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01/02/1998 at 12:00 AM EST

The name of D.W. Griffith from the Directors Guild of America's career achievement award, the Guild announced Tuesday. Hollywood pioneer Griffith (1875-1948) has long been criticized for glorifying the Ku Klux Klan in his seminal 1915 Civil War epic "The Birth of a Nation." Though past Griffith Award winners have included Francis Ford Coppola, Stanley Kubrick, Woody Allen, Ingmar Bergman, Orson Welles, Billy Wilder, John Huston, Alfred Hitchcock, Frank Capra, King Vidor, John Ford, Cecil B. De Mille and Steven Spielberg, the DGA is seeking a new name to attach to its prize.

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