Thursday, November 8, 2012

Using "Blazing Saddles" and the N-word

In 2011 Turner Classics explained why they were about to show a film that used the N-word. That film was "Blazing Saddles", which, I just found out, was co-written by and supposed to star Richard Pryor:

"Brooks’ sledgehammer style of comedy can often fall somewhat wide of the mark, as it has in other movies. (‘Young Frankenstein’ being the only other exception I can think of.) The challenging use of the N word in ‘Blazing Saddles’ (the film was originally to have been called ‘Black Bart’) and jokes about rape were a huge risk back in 1974 (and still are now) but it all works thanks to the input of another great comedy genius, the late Richard Pryor, who was involved as a co-screenwriter on the film and who had intended on playing the part of Sheriff Bart himself. This would have marked his first buddy match-up with Gene Wilder of course, but it was not to be. Financial backers balked at Pryor’s dangerously challenging image. They were so afraid that middle America would stay away in droves if Pryor were in the role, they forced Brooks to recast the part with Cleavon Little. Little did a superb job, but he could never quite fill the huge boots left at the end of his bed. Pryor and Wilder would go on to create a string of hugely successful odd couple comedies, like ‘Silver Streak’ (1976) and ‘Stir Crazy’ (1980) instead."

Too bad Pryor wasn't in it. It would have been much funnier (and because of the script it already is very funny).

But that film was made in 1974, before use of the N-word was totally forbidden. And I think it is good that the N-word is forbidden. All words that degrade classes of people will, I think, not exist in Heaven. But now the question arises, is it proper to show parts of the movie "Blazing Saddles"? And if we do show it, should we "bleep out" the N-word? And as the author of a blog should I refuse to show parts of the movie if the N-word isn't bleeped out?


Crude said...

What word are you talking about?

Bilbo said...

Watch video here: