Academy Award-winning Film Tin Drum Under Attack Again

by Todd Wiese

Last year a suit was filed by the ACLU in Oklahoma against District Attorney Robert H. Macy, for removing the Academy Award-wining film The Tin Drum from the public domain without the due process of law. Yup, Macy's men just had it removed - no questions asked. In June 1997, two police officers entered the home of ACLU Oklahoma Development Director, Michael Camfield, and confiscated a rented copy of the film. Macy's decision to ban the film is based on his belief that The Tin Drum falls under jurisdiction of Oklahoma's child pornography laws. In fact, a scene in the film merely implies that two teens were engaging in having sex--hardly grounds for branding the film as child pornography.

Since the ACLU could sue the District Attorney, so could he sue the ACLU...or so he thought. In October, a federal court ruled that Robert H. Macy's lawsuit against the the classic film holds no water. The Tin Drum is NOT child pornography and is not subject to any criminal penalties thereof. So, for now, The Tin Drum can keep on beating.

The issue is not yet settled, however. There are still two pending cases involving the controversial movie. Camfield v. the City of Oklahoma City and Video Software Dealers Association v. the City of Oklahoma City has of yet no summary judgment decisions. Until then, "Although this ruling is a victory, we definitely have more work ahead of us," says Michael Camfield. "I'm thrilled that The Tin Drum has been exonerated of the child pornography label attached to it by potential censors."

So are we at Rock Out Censorship. To make sure The Tin Drum remains free from censorship, please contact the following people and let your voice be heard:

Oklahoma City Mayor and City Council Members:

Mayor Kirk Humphreys
200 N. Walker, 3rd fl.
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
PH: 405-297-2570
FAX: 405-297-2424

City Council Ward 1
Frosty Peak

City Council Ward 2
Mark Schwartz

City Council Ward 3
Jack Cornett

City Council Ward 4
Frances Lowery

City Council Ward 5
Jerry Foshee

City Council Ward 6
Ann Simank

City Council Ward 7
Willa Johnson

City Council Ward 8
Guy Liebmann

Oklahoma County District Attorney
Robert H. Macy
505 County Office Bldg
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
PH: 404-278-1600

Show your support for these groups:

ACLU of Oklahoma:
3012 N. Lee, Suite A
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
PH: 405-524-8511

ACLU National Headquarters:

Video Software Dealers Association:

The next time you visit your local video store, check and see if they carry The Tin Drum, and if not, check your own local pornography laws and do what you can in your city to have them changed. See, our Activist Guide page for help.

Related incidents of censorship against The Tin Drum can be found at our incident update archive page

Source: American Civil Liberties Union

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