icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

1974 classic ‘Blazing Saddles’ gets slapped with ‘social context’ sticker to explain jokes to liberal babies

Zachary Leeman
Zachary Leeman

is the author of the novel Nigh and journalist who covers art and culture. He has previously written for outlets such as Breitbart, LifeZette, and BizPac Review among others. Follow him on Twitter @WritingLeeman

is the author of the novel Nigh and journalist who covers art and culture. He has previously written for outlets such as Breitbart, LifeZette, and BizPac Review among others. Follow him on Twitter @WritingLeeman

1974 classic ‘Blazing Saddles’ gets slapped with ‘social context’ sticker to explain jokes to liberal babies
Streaming service HBO Max has slapped an embarrassing disclaimer on the classic Mel Brooks comedy ‘Blazing Saddles’ to give it “proper social context,” in another sign of the death of art at the hands of wokeness.

If you’re looking to sit back and laugh at the irreverent ‘Blazing Saddles’ on HBO Max, you’ll first have to sit through being talked to like a grade schooler.

Just as a trigger warning was added to ‘Gone with the Wind’ to warn viewers that a movie taking place during the American Civil War may not contain characters that fully live up to today’s woke standards, ‘Blazing Saddles’ – a Western satire about a black sheriff (Cleavon Little) and an hard-drinking gunfighter (Gene Wilder) battling both racism and railroad thugs in a frontier town – has been stamped with a disclaimer.

The movie itself is a good hour and a half long, but plan on an extra three minutes so Turner Classic Movies host and University of Chicago cinema and media studies professor Jacqueline Stewart can explain to you how satire works. 

Also on rt.com Gina Carano’s formidable stand against BLM bullies is a much-wanted victory over cancel culture

“As the storyline implies, the issue of race is front and center in ‘Blazing Saddles’. And racist language and attitudes pervade the film. But those attitudes are espoused by characters who are portrayed here as explicitly small-minded, ignorant bigots,” Stewart tells us during the introduction. “The real and much more enlightened perspective is provided by the main characters played by Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder.”

If you made it through that entire preamble, no, you’re not dreaming. She literally just explained away the comedy at the center of ‘Blazing Saddles.’ She’s contextualizing something that’s literally already contextualized in the film itself. 

HBO Max claims the introduction is to put the 1974 film into “proper social context.”

As was the case with the ‘Gone with the Wind’ controversy, plenty have expressed their disapproval of the eggshell feelings of the contemporary woke mob compromising the arts.

The backlash can be chalked up to the larger issue at play today: studios are bowing to minority thinkers who are nowhere near intelligent enough to understand or partake in anything they criticize. If you need it explained to you who the actual bigots are in ‘Blazing Saddles’ and that it’s a comedy, there’s zero chance you’ll ever be watching it anyway, because you can’t handle the complexities of fiction, so who’s this introduction for? And so the rest of us suffer, while triggered babies move on and find the next thing to cry about.

Adding a three-minute trigger warning to ‘Blazing Saddles’ is like going to a comedy show and, before the ‘politically incorrect’ comedian comes out, someone taking to the stage to explain to you everything you’re about to hear and how you should feel about it. No matter how funny the comedian ends up being, what adult is going to laugh after being treated like a child, and paying for it? 

Also on rt.com 'What would Hattie McDaniel think?' HBO chief says removing 'Gone with the Wind' was 'no brainer'

Hollywood is currently at the mercy of the offended, which only hurts the arts and audiences smart enough to tell the difference between real life and a movie, and who are able to think beyond 280-character tweets and see situations in context.

The moral of the story is this: if you want to watch ‘Blazing Saddles’ without triggered liberals ruining it for you, drop a few bucks on a physical copy. No reason to pay someone to preach to you when you already have to deal with that every time you click on the news or open social media, is there? 

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Podcasts