All this month, Turner Classic Movies has been taking a look at the often unflattering way that Hollywood has presented Arabs in film with “Race In Hollywood: Arab Images In Film“. It is a part of the cable outlet’s long running “Images In Film” series and features regular TCM host Robert Osbourne and Professor Emeritus of Mass Communication and Middle East media consultant Jack G. Shaheen discussing the context of each presented film in the series and its representation of its Arab characters. The films span seven decades of cinema from the 1921 silent The Shiek to 1999’s Three Kings.
Last night, TCM had scheduled the controversial 1937 Fleischer Studios animated two-reeler Popeye The Sailor Meets Ali Baba And His Forty Theieves. The pre-recorded discussion between Osbourne and Shaheen aired but when the cartoon should have started, viewers where instead treated instead to the Dogville two-reeler Love Tails Of Morocco.
Had TCM had a case of literal last-second second thoughts about airing the Popeye cartoon? Nothing so dramatic, as a spokesperson for the channel took to their website’s discussion board to issue this mea culpa –
[O]nce again we made a mistake. There was a miscommunication about how the cartoons were to be scheduled (who, specifically, was supposed to enter them into the scheduling database) and so they were left off the schedule completely. Once again, this is emabarrassing for us, especially because we were excited to play these cartoons in this specific context. Mistakes like this happen, although I acknowledge it seems like they’ve happened too much lately. It is not unreasonable to want an explanation. I’m sorry.
Well, if you were hoping to have seen the cartoon last night, or you’re interested in watching it now, here is the introduction that aired and the cartoon.
Via Cartoon Brew.