James Earl Jones is one of more than 50 Hollywood stars who have pushed back Bowling Green State University because they took the name of an actress from the movie "The Birth of a Nation" from 1915 on a campus Theater removed.
Ohio College was renamed the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Film Theater in May after student groups protested against its namesake Lillian Gish, best known for his starring role in The Birth of A Nation. The film of 1915 is credited with having driven the revival of the US by Ku Klux Klan.
Indie Wire now reports that Jones, along with Hollywood artists, historians, actors, and directors, including Helen Mirren and Martin Scorsese, is petitioning Bowling Green State for the film's restoration Name of the theater.
James Earl Jones receives the Special Tony Award for his life's work in the theater in 2017. Jones is a long-time resident of Dutchess County. [Photo: Theo Wargo, Getty Images for the Tony Awards Productions]
The petition from "The Whales of August "Producer Mike Kaplan calls the removal of the Gish sisters names" unhappy and unfair, "a copy of the letter from BG Independent Media, Dorothy Gish, Lillian's sister and the theater's other namesake, was also an actress not in "The Birth of a Nation." The Gish sisters were born in Springfield, Ohio.
While the letter recognizes the racism of "The Birth of a Nation," Kaplan writes that "Lillian was not a racist," and notes that she starred in more comprehensive films
The letter also argues that Lillian Gish's achievements and contributions to film outweigh her main role in racist film.
As Reak Bowling Green State has stated that it will not reverse its decision to remove the name of the theater. and that his commitment to the best interests of an inclusive environment "outweighs the small part of the university in honoring the heritage of the Gish sisters."
"The decision to remove the name Gish from the misplaced movie theater was taken with the best values to keep an eye on the interests of our community, and we stand by it," says the statement by Bowling Green.
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