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Wal-Mart MLK/Planet of the Apes controversy

Stinger

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OK on a website Wal-Mart offers a movie about Martin Luthor King and as lots of sites do they have the "If you an interested in this you might be interested in this" and they broading link to several other movies including a boxed set of the TV series "Planet of the Apes".

All heck has broken loose. Appologies and the head of the CEO are demanded. They, Wal-Mart, are saying it was a mistake due to the software they use to create the links.

Now I was a teenager/college student at the time the movie came out and indeed the analogy of civil rights and oppression were openly discussed. And even more so in the TV series those social themes were brought up. A cursory search in Yahoo "Planet of the Apes" and racism, gives back lots of reviews of the movies and TV series all pointing out the social statements both made.

For instance

"The most depressing part of Tim Burton's 2001 update of Planet of the Apes is that the basic themes -- anti-racism, anti-imperialism, pro-civil rights -- remain as pressing today as in 1968."

and

"
The original Planet of Apes (1968) was an obvious allegory about race and nuclear arms. The underlying message condemned racism by reversing the historical relationship between whites and blacks. Like the current film, white humans were the mistreated slaves, and dark simians were the masters. When the original film was released, the black community was understandably distraught over the ape-African comparison, an insidious racist analogy to begin with. The derogatory association not only deepened stereotypes of the African-American, but increased fears of an eventual "Negro" takeover."

or

"Planet of the Apes is almost too obviously allegorical. With little evidence of subtlety, the production tackles issues like racism, class divisions, and the dangers of close-mindedness. The apes treat the humans as property - chattel with no inherent value that can be disposed of at will. Within ape society, there is a distinct social structure, based on species."

So is this just another media knee-jerk over-reaction "let's get Wal-Mart" or did they do something untoward?
 

Stinger

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FinnMacCool said:
I don't think Wal-Mart did it on purpose. But I still think they should apologize regardless.
And what exactly are you saying they should appologize for? Did you read the parts of the reviews of the series/movie I cited or search for yourself? The series/movies has always been considered a statement about racism and injustice, why shouldn't it be referred to when mentioning movies about civil rights and civil justice?
 

vergiss

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Stinger said:
And what exactly are you saying they should appologize for? Did you read the parts of the reviews of the series/movie I cited or search for yourself? The series/movies has always been considered a statement about racism and injustice, why shouldn't it be referred to when mentioning movies about civil rights and civil justice?
Woah, jump down his throat, why don't you?

Personally, it seems a bit... odd, to me. I mean, anything could be used as an artistic analogy for anything else, which is why I resent having to pick books apart in English. What'd you think if a search on George W. Bush brought up 1984, for example?

It's a bit much to get offended over it, but I don't think the association is appropriate.
 

FinnMacCool

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And what exactly are you saying they should appologize for? Did you read the parts of the reviews of the series/movie I cited or search for yourself? The series/movies has always been considered a statement about racism and injustice, why shouldn't it be referred to when mentioning movies about civil rights and civil justice?
That's not the reason why it was on there and you know it. It was a mistake on their part and they should apologize or suffer the consequences. Why are you so eager to defend Wal Mart I wonder?
 

Stinger

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinger
And what exactly are you saying they should appologize for? Did you read the parts of the reviews of the series/movie I cited or search for yourself? The series/movies has always been considered a statement about racism and injustice, why shouldn't it be referred to when mentioning movies about civil rights and civil justice?


vergiss said:
Woah, jump down his throat, why don't you?
Excuse me, how is that jumping down anyone's throat?



It's a bit much to get offended over it, but I don't think the association is appropriate.
Why not? The basis of the movie was exactly what MLK was preaching about civil rights, oppression and social injustice. Again read the cites I provided and the reviews by people who do such things. It was very well known at the time that the films and series were preciesly about these things.
 

Stinger

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FinnMacCool said:
That's not the reason why it was on there and you know it.
No I don't know it but again why should they appoligize?


It was a mistake on their part and they should apologize or suffer the consequences. Why are you so eager to defend Wal Mart I wonder?
So they say now but what was the mistake, why shouldn't these films be suggested to those looking for films about social injustice and civil rights, read what the reviews say about them.
 

Axismaster

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We may never know what happened. It could have been that the theme of the movie coincided with MLK's ideals, or it could have just been some troll in the web department who did it for sick fun. I actually am kind of thinking the latter. I doubt it was some massive company conspiracy, just an isolated incident.
 

FinnMacCool

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So they say now but what was the mistake, why shouldn't these films be suggested to those looking for films about social injustice and civil rights, read what the reviews say about them.
Firstly reviews are reviews and not professional opinions.

Secondly, do you really think Wal Mart puts that much thought into what they select as recommended movies?

No I don't know it but again why should they appoligize?
Okay sure. They don't have to if they don't want to. But they better or there will be a lot of angry people.

I hope your not interperting what I'm saying as that they better do it or we should all get really mad. I'm looking at this in a more realistic sense. They had better apologize.

I've never liked Wal Mart but that has nothing to do with my stance on this.
 

Stinger

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FinnMacCool said:
Okay sure. They don't have to if they don't want to. But they better or there will be a lot of angry people.

I hope your not interperting what I'm saying as that they better do it or we should all get really mad. I'm looking at this in a more realistic sense. They had better apologize.

I've never liked Wal Mart but that has nothing to do with my stance on this.
Why? Both the movie and the series make very salient points about civil rights and oppression and social justice. What is the appology for? At the time of the release of the movie and the series there wasn't any of this nonsense.
 

