Some UK viewers who caught the BBC’s airing of the classic hit 1970s musical Grease over Christmas were aghast at its content, slamming the John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John-starring musical as an affront to their sensibilities.
Forty-two years after its cinema release, the movie was met with damning critiques from some calling it “misogynistic,” “rapey,” and encouraging “slut-shaming” amongst a host of other putdowns.
The film, set in an American high school in 1959, was one of the highest-grossing films of the 1970s and has had a sequel and hit Broadway and West End show created in its honor, but that didn’t stop some taking it to task.
Grease is on. It really has a terrible message doesn't it?
— Zoë Paramour (@ZoeParamour) December 26, 2020
Ahhh man. Just watching #Grease one of my favourite films and it’s so of its time. Misogynistic, sexist and a bit rapey.
— Dr Kelly 🔶 🕷 (@KellyQuilt) December 26, 2020
So turns out #Grease is actually pretty rapey.
Also no one wants to watch Grease with me anymore.
— Samantha Johnson (@Phoenix_Magic_X) December 26, 2020
For some criticis, even the simple premise of boy meets girl at high school was too much to bear, calling the entire plot sexist, racist and homophobic.
This is far too sexist and overly white and should be banned from the screen, it is after all nearly 2021.
— Henry Webb (@ireton1955) December 26, 2020
My fair lady
West side Story
The little mermaid
The king and I
Princess and the frog
Stormy weather https://t.co/PYqkYn9NFX
— Candice Frederick (@ReelTalker) November 21, 2020
Elsewhere one viewer wrote: “Hey, there’s one non-white couple at the dance! One! #Grease”
“I caught the end of Grease, the movie, and noticed there were no black actors or pupils at the high school,” added another, while a third penned: “Watched Grease on the BBC, surprised they let it go, full of white people.”
The film has a PG rating with a warning of “frequent mild sex references and mild language.”
This is not the first time a Hollywood classic has been attacked in the years since its original release.
In the UK alone, some 16 films including Aliens, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Flash Gordon, The Jungle Book, and Lawrence of Arabia have been given trigger warnings for their “outdated attitudes” by Comcast-owned Sky, as Breitbart London reported.
Even more recent remakes have had the same treatment:
Trigger Warning: Comcast-owned Sky Says Aladdin 2019 ‘Has Outdated Attitudes’, ‘May Cause Offence Today’ https://t.co/dpvYlXIac9
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 19, 2020
A straight historical recitation of the facts can be enough to arouse woke critics.
The 2017 release Matilda from director Aleksey Uchitel covered an affair between the eponymous ballerina and Tsar Nicholas II, who was ultimately executed after the Bolshevik Revolution.
The project encountered angry resistance from “nationalist extremists” on release, as the Hollywood Reporter put it, because Nicholas II was designated a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church in 2000.
Also, 2017 was the one-hundredth anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution.
“Although only trailers of the film have so far been released, theaters that plan to show the film have been attacked, and last month Molotov cocktails were lobbed through the windows of Uchitel’s St Petersburg office. No one was injured,” the Hollywood Reporter wrote at the time.
Matilda was also banned in the Muslim-dominated areas of Russia, including Chechnya, Dagestan, and Ingushetia.
Chechen minister Jambulat Umarov told Reuters the movie would pointlessly “stir up hatred” and “stir up rage,” adding historical films should strive for strict accuracy and “not lead the viewer into the boudoir.”