the Orpheum has made this determination early in response to specific inquiries from patrons,” the Orpheum Theatre Group writes in a statement. “The Orpheum appreciates feedback on its programming from all members of the mid-south community. The recent screening of ‘Gone With the Wind’ at the Orpheum on Friday, August 11, 2017, generated numerous comments. The Orpheum carefully reviewed all of them.”
“As an organization whose stated mission is to ‘entertain, educate and enlighten the communities it serves,’” continues the statement, “the Orpheum cannot show a film that is insensitive to a large segment of its local population.”
It’s far from the first time the Civil War drama, which won eight Academy Awards (including Best Picture), has generated controversy — Lou Lumenick’s misunderstood op-ed comparing “Gone With the Wind” to the Confederate flag brought Victor Fleming’s film back into the spotlight just two years ago.