TODAY’S entertainment is often laboriously woke, which must be confusing for young people watching things made before 2015. Here’s how to explain baffling old films and TV.
The Great Escape, 1963
A classic war film very loosely based on a true story. You’ll notice there are no people of colour in it. That’s because there weren’t any. In 1942 the captured airmen would all have been white, and the Nazis weren’t keen on diversity. Don’t worry, if it’s remade they’ll just plonk a load of black guys – and possibly Rihanna – in Stalag Luft even though the US air force was incredibly racist.
Doctor Who, 1963-2017
It’s hard to believe now, but the Doctor was originally a man. Luckily the character was altered so fundamentally he may as well have regenerated into a satsuma, and only most of the viewers abandoned the show. The BBC did genuinely have a problem with companions, who remained extremely white until ‘Nu-Who’. Although now even the most committed woke activist would prefer three Adrics to the diverse shower of useless twats that is Jodie’s ‘fam’.
The film kicks off with a woman being sent on her way with a merry slap on the arse, and gets a whole lot worse, depending on how you interpret the barn scene. Unfortunately the 60s were just very sexist, and there’s nothing anyone can do about that now unless you’ve got a time machine. And if you did you’d probably have more important things to do than changing dozens of Bond girls’ names to something less demeaning, eg. Kitty Innabundance.
Love Thy Neighbour, 1972-76
F**king hell, this takes some explaining. Ostensibly mocking prejudiced attitudes, this incredibly uncomfortable sitcom about a black couple moving in next door features countless ‘He’ll come after me his spear!’-type gags. You’ll just have to tell younger viewers that attitudes were very different then, as if 1976 was hundreds of years ago and people still travelled by horse and cart and feared witches. Although they probably think that anyway.
White Wilderness, 1958
Every film nowadays is at pains to point out ‘No animal was harmed…’ but in 1958 Disney considered a bit of animal cruelty educational. To make the lemmings fit their suicidal stereotype they were shoved off a cliff to die in their hundreds. You see, people back then regarded animals as just objects to be exploited, which is admittedly pretty hypocritical for a company that made its fortune from a mouse wearing trousers.
Withnail and I, 1987
Shockingly unwoke. There are almost no women in the film, and Withnail makes inappropriate comments to underage girls. Woke viewers may find the following concept difficult to grasp, but this is because: it fits the setting, events and characterisation of the film. The sooner it’s remade the better, ideally with Rachel Zegler as a strong, independent female Withnail who can succeed on her own without help from men, ie. Uncle Monty.
Irresponsible filmmaking at its worst. From the moment Humphrey Bogart appears he’s puffing away on a fag. This is going to be deeply shocking to young people. Although everyone breathing clouds of blueberry vape would arguably be worse. You’ll just have to explain it’s a product of a time when smoking was normal. Although to be fair, in Casablanca you do wonder why anyone cares about the outcome of the war, because they’ll surely all be dead from lung cancer before then.