November 12, 2002

MAYBE THESE GUYS CAN GET A JOB AT HARVARD. Or here at UT. A showing of the Pearl Harbor movie Tora! Tora! Tora! in San Pedro has been blocked by the city on the ground that it's insensitive to Japanese Americans:

While there was a previous theater booking for Dec. 7, according to theater manager Lee Sweet of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs, which manages the facility, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn concluded that the event would have been insensitive to the Japanese-American community.

“I wanted to be very sensitive to the Japanese-American community,” Hahn said. “Dec. 7 is a tough day, especially for the second and third generations of Japanese-Americans. Why do we want to do something that makes it more difficult?” The showing was planned this year to take the place of the Fort MacArthur Military Museum’s annual Pearl Harbor Day observance. . . .

After that, volunteers said, city officials told them two weeks ago that the event couldn’t be held because it might be offensive to members of the Japanese-American community.

Hahn, who was asked to intervene on the museum’s behalf to show the film on Dec. 7, said that after talking with Japanese-American friends, including state Assemblyman George Nakano, D-Torrance, she agreed with the city’s concerns. . . .

Hahn said she’s taken lots of heat for the decision, but still thinks the program would be inappropriate on the anniversary of the attack.

“People here lost their property, they lost their families, right here in San Pedro,” she said of the local Japanese-American community. “My father was a veteran of the war, and I was raised to be very supportive of veterans. I just wanted to be very sensitive to the Japanese-American community.”

Hmm. Can this possibly be as dumb as it sounds?

UPDATE: Bill Hobbs emails:

Hahn's email address is

And here's the link on Amazon to the Tora Tora Tora DVD. Some of the reviews are interesting.


It gets rather a lot of praise for fairness. And reader Greg Lester points out:

Yes, it is as dumb as it sounds.

What's more astounding about the decision not to screen Tora! Tora! Tora! is that it was a joint Japanese/American production.

That's like not showing Das Boot because it may offend German-Americans whose families were detained.

What is it with these people?