In a transfer that may solely stoke the fires of the tradition conflict, HBO Max has eliminated Gone with the Wind from its streaming library. The 1939 Hollywood traditional has lengthy been a lightning rod for criticism of its depiction of African-Individuals, the way in which it skims over slavery and the romanticisation of the South in the course of the American Civil Struggle. And, in fact, given what’s happening the nation proper now, these points couldn’t be extra related.
12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley wrote an op-ed within the LA Occasions yesterday calling the film out and arguing for it to be briefly eliminated:
Let me be actual clear: I don’t imagine in censorship. I don’t assume “Gone With the Wind” ought to be relegated to a vault in Burbank. I might simply ask, after a respectful period of time has handed, that the movie be re-introduced to the HBO Max platform together with different movies that give a extra broad-based and full image of what slavery and the Confederacy really have been. Or, maybe it may very well be paired with conversations about narratives and why it’s necessary to have many voices sharing tales from totally different views fairly than merely these reinforcing the views of the prevailing tradition.
Mere hours after this was printed the movie disappeared from HBO Max’s library. Now it seems that the streaming community are going to comply with Ridley’s strategies and reinstate it together with context about when it was made and the historical past behind the story. A HBO Max consultant defined that:
“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. These racist depictions have been incorrect then and are incorrect as we speak, and we felt that to maintain this title up with out a proof and a denouncement of these depictions could be irresponsible. These depictions are definitely counter to WarnerMedia’s values, so after we return the movie to HBO Max it is going to return with a dialogue of its historic context and a denouncement of these very depictions, however will likely be introduced because it was initially created, as a result of to do in any other case could be the identical as claiming these prejudices by no means existed. If we’re to create a extra simply, equitable and inclusive future, we should first acknowledge and perceive our historical past.”
No matter when and the way it returns, this has created fairly a stink. One individual particularly who’s sure to be upset will likely be President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly named Gone with the Wind as certainly one of his favourite films. Earlier this yr he reacted to Parasite profitable greatest image by saying in a rally speech that:
“I’m in search of like … let’s get Gone with the Wind, can we get Gone with the Wind again, please?”
So HBO Max and WarnerMedia’s resolution is prone to infuriate him and an offended tweet from the White Home feels inevitable. Personally it’s plain that Gone with the Wind has racist components and paints a ludicrously rosy image of the Antebellum South. On the flipside, the film is accountable for Hattie McDaniel profitable Finest Actress in a Supporting Function on the 1940 Academy Awards, making her the primary African American to win and be nominated for an Academy Award (although famously she was not allowed to take a seat together with her white co-stars).
Gone with the Wind is a crucial film, however I feel HBO Max has made the proper name right here. I’m wanting ahead to seeing the brand new dialogue introduced alongside it.