ABC, which Tom Hanks called home during his Bosom Buddies salad days claims, “Hanks Angers Conservatives.” But Victor Davis Hanson takes exception to the legacy media’s attempting to claim that the backlash against Tom Hanks’ racialist remarks to Time magazine when promoting his series on World War II in the pacific that’s currently airing on (Time-Warner-owned) HBO is purely partisan-driven:
Tom Hanks said this to Douglas Brinkley in a Time interview: “Back in World War II, we viewed the Japanese as ‘yellow, slant-eyed dogs’ that believed in different gods. They were out to kill us because our way of living was different. We, in turn, wanted to annihilate them because they were different. Does that sound familiar, by any chance, to what’s going on today?”
Some of us dissected this nonsense point by point. In subsequent remarks Hanks did not back away from his theses that the Pacific war was predicated on racism (I wonder whether our WWII alliances with China and the Philippines, or our prior alliance in WWI with Japan, were as well?), and thus similar to our attitudes in the current war on terror. (Racism apparently explains the American effort to foster democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq, and save Muslims in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Kosovo, Kuwait, and Somalia.)
What was strange is the media’s reaction to the reaction. Why is being appalled by Hanks’s infantile philosophizing a “right-wing” or “conservative” reaction? Would not liberals as well be angry that in blanket fashion, Hanks had reduced veterans’ efforts in the Pacific after the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor (and to be followed by a magnanimous peace that fostered autonomous Japanese democracy) into largely a racist rage to annihilate?
At Big Hollywood, John Nolte notes that Hanks’ inserting his Bally loafer into his mandible may have cost his show viewers. “Ratings Disappointment: Did Tom Hanks’ ‘War of Terror and Racism’ Comments Damage ‘The Pacific?’”, John asks.
I know I decided to skip the series, at least for now, after Hanks’ remarks.