Gone With The Wind was recently pulled from the library of HBO Max, in reaction to the Black Lives Matter demonstrations being carried out across the country. AFP reported early Wednesday morning the move was made as numerous television and streaming services are reassessing their offerings.
The 1939 film has won multiple awards for its depiction of the deep south during the civil war. However, its depiction of slaves as people who were happy in their lives and its emphasis on the heroism of those who owned them has drawn criticism over the years.
“Gone With The Wind is a product of its time and depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society. These racist depictions were wrong then and are wrong today, and we felt that to keep this title up without an explanation and a denouncement of those depictions would be irresponsible.” an HBO Max spokesperson said in a recent statement.
The streaming service pulled the title from its library just one day after 12 Years a Slave writer John Ridley penned an op-ed calling for the movie to be removed. In his Los Angeles Times article, Ridley said Gone With The Wind does more than simply “fall short.” Ridley added the film ignores the horrors of slavery and perpetuates some of the “most painful stereotypes of people of color.”
The same HBO Max spokesperson said Gone With The Wind isn’t gone from the platform forever. The company has plans to bring the movie back at a later date. When it does return, the company said it will be accompanied by a discussion about race and the way the film portrays the era. The company also promised when the movie does return, there won’t be edits made. HBO Max said making any changes would pretend as though the prejudices depicted never existed at all.
Trump goes off on the Oscars for giving Best Picture to Parasite because it's a South Korean movie pic.twitter.com/GUGKdExTbw
— Claudia Koerner (@ClaudiaKoerner) February 21, 2020
Gone With The Wind previously made headlines in February after Parasite won the Oscar for best picture of 2019. Not long after the South Korean movie won its award, President Donald Trump expressed his displeasure at a campaign rally. The president said he had enough problems with South Korea and didn’t want what he saw as an American award going to a foreign language film. Towards the end of that portion of his speech, he said he wanted to “bring back” Gone With The Wind.
HBO Max’s decision to pull the movie from its library is just the latest move by a streaming service attempting to recognize content that might be offensive to the public. AFP also reported the long-running police reality series, COPS was canceled.