A funny thing happened on TCM last night. A scheduled broadcast of Popeye The Sailor Meets Ali Baba and his Forty Theieves (1937) didn’t air. An introduction discussing the racist aspects of the Arab caricatures in the cartoon preceded the scheduled showing with TCM host Robert Osborne and “Media Critic and Author” Dr. Jack Shaheen. “This cartoon probably did more to denigrate Arabs than any cartoon ever”, claimed Shaheen who, to be fair, went on to praise the Fleischer animation. “This one was particularly offensive in the manner in which Arabs are portrayed.”
Following this introduction (embed above) the channel ran 15 minutes of promotional filler, then a two-reel MGM Dogville comedy, Love Tails Of Morocco – which, despite its Middle Eastern title, had nothing to do with the Arab-based theme of the evening.