HBO Max has pulled “Gone with the Wind” from its streaming service after calls to do so.
What’s going on:
- HBO Max decided to pull the 1939 film because it was “a product of its time” and depicted “ethnic and racial prejudices” that “were wrong then and are wrong today,” the company said, according to BBC News.
- “Gone With the Wind” — based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell — takes place during the Civil War. It includes depictions of slaves who remain loyal to their owners despite the abolition of slavery, according to BBC News.
- HBO Max spokesperson told CNN: “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.”
- HBO Max plans to add the film back to the service with “discussion of its historical context and a denouncement of those very depictions,” a spokesperson told CNN. The film will be shown “as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.”
- The spokesperson said: ““If we are to create a more just, equitable and inclusive future, we must first acknowledge and understand our history.”
The call to take it down
- John Ridley, a screenwriter for “12 Years a Slave,” wrote an onion piece for the Los Angeles Times titled “Hey, HBO, ‘Gone With the Wind’ romanticizes the horrors of slavery. Take it off your platform for now” to take down the film.
- Ridley wrote: “It is a film that glorifies the antebellum south. It is a film that, when it is not ignoring the horrors of slavery, pauses only to perpetuate some of the most painful stereotypes of people of color. The movie had the very best talents in Hollywood at that time working together to sentimentalize a history that never was.”
- He wrote: “Let me be real clear: I don’t believe in censorship. I would just ask, after a respectful amount of time has passed, that the film be re-introduced to the HBO Max platform along with other films that give a more broad-based and complete picture of what slavery and the Confederacy truly were.”