Activists on both sides of the colour divide are arguing that the Mel Brooks’ 1974 classic cowboy spoof Blazing Saddles be cut from streaming services for racist content.
Starring Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens, Harvey Korman, Madeline Kahn and Mel Brooks, Blazing Saddles 46 years ago wasted little time after the curtains parted, using the opening sequences on a railroad construction site to call a Chinese road gang worker a “chink” and African-American workers “niggers”.
The film’s early gags centre around the 1850 folk song, Camptown Races, now regarded as a parody of the largely African-American workers who lived in the camp towns alongside railroads and seen as highly racist for often being sung in the minstral tradition.
The “N” word is sprinkled throughout the film and even Cleavon Little’s character after arriving in the town of Rock Ridge as its new sheriff is forced to put his gun to his head and yell: “The next man makes a move, the nigger gets it!”
Various organisations within the umbrella of the Black Lives Matter world movement have banded together to have the film removed from screening services.
But white groups are also calling for the film’s axing.
A spokesperson for the #whitesacolourtoo movement, Hans Paullinson, said white men had been treated abominably in the film’s opening sequences.
“The film shows the niggers smirking after they con the white men into singing and dancing to Camptown Races.
“No self-respecting white man would ever carry on like that over a song like that without applying a black face first,” Paulinson said.
“And Slim Pickens’ character was perfectly in his rights to ride up and tell them to stop jumping around “like a bunch of Kansas City faggots!”
The Bug understands another group representing a large proportion of the world’s population has also called for the film to be banned over a scene where a group of men plan to ride into Rock Ridge and “rape the shit out of the women”.
The film’s owners, Heinz Baked Beans International, did not respond to our request for a comment.
STOP PRESS: In a separate but similar action, angry activists have demanded that Apple Music remove immediately the Johnny Horton’s classic Johnny Reb from its music streaming service.
They are angry that in the #blacklivesmatter era, Apple should be shamelessly promoting a song glorifying those Confederate soldiers who fought during the American Civil War for the right to keep slaves.
They say the song’s opening lyrics openly laud the Rebels:
You fought all the way, Johnny Reb, Johnny Reb
You fought all the way, Johnny Reb
Saw you a-marchin’ with Robert E. Lee
You held your head a-high, tryin’ to win the victory
You fought for your folks but you didn’t die in vain
Even though you lost, they speak highly of your name.
“These are despicable sentiments and Apple should be thoroughly ashamed of itself,” a spokesperson said.