Media Industry’s Hypocritical Solidarity with Outraged Society

Writers, directors, screenwriters, networks, and the TV industry, in general, have taken a "stand" against racism and violence in the most hypocritical way possible: censorship.

Broadcasters are not interested in the fight against racism, slavery, or abuses of power. They simply want to be sympathetic to the cause to avoid losing ratings (Flickr).

Spanish – Wherever she is, Hattie McDaniel (June 10, 1895-October 26, 1952), the first Black woman to win an Oscar, is most likely disillusioned or disgraced: HBO Max decided to take the historic film Gone with the Wind out of its catalog. McDaniel played the role of Mammy in the film- a performance that earned her an Academy Award for best supporting-actress in 1939.

The decision comes in the wake of an opinion column by John Ridley, screenwriter of the film 12 Years of Slavery, who severely criticized the film for its “glorification of slavery” and called for the removal of the film from the HBO streaming platform.

“Gone With The Wind is a product of its time and depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society. These racist depictions were wrong then and are wrong today, and we felt that to keep this title up without an explanation and a denouncement of those depictions would be irresponsible. These depictions are certainly counter to WarnerMedia’s values, so when we return the film to HBO Max, it will return with a discussion of its historical context and a denouncement of those very depictions but will be presented as it was originally created because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed,” said an HBO representative to the Hollywood Reporter.

The delicate social context in the United States and around the world has caused the television industry to “stand in solidarity” with just causes against racism and violence. What is revealing is that they do so through censorship, a very curious way of “fighting” social injustices.

The media industry’s “fight” against injustice

There have been numerous cases besides HBO Max withdrawing Gone With the Wind. In fact, the same platform had one of the most influential events: removing the guns from the Looney Tunes “so as not to encourage violence.” Of course, this decision completely undermines the essence of characters like Elmer Grumpy, a character who is a hunter and is particularly at odds with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. The following question arises: is violence combated by taking away the cartoons’ guns? Far from it, it seems a desperate attempt to join political “correctness,” the line that imposes ideas—a regime of thought—on dissidents who do not agree with their positions.

This situation creates a dangerous precedent that is much more complex than simply removing Elmer’s shotgun. It involves imposing requirements to create a cartoon. The problem here is the encroachment on the freedom of expression. According to this, the next step can be to bury the dynamite acme mark by the violence that the explosions transmit. In a few years, why not put a definitive end to any violent interaction in the cartoons. This will be a kind of formation of young minds that will only see positive cartoons, where there is no confrontation or misunderstanding, a kind of dystopia of a society that will not tolerate reality, where there will always be conflict, injustice, obstacles, and differences.

Another disconcerting statement was by one of the creators of Friends, Marta Kauffman, who apologized for “the lack of racial diversity” in the successful series. She explains that she now understands many things that she did not understand before about the problem of racism. The current situation opened her eyes, and she believes it was a mistake not to put a Latino, an Asian, and a black among Manhattan’s most famous friends. Kauffman’s story even transcends their testimonies. This new fashion of apologizing moves to the same society, where we see white people apologizing for their skin color or, people who are ashamed of their privileges or successes.

In another Kafkaesque incident in this incoherent society, Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who played Harry Potter, slammed J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter saga, because the writer dared to criticize an article with the headline “people who menstruate,” instead of simplifying and using the term “women.” J.K. was accused of transphobia “for disrespecting the collective of transwomen” since she satirized the headline in her tweet: “People who menstruate. I am sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” The word Rowling missed was women.

Rowling drew ire from all quarters. The tyranny of thought did not allow her to spell out the obvious: menstruating people are women, and pointing it out does not equal promoting transphobia. Radcliffe should feel ashamed. He used this situation to empathize with those who attacked the woman who, without a doubt, boosted the success of his career. He expressed a “solidarity stance” towards people who cried out to the heavens because someone dared to tell the truth.

Along these lines, the Paramount television network canceled the longest-running reality TV show in U.S. history, Cops, which features police officers and has been criticized for “glorifying the police institution” without any criticism and “defending police abuse.”

The society of selective indignation 

While the broadcast industry condemns and decides to censor the film Gone with the Wind and Disney makes efforts to erase The Song of the South from the map by apologizing for the slavery already abolished in the United States, slavery still exists in other societies in the 21st century, but the difference is that it is not sufficiently visible.

A clear example is that of the Sanemá community (Yanomami subgroup) in Caura, Venezuela. This indigenous settlement has been subjected for more than a decade to a process of acculturation and neo-slavery by groups that manage illegal mining throughout the basin.

The indigenous people are used as “freight animals” to transport fuels, machinery, and spare parts used for large-scale gold mining. In the images provided to the PanAm Post by photojournalist Fritz Sánchez, one can see how both men and women and even minors are exploited in the transport of supplies. They have to carry the materials uphill for seven kilometers to avoid the Salto Pará waterfall that divides the Middle and Upper Caura.

In the photos, you can see how the Sanemás have to transport loads over 30 kilos without shoes. This situation represents a clear violation of the individual and human rights of the indigenous people who have been orphaned by any kind of support possible, and who are also subjected to a group of criminals backed by a narco-government. Unfortunately, the indignant society that is more concerned with Gone with the Wind than with reality has not yet reached here.

Neo-slavery in Caura / Venezuela (the faces of the minors were blurred for legal reasons) (Image by photojournalist Fritz Sánchez).
Sanemá woman carrying an empty fuel barrel (Image by photojournalist Fritz Sánchez).
This Yanomami subgroup was forced to engage in forced labor for survival. (Image by photojournalist Fritz Sánchez).

The hypocrisy of the media and outraged society

There is nothing better than debunking the myths with facts about injustices that have been perpetuated for a long time—such as what is happening in the Caura—and that have hardly any repercussions, portraying the television industry and these groups that fight against “injustices.” Broadcasters are not interested in the fight against racism, slavery, or abuses of power. They simply want to be sympathetic to the cause to avoid losing ratings, subscriptions, and money. They are not interested either in adhering to the false slogans of the outraged and offended, those who carry their regime of thought to distribute it as a spiritual guide, and if you dare to refuse their dogma, such a book by Kafka, prepare to suffer their wrath. The same case as the Democrats, by the way, only they work for votes and power.

This tragicomedy called modern humanity of the 21st-century has undermined freedoms and backtracked the progress that has been made. The television industry joins the outraged society under the progressive banner—financed by the most ruthless left—and redirects us towards one of the darkest stages of humanity.

This isn’t a new thing. It has been going on for a long time. Now, it is exploding in our faces, and we realize that this is not a mere game.

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