Wednesday, January 13, 2016


CBS is developing a TV series updating the Nancy Drew mystery books -- and Dave Blount at John Hawkins' Right Wing News warns of cultural genocide:
A civilization is a chain. Each generation is a link. Sever the connection of one link from the preceding link and you have destroyed the entire chain. That should give some insight into the agenda on display as CBS suits proclaim that Nancy Drew will now be fundamentally transformed:
CBS announced in October that it is developing a new Nancy Drew series. The drama, which is in development, is described as a contemporary take on the character from the iconic book series. Now in her 30s, Nancy is a detective for the NYPD where she investigates and solves crimes using her uncanny observational skills, all while navigating the complexities of life in a modern world.
Sounds like they are preserving a piece of American culture. But the reverse is true:
CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller revealed Tuesday that the network’s reimagining of the iconic character will be diverse.

“She is diverse, that is the way she is written,” the executive told THR immediately following his time in front of the press at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour Tuesday. While Geller said it was too early in the process to explain just what he meant by diverse -- whether Nancy is African-American, Asian-American or Latino, he said it would hinge on finding the right actress for the part. “[She will] not [be] Caucasian,” he stressed. “I’d be open to any ethnicity.”
That is, any ethnicity other than her original ethnicity, because that would not help to alienate the core population from their own culture.
"The core population" -- is that what white supremacists are calling themselves these days?

Blount writes as if if we're painting the Washington Monument Day-Glo. But the Nancy Drew books aren't a sacrosanct "piece of American culture" that must be treated with reverence -- they're popular hackwork, and they've been revised over and over again, initially under the direction of Harriet Stratemeyer Adams, the daughter of Nancy Drew's creator, Edward Stratemeyer. The same is true for Statemeyer's Hardy Boys books.

Blount carefully snips a quote from Wikipedia to suggest that the barbarians are at the gate:
BTW, Hardy Boys books have already been “extensively revised” so as to “eliminate racial stereotypes” according to Wikipedia.
The full sentence he's quoting reads: "Beginning in 1959, the books were extensively revised, largely to eliminate racial stereotypes." Yes, this chain-severing, core-population-alienating process of failing to preserve American culture began 57 years ago.

Personally, I blame Obama (who's 54 years old). Kidding!

The process of revising the Nancy Drew books also began in 1959. Racism was toned down:
Although each original novel is riddled with racial and social slurs, one of the worst offenders is the early version of “The Mystery at Lilac Inn,” a sustained allegory about how one cannot get good household help. Nancy, in need of a temporary housekeeper while faithful servant Hannah Gruen (the good German housewife) tends to a sick sister, must go to an employment agency. She interviews and dismisses by turn, a “colored woman” who is “dirty and disheveled,” an Irish woman who is most “unreasonable” and a “Scotch lassie” who doesn’t know a thing about cooking. The villain in this novel is an “impudent,” “dark-complexioned” girl who also fails to find employment at Drew manor. How does Nancy solve this volume’s mystery? The maid in question shows up at the best dress shop in the city, where Nancy herself is looking at dresses. Says Nancy: “Surely a girl in her circumstances cannot afford to buy dresses at such a place as this.”

It’s worth asking why it took Harriet Adams nearly 30 years to realize that a villain pool that included “coloreds,” “Orientals,” “misers” with “hooked noses,” household help and transients might cause some people to look askance at her darling cash cow. But times change. It probably took some readers just as long to figure it out.
But other changes were made as well:
[Nancy's] roadster became a convertible, the chums became friends. Nancy made her first and last jump into maturity, aging from 16 to 18. Most dramatic of all, her “curly golden bob” became a grandiose titian color....
Even the daughter of Nancy Drew's creator didn't treat the character with reverence. And note that CBS is making much greater changes to the character: now she's in her thirties, now she's a cop, now she works in New York City rather than the town of River Heights. Isn't that heresy, Mr. Blount? A desecration of a cultural landmark? No, I guess not -- only the change of her ethnicity inspires Blount's sense of cultural preservation.

By the way, Dave: Forty years ago they made a black version of The Wizard of Oz. Somehow, white people survived.

(Needless to say, the post title was shamelessly cribbed from Molly Ivins.)


Victor said...


Imagine the hysteria in conservative circles, when, after some network picked-up the TV rights of the old radio standard, "Amos and Andy," they had to change to actual black actors and not use radio's white actor's in blackface, because it was growing more and more insulting to viewers - and not just black ones - when they could actually SEE the characters on TV, and not just hear them on radio!

Another tempest in a tea-potty.

BKT said...

Did I somehow miss their collective freakout three years ago when CBS started airing "Elementary" with Doyle's character of Dr. John Watson portrayed by Asian-American woman (Lucy Liu)?

Oh wait-- that wasn't from an AMERICAN work, so who cares, right? Let those Limeys fight their own racist cultural battles!

Ten Bears said...

Seriously? This what we're reduced to, squabbling over grade school reading one literary step above see Dick run.

I miss Molly.

Philo Vaihinger said...

You're happy with this "diversity" because it advances your wars on traditional sex roles and white people, both at the same time. They're unhappy, being white and realistic about sex roles.