After opening to widespread acclaim from the media in mid-June, Skyline Drive-In NYC (1 Oak St.) has come under criticism for screening two movies that feature characters in yellow and black face.

The drive-in waterfront theater showed “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” which features a white actor playing a character who embodies Asian stereotypes, on June 25. And on July 1, it presented “Trading Places,” a film in which the main character wears black face.

Activists have released a petition demanding, among other requests, that the owner of Skyline Drive-In formally apologize for screening the two movies. It has more than 400 signatures.

“We submit that showing films with caricatures of POC as a form of entertainment is no longer acceptable in our society, as doing so perpetuates the harmful stereotypes against POC,” wrote the petition’s authors.

Sia Eliopoulos, a Prospect Heights resident and one of the campaign’s principal organizers, considered going to Skyline Drive-In when it opened. However, when she saw that it was screening “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” she was aghast.


“These films that show and feature these caricatures of people of color shouldn’t be shown as an entertainment anymore,” she said in an interview.

After alleging that Skyline Drive-In failed to adequately respond to calls, emails and messages on social media, she and others created a petition to get the owner’s attention.

“When you have a character that’s doing yellow face as a form of entertainment, that’s certainly problematic,” said Alison Suen, a philosophy professor at Iona College who helped copy edit the petition. “I don’t think we can just watch this movie without any critical conversation about how this character is being portrayed.”

The disapproval of the theater’s recent programming comes amidst a broader cultural conversation on race and how it’s portrayed in the media. In June, Netflix took down episodes of “30 Rock” that featured black face. And HBO temporarily pulled “Gone with the Wind” from its streaming service after critics pointed out that the movie romanticized slavery.

Greenpointers reached out to Skyline Drive-In for comment and will update accordingly if the owner responds.

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  1. Omg stop the bullshit ,,everything bothers everyone now ,,,,,, what are we gonna do next ,,,, change the name of White Castles. Get a life

  2. Agreed, utterly sick and tired of this constant nitpicking and public shaming under the guise of a ‘social revolution’. Look back far enough and anything will offend anyone. Once all this ‘offensive culture’ is destroyed, what will be left? Progress?? Yeah right.

  3. As usual with a subject like this in the national news media, the extremes get the ink, ie the right don’t take down confederate traitors who got 600k Americans killed to keep blacks enslaved or the opposite, left wing purists who want to erase anything that is not PC.

    1. Nah, let the so-called cancellation mentality go on for a few more months my friend- until we cancel the run of that dangerous reality show imbecile that we have in the White House.
      Send Trump back to golfing & watching Fox Fake News 100% of the time instead of just the 95%-99% of the time that he does now.

  4. You have to admit no matter what side you are on, the un intentional humor here is classic.

    I heard in order to honor BLM, the company is going to substitute Gone with the Wind (not) for these two films.

  5. Every American has the right to try to persuade businesses to change their policies …people on the left, people on the right, and people in the middle. Money talks. In fact it screams, and curses, and demands.
    It’s all part of the process of an ever-changing culture discovering itself.
    What was deemed acceptable in the not too distant era of Jim Crow is not acceptable today. Culture changes. Societies change. Laws change. People change. Hopefully for the better. Those that slap a label of “cancel culture” on change – in an effort to halt the forces of change – are doomed to be left behind in a disconnected past. They yell “censorship” while trying to themselves censor others. Go figure!
    Of course trying to influence the buying & selling & practices of public businesses is different from censoring the expression of indivdual people, of Americans protected by free speech guarantees. We have had quite enough censorship in the history of this country, ranging from McCarthyism to the censoring of books & expression. We don’t want to go back own that path again, no matter under what righteous banner we march, or whether it is government imposed from on high “for our own good”. To borrow an expression that conservatives spout but all too often ignore in practice: “Let freedom ring!”.
    Of course that also means that people like Trump must be allowed to freely tantrum-tweet & rant about things like the need to “save” the statues of racist confederate traitors. Let all people, especially Trump, show us who they really are, for all to see. The spotlight of sunshine will disinfect the White House in due time.

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