"Racist" Gone With the Wind-Inspired May Ball Canned by Cambridge Uni College
Probably an avoidable situation using things like common sense and social awareness
A Cambridge University College has cancelled a Gone With The Wind-inspired May ball after receiving numerous complaints that the film is in fact a bit racist, and any such ball would follow suit. Officials at St Edmund’s College have admitted that the organising committee was forced to change the theme after concerns were raised about the Oscar-winning film.
Mamusu Kallon -a student at St Edmund’s – expressed her dismay at the original choice of theme for the ball. “It is a film that glamorises the romantic dreams of a slave owner and a KKK member while rendering the horrors of slavery invisible,” she said,” she explained to The Independent.
“The black characters fulfil every derogatory racist stereotype of the ‘slave’ and black people continue to be subject to the modern-day versions of these stereotypes. Surely Cambridge University should not be perpetuating this?”
A college spokesman said: “The committee initially selected the theme of Gone with the Wind, but then changed it to ‘Journey through the Seasons’ after concern was expressed by some of our students. The college felt that it would have only been necessary for it to intervene formally if the matter had not been resolved satisfactorily. The college supports the change of theme and is proud of its record of friendliness and cordiality.”
The change has hasn’t dampened spirits, which is probably a good thing, because if it has it would mean people were hoping for a racist ball. For £129, partygoers “experience all four seasons in one memorable night. Our college grounds will evoke fruitful autumn gardens, long midwinter nights, the early hours of spring and the fierce passion of midsummer.”
Margaret Mitchell’s novel, despite being an iconic classic, has always been considered racist by some critics. It isn’t the language used, though – like in Huck Finn – rather the general portrayal of African Americans.