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Politically Incorrect Theatre

The spouse and I spent some time a couple of nights ago looking up all of the Warner Bros./Looney Tunes “Censored Eleven” on YouTube (thank you, Tivo Premiere). We found ten of the eleven, including a nice print of the 1936 Merrie Melodie Sunday Go To Meetin’ Time seen below. Directed by Termite Terrace stalwart Friz Freleng, this is a typical faux-Silly Symphonies outing of the day with lots of great gags and fun music. It was placed amongst the eleven for its stereotypical treatment of black characters, but for the most part the humor is pretty benign. African-Americans may find it offensive, or they may find it a fascinating little window (as I do) on how mainstream culture viewed black communities in the 1930s.

Personally, I’m looking forward to Warner giving all of the “Censored Eleven” a tasteful presentation on DVD. It’s supposedly on the way later on this year (originally planned for Warner Archive, but now I hear it will be a full-fledged retail release). Whatever the case may be, outright censorship is never the answer when it comes to politically incorrect pop culture of the past. Complain all you want, but let me be the judge of whether something is offensive or not.

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