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Fox to air Chan films with discussion

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NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) -- A Charlie Chan film festival that was canceled this summer by Fox Movie Channel after complaints from Asian-American groups will return to the cabler this month with wraparound segments featuring panel discussions on racial insensitivity.

The four restored films -- "Murder Over New York," "Charlie Chan at the Opera," "Castle in the Desert" and "Charlie Chan in Honolulu" -- will begin airing September 13.

Fox decided in June to discontinue its planned 23-film Chan festival after civil rights organizations decried the movies -- released by 20th Century Fox in the 1930s -- for perpetuating stereotypes and casting Caucasian actors in roles intended for Asian-Americans.

But with Fox's license agreement to air the films set to expire at month's end, the network decided to bring back four titles, along with discussions featuring experts including actor Harry Shen and Peter Feng, professor of Asian-American studies and film at the University of Delaware. "Star Trek" actor George Takei will moderate the panel.

"We believe that the introductory piece and follow-up discussion will help promote understanding of the issues many Asian-Americans have with these films," said Karen Narasaki, president and executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium.

Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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