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Principal pans Cool Runnings

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

The principal at a Massachusetts high school cancelled a screening of the 1993 movie Cool Runnings , saying it contains “racially insensitive” depictions.

Released by Disney, Cool Runnings is based on the Jamaican bobsled team's remarkable exploits at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada. The movie carries a PG rating.

According to Fox News 25 Boston, the student council at Wayland High School announced that they would watch Cool Runnings Wednesday (today) as part of their annual winter week, which follows midterm exams.

But this was rebutted by principal, Allyson Mizoguchi, who issued a statement that read:

“Following the recent announcement that Cool Runnings would be the movie shown this year, I received concerns from members of our community that raised my awareness about elements of the movie that could be viewed as culturally and racially insensitive. While disappointing for students, I want to emphasise that this experience has inspired productive, honest conversation about stereotypes in the media, the nature of narrative, and subtle, racially insensitive messages as compared to overt racism.”

Students were not pleased with the cancellation, FOX 25 Boston reported.

The student newspaper, Wayland Student Press Network, conducted a survey asking what teenagers thought of the principal's decision. Of the 115 students who participated, only two supported Mizoguchi.

“The movie is not really overtly racist,” Mizoguchi said. “It is the subtlety of stereotypes in the movie.”

C ool Runnings starred Canadian actor John Candy as the bobsled team's coach, and Americans Malik Yoba and Leon as members of the team. It was a massive hit in North America and had a soundtrack driven by Jimmy Cliff's version of I Can See Clearly Now.