HBO Max quickly pulls Gone With the Wind over ‘racist depictions’


Gone With the Wind acquired 10 Academy Awards.


The Oscar-winning 1939 drama Gone With the Wind has been faraway from HBO Max as a result of “racist depictions” however will finally be introduced again with historic context, the brand new streaming service stated Tuesday.

“Gone With The Wind is a product of its time and depicts among the ethnic and racial prejudices which have, sadly, been commonplace in American society,” HBO Max, which is a part of AT&T-owned WarnerMedia, stated in a press release. “These racist depictions had been incorrect then and are incorrect right this moment, and we felt that to maintain this title up with out  an evidence and a denouncement of these depictions can be irresponsible.”

The corporate has a precedent for this type of response. The language of HBO Max’s assertion, for instance, is almost an identical to disclaimers that Warner Bros., one other WarnerMedia firm, have put earlier than sure Looney Tunes cartoons rereleased on DVDs or streaming providers since 2005. 

However HBO Max’s motion on Gone with the Wind was fast. It got here a day after Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley, in an editorial printed Monday within the Los Angeles Instances, urged HBO Max to quickly take away the movie. His name to HBO Max got here amid two weeks of worldwide protests in opposition to racism and police brutality after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into the neck of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, for practically 9 minutes on Could 25, killing him. Floyd was buried Tuesday in his hometown of Houston.

The headline on Ridley’s editorial reads, “Hey, HBO, ‘Gone With the Wind’ romanticizes the horrors of slavery. Take it off your platform for now.”

“The film had the perfect skills in Hollywood at the moment working collectively to sentimentalize a historical past that by no means was,” Ridley writes. “And it continues to offer cowl to those that falsely declare that clinging to the iconography of the plantation period is a matter of ‘heritage, not hate.'”

The director added that he does not consider the movie ought to be censored however ought to be returned to HBO Max, maybe paired with different movies about slavery and the Confederacy or with narratives that inform “tales from completely different views.”

See additionally: Black Lives Matter: Films, TV reveals and books on systemic racism

HBO executives apparently listened. The community’s assertion on Tuesday stated the movie would return with a dialogue of its historic context however can be introduced uncensored. “If we’re to create a extra simply, equitable and inclusive future, we should first acknowledge and perceive our historical past,” the assertion stated.

No date was given for when the movie would possibly return to HBO Max.

HBO is not the one leisure large rethinking programming selections in mild of Floyd’s loss of life within the custody of police. Additionally on Tuesday, Paramount Community canceled the long-running police actuality present Cops. (Disclosure: Paramount Community is owned by ViacomCBS, the father or mother firm of CNET.) 

And different streaming providers have grappled with find out how to take care of basic titles containing racist or in any other case offensive stereotypes, now streaming to fashionable audiences. When Disney Plus launched final 12 months, the plot descriptions for titles like DumboThe Jungle Ebook and Girl and the Tramp included a warning that the titles include “outdated cultural depictions,” and the movies are being introduced as they had been initially created. 

However for one more controversial Disney title, Disney Plus opted to exclude it solely from its streaming assortment. Music of the South, which is the supply of the tune Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah and the idea for the Disney theme parks experience Splash Mountain, has lengthy been criticized for its depictions of former slaves. The total movie has by no means been launched for dwelling viewing, and it wasn’t included within the Disney Plus catalog both. The film is “not applicable in right this moment’s world,” Disney Government Chairman Bob Iger stated in March. 

Gone With the Wind relies on Margaret Mitchell’s epic 1936 novel concerning the life and loves of Scarlett O’Hara, a plantation proprietor’s daughter who struggles to outlive the American Civil Battle and its aftermath. The e-book received a Pulitzer Prize for fiction. 

The movie model starred Vivien Leigh as Scarlett and Clark Gable as her love curiosity, Rhett Butler. It received 10 Academy Awards, together with greatest image, greatest director, greatest tailored screenplay and greatest actress for Leigh. Hattie McDaniel, who performed a slave referred to as Mammy, received for greatest supporting actress, making her the primary African American to win an Oscar. But as a result of Jim Crow legal guidelines in Georgia, McDaniel wasn’t allowed to attend the movie’s 1939 Atlanta premiere.

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