The musical Oklahoma is such High School Drama Club and Community Theater boilerplate that pretty much everyone has seen it done in one way or another. The movie is so wholesome that it used to be shown on Sunday night family TV.
It’s so wholesome that the dirtiest thing most of us can think of is the one song where the town “bad girl” sings a song about how she “C’ain’t Say No.” It’s so wholesome it starred Shirley Freaking Jones, for crying out loud.
But some parents of Payson Utah were mortified that the 1999 Broadway revival of the musical starring Hugh Jackman (who sadly… not gay). PBS filmed a live performance for television and use in classrooms.
And THAT is where everything went to shit.
Parents at Payson Junior High accused the Nebo School District of exposing their children to pornography. Not because of the dirty girl who likes to kiss boys, but because of a 7-second shot that shows a few blurry peep-show pictures that are nailed to the wall that Jackman (as Curly) sees on the wall of villain Jud Fry.
“Plum stark naked as a jaybird,” Curly says as an over-the-shoulder shot shows the pictures. “No she ain’t — not quite. She’s got a couple of thingy-bobs tied on her there.” Jud then shows him another picture that the audience can’t see.
“Whew! That’d give me ideas,” Curly says and then the conversation turns to the really morbid part where Curly suggests Jud hang himself.
Apparently the parents didn’t have a problem with the good guy suggesting the bad guy kill himself.
One mother ignited a porno panic on Facebook: “A pornographic movie was shown in a classroom setting to approximately 125 students … among other things, the movie contained an 8-second close-up of 10 full-frontal images of 10 naked women.” (technically, it was 8 and the pictures were so faded and blurry that only one could really be seen with any detail).
Nebo School District begrudgingly agreed in a tacit way… they said that the movie’s screening “violated district policy because the film was not approved by the principal beforehand.” School officials emailed and called parents with an explanation, but no apology.
“This movie was not previewed or approved and some inappropriate material was viewed by the students,” the email says. “As parents, you may want to visit with your student about this.”
The shocking, blink-and-you-miss-it part occurs at 1:05:49-56 in the video below. (Hat Tip YNOT)