Sunday, May 17, 2009

Save the Gookie!

(Thanks to Anthony Blampied for the tip-off.).
Strange things are afoot at the Internet Movie Database. .Under the postings for Harpo, all references to his "gookie" face have become "*bleep*ie". I'm not joking.
The reason is that 'Gook', if you're American (what do you mean, you're not?), is a well-known racial slur, applying to foreigners generally, Korean or Vietnamese ones especially. Just as 'Gookie' is a facial expression named after a New York cigar roller.
.Okay, the censorship is automatic - but the user comments are not.
One says: "I guess some would call this excessive Political Correctness, but I wouldn't trade it for what people had to put up with in the Good Old Days."
The woman whose original post was censored has obligingly changed it from 'the infamous Gookie face' to 'the infamous Harpo face' - and apologised for offending anyone.
Britishers note, then, that the IMDB's own description of Harpo as possessed of "big, poofy, curly red hair" has managed to escape from the offenceometer unscathed.


Lolita said...

That's just silly. Hope people don't forget what the "Harpo face" is really called, due to automatic cencorship.

Hart Reaver said...

I'm appalled!!!

"...infamous Harpo face..." indeed! That's offensive in itself. What about all the other instruments of the orchestra?!?!

I'm going to write to my M.P., etc., etc.

Daniel Kinske said...

It is very silly as Harpo himself was completely void of any racial tendencies himself, I need to ask his son, Bill, again for the specific hospital, but Harpo was the only Caucasian member on a board of African-American doctors who created a hospital, which would cater to needy colored persons. Incredulous as it sounds now, white people then were afraid to be operated on by black surgeons--Dr. Hackenbush not-withstanding. Also, there are letters written to Harpo regarding where the proceeds of sales from his paintings should go and he wrote all should go to the NAACP. Would have loved to have met that chipper chap, or your Chaplin too ;)


lamiss ibrahim said...

I definitely love this site.