Bill Maher took aim at what he perceives to be the work of cancel culture during his usual Friday night “Real Time with Bill Maher” slot, sending up potentially problematic classic movies that could warrant a more contemporary content warning. Maher is riffing off Turner Classic Movies’ recent series “Reframed: Classic Films in the Rearview Mirror,” which reconsiders old movies due for a new cultural context.
“Of course in this new era, they had to reframe the classics. So they have to have a guy come on at the beginning, and give a little speech about why movies that you used to just enjoy because you understood, you understood the times change, people change and mores change it’s called evolution, but now it’s called problematic,” Maher said. Check out the clip below.
Among the films in TCM’s series are “My Fair Lady,” “Gone with the Wind,” “The Searchers,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “The Children’s Hour,” “The Jazz Singer,” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” But Maher took the opportunity to pick on other classic films.
“‘My Fair Lady’ is too rough for them?” Maher said, adding it “was too corny for me when I was 10. My father wanted me to go see it. I wouldn’t.”
“Sleeping Beauty”: “A prince kisses an unconscious woman without consent.”
“The Wizard of Oz”: “A powerful woman of color is murdered by a rural white girl.”
“‘Psycho”: “Inaccurately portrays the lives of the vast majority of transgender motel owners.”
“Rosemary’s Baby”: “Fails to present Planned Parenthood as a viable option.”
“‘Jaws”: “Portrays white people as victims.”
“The Graduate”: “Depicts a problematic age discrepancy that you can’t blame on the man.”
“The Greatest Story Ever Told”: “Yes warning, portrays in a positive light of power imbalance between Mary, a Palestinian teenager and God, a more powerful man.”
“And of course, ‘Braveheart’: Warning, stars Mel Gibson.”
Participating in the discussions on TCM are hosts Ben Mankiewicz, Dave Karger, Alicia Malone, Eddie Muller, and Jacqueline Stewart, who contextualize the movies that are presented uncut. IndieWire rounded up the best movies to watch on Turner Classic Movies throughout March here.