Gone With The Wind Removed From HBO Max

Joshua RogersJoshua Rogers in Entertainment, Film
Published 10.06.20

Gone with the Wind has been temporarily removed from HBO Max due to racist depictions.

The Oscar-winning 1939 movie, which is set on a plantation during the American Civil War, has been criticised for its presentation of slavery and Black people.

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,” a spokesperson said.

“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.

“These depictions are certainly counter to WarnerMedia’s values, so when we return the film to HBO Max, it will return with a discussion of its historical context and a denouncement of those very depictions, but will be presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.

Writing in the Los Angeles Times this week, screenwriter John Ridley said the film “glorifies the antebellum south” and perpetuated “painful stereotypes of people of colour”.

“The movie had the very best talents in Hollywood at that time working together to sentimentalise a history that never was,” continued the Oscar-winning screenwriter of 12 Years A Slave.

It is a film that, as part of the narrative of the “Lost Cause,” romanticizes the Confederacy in a way that continues to give legitimacy to the notion that the secessionist movement was something more, or better, or more noble than what it was — a bloody insurrection to maintain the “right” to own, sell and buy human beings.

Gone With the Wind won 8 competitive Oscars, including the first Oscar ever awarded to a black person. That statue went to Hattie McDaniel for her role as the ever-loyal house slave Mammie. It also was awarded Best Picture; Best Director; Best Actress in a Leading Role; Best Writing, Screenplay; Best Cinematography, Color; Best Film Editing and Best Art Direction.

The move come following the announcement that Cops, which allowed viewers to ride along with police officers on patrol in various cities in the US, had been pulled temporarily from air at the end of last month, following George Floyd’s death.

A spokesperson for the Paramount Network said: “Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return.”

More to follow.