Advocacy Organization Calls for Boycott of “Movies with a View”

The social change advocacy organization is circulating a petition to boycott Syfy Movies with a View at Brooklyn Bridge Park because of the screening of Breakfast at Tiffany’s scheduled for Thursday, August 11. As we previously noted, the 1961 Blake Edwards movie, starring Audrey Hepburn, is controversial because of Mickey Rooney’s “yellowface” portrayal of Mr. Yunioshi, a Japanese-American character.

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    Seriously, this is a non-issue. Its not like they are showing “Birth of a Nation.” or something else from the David Duke Criterion Collection.

  • AEB

    It’s remarkable to believe that an entire group of people can be defamed by one very poor “comic” characterization in a near-fifty-year-old film.

  • lori

    Ridiculous! to cancel a whole movie series because of one scene in one of the movies. If you don’t want that movie shown, just boycott the showing of that one movie!

  • Jorale-man

    I don’t think boycotting is the answer. Most people who attend a series like this are intelligent enough to understand that racial stereotyping was a part of our culture back then. One can still appreciate the movie’s dramatic strengths without writing off the entire thing.

    I wonder if this same organization goes around asking schools to ban Huckleberry Finn or opera houses to close Madame Butterfly?

  • Remsen

    Give me a break…there must be a better way to spend your time

  • Gianluca

    What happened to the: “This is America…” I think some people should retired from the social change advocacy organization and leave the seats to younger generation.

  • Monty

    I can understand their complaint. Clearly, this rates as a pretty minor offense, but it’s a public showing and there are thousands of other movies they could have picked.

  • David on Middagh

    It’s pretty painful painful impersonation to watch, but I wouldn’t boycott the festival for it, or even the movie, which has one of those wonderful screen kisses.

  • Gianluca

    I just went to the petition and I saw 188 signature for this. This is insane! America has changed. Don’t ruined for the people that enjoy the outdoor movies at this point. Just change it and go on.

  • Sal D

    Just look at the last names of the people who commented on the petition.

  • Clampdown

    Great. When is Blazing Saddles showing?

  • Villager

    I’m gonna git me a shotgun and kill all the whiteys I see!

  • Just A Neighbor

    If you don’t like it, then don’t go. But don’t ruin it for everyone else.

  • Luke C

    Ludicrous. This is why I got fed up with Boulder: intolerant liberal extremists. I’ve appreciated that NYC can be more laissez-faire liberal.

    The depiction of Mr. Yoniushi is appalling and no longer funny even in the context of the film’s era; all the more reason to see it and be reminded of the difference between inclusive comedy and comic ridicule.

  • Sad Neighbor

    This is an old classic movie. Mickey Rooney has very little screen time and come on people….have a sense of humor and also realize this was a period piece. Enough with such scrutiny… in that case you might as well (as someone else commented) show only Disney movies. I would love to see some of the classic musicals (like West Side Story or the King and I)…are they going to be banned to for some of the messages in the songs…
    This is NY…the great melting pot. Maybe the kind of humor that was popular in 1961 was as such but I don’t think it was intended to insult the asian population.
    Lighten up.

  • Jeffrey J Smith

    I agree, lighten up, but also consider…

    This is the beginning of what is already the law in Canada,
    Britian and other places. strong controls on what can be said in the public square.

    Debates like this are for ONE reason; to accoustom and aclimate Americans to the now fast coming controls on speech.

    We need to be VERY careful what restraints, in the social form
    or in law. we tolerate on expression. Be very careful…….

  • Buddy Holly

    Let’s burn the book, Huckleberry Finn. It uses the “n” word. (Being sarcastic.) Lighten-up people. Get over the past, and understand the past.

  • Jeffrey J Smith

    Aside from the above, I DO have to say that everyone should consider this film a product of its time…

    You sure do.

    In the New York or American this film is a product of I could walk home or ride a subway at any hour. People slept on hot nights on
    a roof or public park ALL without any fear. Crime in my neigh-
    borhood was next to unheard of and we didnt know what drugs were.

    Mickey Rooney is some great public menace? The “people” who think that all got their political and social training in the late 1960’s or early 70’s at some SDS rally.

    Tell you what, if you asked the average American of any group
    if they could have today’s technology, especially medical but could have all the social conditions of 1961 what do you think would the average normal American would say?

    Who anointed any of this group as the arbiters of what appears on the social stage?

    This is truly an age of madness……

  • Monty

    @Sad Neighbor, maybe next summer they could show Song of the South and see what kind of reception it gets.

  • Josh G

    Agree with all comments above. If you don’t like it then stay home in your cocoon.

  • bob furman

    Lots of films are seriously objectionable but should be see because they are great films and can help us understand the prejudices and hatreds of the past. Two others that come to mind are “Gone with the Wind” and Leni Riefenstahl’s Nazi propagada piece “Triumph of the Will” which glorifies a Nazi party rally.

  • PierrepontSkin

    Tropic Thunder. Robert Downey Jr. in blackface. It’s funny. I laughed. I’m not racist. ALSO, every Mel Brooks movie is hysterical, but these petitioners would probably disagree.

  • resident

    @PierrepontSkin: Those aren’t great examples to make your point. Neither Tropic Thunder nor Mel Brooks movies were actually racist because of the manner in which they handled the “sensitive” material. In Tropic Thunder, they were making fun of extreme method actors while also taking a jab at the small number of quality roles for black actors in hollywood. In Mel Brooks movies, the racism is pretty much always used as a way to make fun of the racists. Neither situation is comparable to Breakfast at Tiffany’s, in which Rooney’s performance was truly offensive, and admitted as such by pretty much everyone connected to the movie.

    That being said, a boycott is stupid. It was 1961. We can all look back and take it for what it was, a remnant of a worse time.

  • Billy Reno

    I hear that NOW is pushing for equal use of the word “girlcott”.

  • Whatever

    And I was hoping that Blazing Sattles would make it to the list next year. :(

  • Claude Scales

    I’m afraid the Sattelites would be sure to protest that.

  • Andrew Porter

    The movie “This is The Army” has a minstrel section with blackface, not to mention the all-Negro “What the Well-Dressed Man in Harlem Should Wear” sketch with Joe Louis. For that reason, I have refused to buy War Bonds and Stamps.

    Then there are those films with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland in black face…

  • Hicks St Guy

    @ Buddy Holly, damn, I was going to mention Huck Finn. suggest the censors join the other idiots in Kansas or wherever. isn’t art often a snapshot of the era in which it was produced? I hope they boycott the series so that there will be fewer nitwits there.

  • Mr. Ironic

    “ is experiencing intermittent downtime due to a cyber-attack originating in China”

  • Arch Stanton

    Please sign my petition to ban boycotts.