Monday, October 13, 2008

Banned at UW-Madison

It had to happen, I suppose. Mel Brook's comedy classic "Blazing Saddles" is no longer suitable for even adult viewing on a university campus.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has apologized to a black student who during a class last year was shown a clip of the movie "Blazing Saddles" that features racial epithets.

During a seminar for working professionals, an instructor showed a scene of the 1974 comedy in which blacks are shown working on a railroad, according to a complaint filed by the student. Whites call the workers racial epithets and an overseer orders them to sing like slaves.

The student complained and the school's Office of Equity and Diversity, which investigates racial discrimination, got involved. That prompted an apology in March from the Department of Professional Development and Applied Studies, which offered the course.

"It was an insensitive error to use a video clip that included inflammatory and offensive language, and it will not happen again," department official James Campbell wrote. "We strive to plan and offer quality programming that meets the needs of an array of professionals and are sorry we fell short of that goal in this instance."

Here, I think, is the scene in question. (Warning: language)

I suppose if they don't set some sort of standard for the classroom, somebody in the English department might get the bright idea to teach the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Guess they'll just have to go back to showing porn films instead.