Slating Private Ryan

by Willow Green |
Published on

Following recent protests by black American servicemen's associations in the US about the fact that everyone in Saving Private Ryan is white, there come fresh allegations of racism in Steven Spielberg's movie. This time it's The Italic Studies Institute, an educational non-profit making organization, and the criticism has arisen because the film includes the slang American term "guineas." The reference is made as two soldiers in the troop sort through dogtags of dead American paratroopers, looking for Private Ryan. As Ed Burns reads off Italianate names he says, "All the guineas are buying it." President of Institute, John Mancini, said in a statement, "Not only is the use of this word inconsistent with the reverential tone of the movie, but it disparages in one word the sacrifice of half a million Americans of Italian descent who served in the United States armed forces. That this character demonstrates his cynicism at our expense demonstrates the low regard filmmakers, in general, have for the fifth largest ethnic group in America. Can you imagine if the character had said, 'All the kikes are buying it?'" He went on to call for the scene to be redubbed.

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