SouthernDemocrat

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Stinger said:
Why? Both the movie and the series make very salient points about civil rights and oppression and social justice. What is the appology for? At the time of the release of the movie and the series there wasn't any of this nonsense.
Because it’s tacky that’s why. I am certain that it was not done purposely, but to compare a documentary on MLK to Planet of the Apes is just in bad taste. The underlining themes are the same, but in one we are talking about people and real history, and in another its apes and fantasy. It’s a mistake, but you know we all apologize for our mistakes. It is as simple as that.

If people want to have a reason not to shop at Wal-Mart, then this should be awfully low on the list. It’s kind of like when the Fundies were talking about boycotting Wal-Mart because many stores were saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. It kind of showed that groups true colors when that would make them consider boycotting Wal-Mart, but the fact Wal-Mart has built a corporate empire on being the single worst company in America to work for and on pressuring vendors to resort to what amounts to near slave labor and what is definately child labor in China to produce the products for those low low prices, did not seem to make them think that as Christians, they ought to not give Walmart any of their money.
 

Stinger

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SouthernDemocrat said:
Because it’s tacky that’s why. I am certain that it was not done purposely, but to compare a documentary on MLK to Planet of the Apes is just in bad taste. The underlining themes are the same, but in one we are talking about people and real history, and in another its apes and fantasy. It’s a mistake, but you know we all apologize for our mistakes. It is as simple as that.
Why is it tacky? The whole basis of the series is social injustice and civil rights. The movie was a politcal statement in itself. They were metaphors of the times. Using books and movies etc has long been a means of exploring and opening discussion for social issues.

but the fact Wal-Mart has built a corporate empire on being the single worst company in America to work for
Which is certainly not a fact but then has nothing to do with this discussion nor the remainder of your post.
 

Deegan

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LOL, this whole thing is just blown way out of proportion.:spin:
 

SouthernDemocrat

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Deegan said:
LOL, this whole thing is just blown way out of proportion.:spin:
I very much agree, its a thread about nothing.
 

Stinger

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SouthernDemocrat said:
I very much agree, its a thread about nothing.

Ahhhh that's the whole point of the thread, the whole issue was overblown when it became an issue.
 

libertarian_knight

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FinnMacCool said:
That's not the reason why it was on there and you know it. It was a mistake on their part and they should apologize or suffer the consequences. Why are you so eager to defend Wal Mart I wonder?
Actually, it's not even really Wal_mart's "fault" such suggerstions are generated by people who purchased or examined the items, adn that's usually done soley by data tracking software on the website.

What would the apology be? "On Bahalf of the customers, whom we actually have no right to speak for, we sincerely apologize that our customers bought these two movies. We will no stop the selling of MLK in conjunction with a purchase that has anything to do with other primates, thank you."

If suggestions when buying Disney movies were say, "Double Anal College Girls Vol. 7" then sure, there might be real cause for concern.
 

SixStringHero

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This sounds an awful lot like the CNN black X on Cheney's face incident.

The media made a big deal about that one as well.
 

Stinger

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SixStringHero said:
This sounds an awful lot like the CNN black X on Cheney's face incident.
How so?????
 

SixStringHero

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Well, many people were complaining that the CNN incident was done with malicious intent and condoned by CNN as a partisan attack.

It could have either been simply a glitch, or some ignorant jackass who put it in as a prank. I seriuosly doubt it was something that was done purposefully.

The same goes in this case. People are making a big deal of something that was most likely nothing more than a glitch in the links.
 
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This is a whole lot about nothing.
 

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Stinger said:
Ahhhh that's the whole point of the thread, the whole issue was overblown when it became an issue.
So you want to blow it up even more? :neutral:
 

RightinNYC

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Apparently there's actually more to it than this. One of my friends emailed me about it a week or two ago, saying that if you bought Planet of the Apes, the suggested products were:

Lives of Martin Luther King Jr, actress Dorothy Dandridge, boxer Jack Johnson and singer Tina Turner.

That sounds like its more than just "social commentary"

Dont know anything about the reason why, just thought I'd add that.
 

libertarian_knight

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RightatNYU said:
Apparently there's actually more to it than this. One of my friends emailed me about it a week or two ago, saying that if you bought Planet of the Apes, the suggested products were:

Lives of Martin Luther King Jr, actress Dorothy Dandridge, boxer Jack Johnson and singer Tina Turner.

That sounds like its more than just "social commentary"

Dont know anything about the reason why, just thought I'd add that.
Planet of the Apes, first of all it uses evolution as a mechanism for the change. There are only limited avenues in that regard. Second is is a social commentary on the evils of racism and slavery, things that adversly affected blacks for a long time.

It's not intentional, it uses associations, and like it or not, a pop culure movie on racial commentary and slavery is going to be associated with civil rights leaders and people that broke down social barriers regarding race.

to be honest though, having seen the plaent of the apes and the original, until this thread I NEVER thgouht about it's racial message.

There are a lot of people in this country that don't see race as anything meaningful. Some people do, and they are a dying breed.
 

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Wal-mart need not apologize for anything. The whole issue is being over-blown because of a design flaw in the relational database that matches items for purchasing suggestion. Its like this:

MLK has to do with civil rights, racism, afro-american history. Meanwhile, Planet of the Apes was an allegory for the same issues. The relational database engine simply looks grabs keywords from the first item and matches them with words found in other items...most of the time from the reviews if it has to do with media. If anyone needs to apologize its the nimrods trying to turn a logical system into a race issue.
 

Stinger

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vergiss said:
So you want to blow it up even more? :neutral:
I'm curious why it was blown up in the first place an dicussing it here doesn't blow it up in the least.
 
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