Bowling Green State University, a public university located in Bowling Green, Ohio, recently renamed its theater building when black students complained it was named after actress Lillian Gish. The students were unhappy with Gish’s name on the building because she starred in the film “Birth of a Nation,” which portrayed African-Americans in a negative light and praised the Ku Klux Klan.
Several notable actors and producers signed and sent a letter objecting to the building name change, such as actress Meryl Streep, actor James Earl Jones, and movie producer Martin Scorsese. Their point is that it is not a black or white issue, but it is a nuanced view of history. The letter also said that Gish should be praised for her roles in other films and not be punished for a single film.