I wish to protest in the strongest possible terms the decision by the Directors Guild of America's board of directors to rename the prestigious D.W. Griffith Award.
This is an insult to the memory of the man who virtually created the American cinema. He is a figure of unparalleled historical importance in the development of American film, and no other director is more deserving of the award's name.
I speak as both a film director and a film historian. I would like to know what justification there is for reaching 85 years into the past to apply a purely contemporary idea of "political correctness" to besmirch the memory of a great man.
Griffith was a Southern gentleman who told a story about the Civil War as he understood it ("The Birth of a Nation"). If his portrait of the black carpetbaggers during Reconstruction was exaggerated, he more than made up for it by subsequently making "Intolerance." And a short while after that he made "Broken Blossoms," a film that sympathetically portrayed an interracial romance.