A lot of movies are currently being re-examined for their depictions of race in America; Gone With the Wind was removed from HBO Max and will soon include a new introduction, the newfound popularity of The Help spawned multiple editorials on the film's problems, and presumably, no one's going to be watching Soul Man for the rest of eternity.
Even a cherished Oscar-winning Best Picture has a glaringly uncomfortable scene you might have forgotten all about.
When we think about Forrest Gump we typically remember "Life is like a box of chocolates" and "Run, Forrest, Run." But there's also the early scene in which we learn how Forrest got his name; from the "great Civil War hero" Nathan Forrest Bedford, who was also the first Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan. Yikes. Forrest also claims that he is related to Bedford, which is why, in the ensuing flashback, Bedford is actually played by Hanks. Yes, we get to see America's Sweetheart donning Klan robes on horseback.
Forrest adds that his mother claimed that she named him after a white supremacist to remind him that, "We all do things that, well, just don't make no sense." Which seems like both an oversimplification and an unnecessarily cruel thing to do to a child. The original novel goes into even more detail, including an anecdote about the time Forrest saw a current Grand Wizard clowning around with a noose in the window of his gun shop.
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Making all of this somehow even worse, at the time Forrest is talking to a Black woman who likely doesn't want to hear stories about the KKK while she's just trying to read a goddamn magazine while waiting for the goddamn bus.
And you have to wonder if, say, Hitler Gump would have won as many awards and featured quite so much precious piano music.
Top Image: Paramount Pictures