According to The Hollywood Reporter, a roughly three-minute introduction was attached to the film, though it is unclear how long ago it was added. The outlet reported that the intro features Turner Classic Movies host and University of Chicago cinema and media studies professor Jacqueline Stewart explaining why racist and bigoted languaged is used in the film.
“As the storyline implies, the issue of race is front and center in ‘Blazing Saddles, and racist language and attitudes pervade the film, “Stewart says. “But those attitudes are espoused by characters who are portrayed here as explicitly small-minded, ignorant bigots. The real, and much more enlightened perspective, is provided by the main characters, played by Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder.”
A spokesperson for HBO Max told THR, “The intro was added to ensure that the film was put into the proper social context.”
The news was met with mockery and condemnation on social media.
“The HBO Max take on ‘Blazing Saddles’ is part of a broader attempt to kill comedy,” Ben Shapiro reacted. “The proper social context is that people used to laugh at edgy jokes.”
“In case you were wondering how stupified the latest generation of thoughtless idiots has become about race relations: Blazing Saddles now requires a three-minute long trigger warning introduction,” Daily Caller editor-in-chief Geoffrey Ingersoll tweeted.
“They are now telling us how and what to think about the movies we watch,” conservative commentator Stephen Miller wrote.
HBO Max previously gave “Gone with the Wind” a similar treatment, recruiting Stewart again to provide an introduction to the Oscar-winning Civil War-era classic. The streaming platform faced heavy backlash after it briefly pulled the film from its catalog before readding with “proper social context.”