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    Why Did Turner Classic Movies Cancel The Telecast Of The Christmas Classic ‘Miracle On 34th Street’?

    ‘Tis the season of light, eggnogs, and revisiting some Christmas classics. With the evolving nature of the human race, certain traditions have changed, lost, or amalgamated with some new ones. Gingerbread houses and Hallmark cards are still relevant. But, Hallmark Christmas television has become an integral part of the culture around the holiday seasons. The advent of Netflix and other streaming platforms, have not affected  classics like ‘Miracle On 34th Street’. There are many competitors to hold the title of the best Christmas classic.

    Films like ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, ‘The Bishop’s Wife’, and ‘Meet Me In St. Louis’ are still holding place in the new Netflix or Hallmark-released rom-com. But, undoubtedly, it is Edmund Gwenn and Maureen O’Hara starrer ‘Miracle on 34th Street’. In 2022, the story holds relevance. The spirit of the festival, the honesty virtue, and the whole conflict to prove the authenticity of the old bearded man is a must-watch holiday film. But, in 2021, a certain Turner Classic Movies refused to air the film any longer. Why did the TV network do so?

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    The TV Network Claim That The Themes In ‘Miracle On 34th Street’ Are ‘Antiquated’

    Maureen O'Hara and Edmund Gwenn in 'Miracle on 34th Street'
    Maureen O’Hara and Edmund Gwenn in ‘Miracle on 34th Street’

    Miracle on 34th Street’ is a classic Christmas film for a reason. Despite several remakes and adaptations on Broadway, television, and even the ’90s Richard Attenborough-starrer, the original remains untouchable. It is the story of Doris Walker, the owner of the popular toy shop Macy, who fires a Santa during the Thanksgiving Parade as he was intoxicated.

    She hires Edmund Gwenn’s Kris Kringle as a Santa. Walker is tells her daughter not to believe in fairy tales, but she gets enamored by the big man.

    Doris asks Kringle to make her daughter believe that he is not Santa, but Kris does not want to burst the young girl’s bubble. After that, the film chronicles the courtroom action when Doris sues him in court and he has to prove that he is actually a Santa.

    However, a TV network, Turner Classic Movies, refused to air the film in 2021. Charles Tabesh, the Head of Programming released a statement on why the network will not air ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ anymore. He said, “While this movie’s celebration of peace on earth and goodwill toward men might have resonated with Americans in the immediate postwar years, its antiquated themes of holiday cheer and the power of belief were wrong then and they are wrong now”.

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    Charles Tabesh Wanted A Disclaimer From A Scholar Before The Film Starts

    'Miracle on 34th Street'
    ‘Miracle on 34th Street’

    ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ proved to be a box-office success despite its May release. It made $2.7 million at the box office in 1947. In 1948, the film received four nominations at the Academy Awards. ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ won awards for its screenplay, and original story and Edmund Gwenn won the award for ‘Best Supporting Actor’. It also bagged the nomination for Best Film.

    The HOP of Turner Classic Movies demanded a disclaimer from a scholar about the “historical context of its fatal optimism. He continued, “We understand that many Americans consider Miracle On 34th Street to be a classic, but it sets unattainable standards for the holiday spirit that have no place in our annual Christmas movie marathon”.

    However, the traditional TV cannot telecast the film. Trib Total Media writer Rob Owen explained the reason. He said, “When the Walt Disney Co. bought 20th Century Fox it also bought the Fox library of films, including 1947’s ‘Miracle on 34th Street’. This year [2020] the original ‘Miracle’ is not available on linear TV but is offered on the streaming service Disney+. If you don’t subscribe to Disney+ the film is also available for rent on multiple streaming platforms including Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, and YouTube for $3.99″.

    Read More: How Did Gingerbread Houses Become A Christmas Tradition?

    Nishant Bhise
    Nishant Bhise
    Nishant Bhise is a Sub-Editor at FirstCuriosity. He has more than 2 years of experience in Entertainment content writing with the organization. Besides being a journalist and humanist, he loves cinema and intersectionality, basically everything that screams love, hope, and of course, Lady Gaga. Nishant loves and breathes popular culture, music, especially hip-hop and pop, and the royal family drama. Along with that, he takes great interest in the happenings in the technology world and politics. He is an LGBTQIA+ ally. Approach him with an apple juice to discuss Modern Family, Pose, and Schitt’s Creek.

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