On the Horizon: Hollywood Tackles the Race Issue
“Island in the sun,” Hollywood’s recent “miscegenation film,” was picketed in Jacksonville, Florida, by the Ku Klux Klan, but business was good at the box office. In Charlotte, North Carolina, the pickets were in mufti and less resolute. They challenged a member of the audience: “Do you think this picture is detrimental to the Southern way of life?” He replied “No. In fact, I think it is a pro-segregation picture.” The pickets went in to see the picture and picketed no more.
The incident in Charlotte conveniently dramatizes the faot that the new “miscegenation films”—Island in the Sun and Band of Angels—are all things to all men. They are intended to be. They must capitalize on the current-events interest in racial issues and they must attract the Negro and Asian audiences, but, at the same time, they must not alienate the South. The makers of Island in the Sun announced some months ago that they were going to risk the loss of the South. But now that the film is out and the Southern box-office returns are in, we know that racial relations were handled gingerly enough for no one to be offended. Band of Angels raised even fewer such problems.
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