Film History and Meaning : How do you feel about editing out racial stereotypes?

How do you feel about editing out racial stereotypes?

So, I bought a dvd box set of the Tex Avery and the Tom & Jerry cartoons this week. Upon checking if all the shorts are on there, I read that there were a couple of edits on the DVD's and some of the shorts were left out because of portraying racial stereotypes.

It brought me back to a discussion that took place in my country a couple of years ago. They wanted to prohibit one of the first Tintin comics because of how the Africans are represented in it (I remember a simular complaint about the Nativa Americans). Along that with so many things I've read in the past about the earlier Disney movies (Fantasia, Dumbo, Song of the South).

Now, I wonder what the stance is of most people regarding the subject. I feel a little torn between the two. I understand why people want these edited (or even forbidden), but I also feel that 'altering' movie history is just like you're pretending it didn't happen. All these things were a product of their time. Racist? Then probably yes. Definitely by today's standards, but it is what it is. You can't pretend they never made it that way.

I read that on some editions of the Tom & Jerry DVD's there's an introduction by Whoopi Goldberg, who talks about these racial stereotypes (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_oEOdIBOpU). I think that this way is the best way to go (though perhaps make it understandable for kids as well). An introduction on DVD's, comics, etc. that explains the sensitive subject. Especially for films/shorts/comics that you can't edit without changing an incredible amount of the footage.

Re: How do you feel about editing out racial stereotypes?

While I get the sensitivity, I dislike censorship of historical pieces. Adding commentary seems like the most sensible solution to me as it draws the distinction and makes the viewer aware without altering the original piece. We still read Shakespeare, after all, and he said horrible things about Jews.

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