against the University of Wisconsin’s Woke race slander.
Are you ready, University of Wisconsin culture cancelers, to be national laughing stocks? When the Hollywood movie community says you social justice warriors have gone too far with your McCarthyite search for racists under every bed, you’ve gone too far.
Four years ago, UW-Madison stripped the name of two-time Academy Award winner Fredric March from its student theater, followed two years later by UW-Oshkosh. Why? On the flimsiest evidence that the Racine native innocently attached the name Ku Klux Klan to a student club before realizing the mistake. This, despite Mr. March’s lifetime of civil rights advocacy when it really counted, in the years when segregation and discrimination were real and present, not the subject of critical race theory.
Turner Classic Movies primetime host Ben Mankiewicz will correct the UW’s historical injustice during a tribute to the actor on Friday, Sept. 30, marking the 125th anniversary of March’s birth. (Which is actually tomorrow, 08-31-22.) The Hollywood Reporter has the story:
“When I heard this news, my gut reaction was, ‘Wow, you’re kidding me. No way. How could Fredric March have been in the Klan?’” Mankiewicz says. “I think we all forget how hard it was to access information in the 1920s,” he points out. “These were the days when news was communicated via telegraph. It’s possible that a bunch of 18-year-old kids in Wisconsin had no idea what that name meant in another part of the country.
But the evidence is clear that, once they found out, they changed the name [of their group] because they didn’t want anything to do with it.” …
March took part in NAACP activities for more than three decades, delivering the keynote address at that organization’s 10th anniversary celebration of Brown v. Board of Education in 1964, while as a teenager, he gave speeches condemning white supremacy.
Access Hollywood Reporter to see Mankiewicz correcting the record in this TCM video clip.
Fredric March’s supporters have again addressed the injustice, this time in a letter dated 08-23-22. Sent to 47 individuals and departments at UW-Madison and UW-Oshkosh, it is signed by 24 personages, including former mayor Dave Cieslewicz, the family of Dana Andrews (co-star with March in The Best Years of Our Lives), and my teenage heart throb Shelley Fabares. They added their names to the 30 who signed a letter of protest in 2021. This month’s letter notes that the UW ignored “March’s role as one of Hollywood’s greatest, loudest and busiest racial-justice activists across seven different decades until his death in 1975.” The letter adds, with considerable asperity:
No one affiliated with either UW-Madison or UW-Oshkosh has ever once acknowledged this past year a single one of the 30 original signatories or even the very existence of their letter and its highly specific contents. Both schools have chosen instead to simply sidestep decades and downpours of incontrovertible facts and easily accessible archival sources, repeatedly doubling-down on a “case-closed” commitment to never mentioning the subject of March again and abandoning any pretense of fair play and academic integrity.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: The Hollywood Reporter says one of March’s grandsons has said that, before the contretemps, the actor’s surviving family had planned to donate his two best actor Oscar statuettes, won for 1931’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and 1946’s The Best Years of Our Lives, to the university, but no longer plan to do so. “They certainly showed us that they don’t deserve them.”
It’s a paradigmatic “who, whom” story (“who” will control “whom”). Bad Day at Racist Rock was another. We’ll see different endings to these stories when the “whos” figure out a way, and summon the will, to punch back twice as hard. Can’t say that that seems to be in the offing.
We will relish the day though, if and when it comes.
UW must be a national laughingstock, even worse than the Don Morton years.
Fredric March. The Chamberlin Rock.
Is Bucky Badger next?
You make a great point when you state: “Is Bucky Badger next?”
Well, if they can find some dirt on what William Sachse, the creator of Bucky Badger, ever said or did or even was rumored to do that can be considered remotely racist, then Bucky will have to go.
I think Honest Abe is next. And if Mnookin caves to these mental midget student activist groups, I hope there is hell to pay on the alumni donation side of things.
How can you neglect Ms. Blank’s rock’ which sharedcwith Mr. Mr. March the falsecand stupid allegation?
Renaming the theater after March would be a good first step, especially for the brand new Chancellor. Don’t have to rub anybody’s nose in it, just change it back saying a closer look was necessary.
Thanks for the heads-up, Policy Werkes, about the 9/30 TCM broadcast. I agree with patrickmoloughlin that restoring Fredric March’s name to the Play Circle would be a grand idea. Wondering if the clueless cancel-culture robots who besmirched the name of a great American are capable of this kind of compassion and maturity. If they are, they should publicly apologize to the actor’s heirs. The UW deserves Tinseltown’s revenge: a satire of “woke” mentality, perhaps? Woody Allen could handle this assignment, but he’s been in deep doo-doo ever since running off with Soon Yi.
It takes a big man / woman / whatever gender they feel like that day running UW to admit UW F****D UP with the Match Theatre fiasco. However, there are no big people at UW or even their ultimate boss, Tony (n)Evers who have a brain big enough to figure out that they F****D UP big time in this case. The problem with knee-jerk Regressives (TM) is that when someone dug up the Frederick March tidbit about the KKK or 100 year old newspaper story about the “racist” rock, that no one seems to investigate the situation to find out the real story before reacting. Of course, Tony (n)Evers has not yet apologized to the Kenosha cop, who he literally called a racist, for shooting who a guy after repeated warnings and two taserings, because the guy was 1) violating a restraining order, 2) kidnapping young children from their mother, 3) attempting to steal a vehicle with the kids in them, 4) putting a cop into a headlock, and 5) pulling a knife out during the struggle, all before the cop shot him. And oh yeah, both the WI Attorney General and the Kenosha DA investigated this shooting in depth, hoping to nail the cop but had to exonerate him.
People in Madison have just lost their freaking minds! Oh, wait, they are sitting on them…my mistake.
The Wokerati gets B!TCHSLAPPED by its handlers?
It’s almost too much to take.
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