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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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芸術性は免罪符になり得るか

 
D W Griffith監督の映画The Birth of a Nationの影響を扱った論文をEconomistは紹介していました。キャンセルカルチャーを行き過ぎと見る方もこのような影響の大きさを考えると対策を取らざるを得ないのではないかと思わされます。下記の記事冒頭で引き合いに出されているLeni Riefenstahlは今もドイツでは禁止みたいですから。

How a racist film helped the Ku Klux Klan grow for generations
Lynchings rose fivefold after “The Birth of a Nation” came to town
MAR 27TH 2021

“Triumph of the will”, a Nazi propaganda film, proved how cinematographic innovation could spread evil. Yet long before Leni Riefenstahl filmed Hitler’s troops, an American motion picture tested the toxic power of the new medium.

In 1915 “The Clansman” opened in California. Soon re-titled “The Birth of a Nation”, it was the first film to use extras or a musical score, and among the first of feature length. One in ten Americans saw it.

映画The Birth of a Nationの問題性は過去のブログ記事でも取り上げています。暴力が起こったことはオックスフォードの解説でも触れてくれています。

(オックスフォード)
The Birth of a Nation 
a US silent film (1915) by D W Griffith. It tells the story of the American Civil War and the period of Reconstruction after it. Although it was a great success and influenced later films, it made the Ku Klux Klan seem good, and there was violence in several US cities when it was shown.

こちらが取り上げた論文のAbstractです。全文をダウンロードして読むこともできます。

Abstract:
This paper documents the impact of popular media on racial hate by examining the first American blockbuster: 1915’s The Birth of a Nation,  a fictional portrayal of the KKK’s founding rife with racist stereotypes. Exploiting the film’s five-year "roadshow", I find a sharp spike in lynchings and race riots coinciding with its arrival in a county. Instrumenting for roadshow destinations using the location of theaters prior to the movie's release, I show that the film significantly increased local Klan support in the 1920s. Roadshow counties continue to experience higher rates of hate crimes and hate groups a century later.

この映画と白人至上主義との影響関係をどのように測るのか。記事では2つの指標が紹介されていました。まずは上映後に私刑が増えたかどうか、二つ目はKKKの支部が増えたかどうか、です。

A new working paper by Desmond Ang of Harvard University unearths firm evidence of the film’s noxious impact. First, he studied how rates of racist violence changed when its jazzy “road show” came to town. On average, lynchings in a county rose fivefold in the month after it arrived.

Second, although the road show visited 606 counties, it skipped thousands more. This let Mr Ang test whether kkk chapters (“klaverns”) were particularly likely to sprout in places where the film was shown.

さらにショックなのは何十年経った今もその影響は有意だというのです。

The film’s effect on white-supremacist activity was just as durable as its impact on cinematography. Among otherwise similar counties, the chances of having an active klavern in 2000 were 18 percentage points greater in places on the road show’s itinerary than in those it passed over.

先ほどの論文は50ページ以上ある長いものなので、結論だけを読みました(苦笑)結論の前半はEconomistの記事が紹介していたものですが、ここからはメディアの影響を述べているところです。まずはa good argument can be made for D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation as the first American superhero movie, and the point of origin for all those capes and masks”とこの映画はスーパーヒーローものの原型を作り上げたものであるとしています。こういうステレオタイプは染み付いてしまっていて意識的に修正できないものなので厄介です。

These findings hold important insights for present discourse and highlight critical areas for future research. While much of the recent concern around “filter bubbles” and “echo chambers” is centered around selective exposure into polarized environments, my results point to the wide-ranging impact of popular entertainment media (Sunstein, 2001a,b, 2018; Pariser, 2011). Viewed from a modern perspective, the racist imagery permeating The Birth of a Nation may be so obvious as to border on harmless caricature. Yet, it is important to caution that many of the film’s underlying themes likely persist - if in subtler form - throughout movies and television today. As Alan Moore, creator of the Watchmen, recently observed, “a good argument can be made for D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation as the first American superhero movie, and the point of origin for all those capes and masks” which “save for a smattering of non-white characters...are still very much white supremacist dreams of a master race” (Sassaki, 2019). In this light, my findings highlight the continued need to assess the unintended consequences of even seemingly-innocuous forms of entertainment media (DellaVigna and La Ferrara, 2015).

次はこのような考えを広めてしまうメディアの役割です。目新しいものではないですが、トランプを面白がっていたら大統領になってしまったことを考えるとメディアの伝播力の強さは侮れないです。

More pressingly, this paper’s findings demonstrate the power of media to propagate extreme movements and ideologies. The Reconstruction-era KKK was a fringe organization, one that operated largely in secrecy in a handful of Southern states. Yet through The Birth of a Nation, a fictionalized version of the Klan was introduced to millions of Americans across the country, leading to the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan on a scale far larger than had ever existed before. While the media landscape has changed considerably over the past hundred years, this same arc is reflected in the spread of modern extremist groups like QAnon from obscure online forums to mainstream media outlets and ultimately to the halls of Congress (Rosenberg, 2020). Better understanding the role of media in fueling this rise may be critical to on-going policy discussions around content moderation in government and the private sector.

芸術性は別に考えるべきだなんて分かったようなことを語る自分がいましたが、ドイツのように禁止措置を取らなくてはいけない必要性を理解できたような気がします。
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Yuta

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