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A defense(?) of George Lucas (or, at least, a clearing up of the facts)

The web is rising up in outrage and disbelief at the fact that George Lucas is unhappy with the prospect of The Three Stooges being colorized.

“Star Wars” creator George Lucas, who testified with Steven Spielberg before Congress in the 1980s against colorization and other forms of alteration, said the process yanks such slapstick performers as the Stooges out of the black-and-white universe they belong in.

“Would color distract from their comedy and make it not as funny anymore?” Lucas said. “Maybe just the fact that they’re in black and white makes it funny, because their humor is dated. But by putting it in black and white, it puts it in a context where you can appreciate it for what it was.

“But you try to make it in full living color and try to compare it to a Jim Carrey movie, then it’s hard for young people to understand. Because you’re then thinking you’re comparing apples to apples, when you’re not. You’re comparing apples to oranges. I’m saying it’s not fair to the artist.”

If you think this is hypocrisy, read this, direct from the Senate Report on the Berne Convention, at which Lucas and Spielberg made their arguments (emphasis mine):

The third panel included Mr. Steven Spielberg, representing the Director’s Guild of America, Mr. George Lucas, Chairman of the Board of Lucasfilm, Inc., and Mr. Bo Goldman, representing the Writer’s Guild of America, West. While supporting adherence to Berne, they encouraged the Committee to enact legislation to enhance an artist’s right to control any alteration to his creation.

So, this isn’t really news. The man is deluded, but at least he’s consistent.