‘Gone with the Wind’ returns to HBO Max … with a disclaimer

The new version includes a 4-1 / 2 minute introduction by Jacqueline Stewart of the Turner Classic Movie, professor of film and film studies at the University of Chicago.

She calls the movie “one of the most popular movies of all time,” noting that when adjusted for inflation it has the highest box office in history. She calls it “a film of undeniable cultural importance”.

But he also notes that the film fueled the racist stereotypes of the time, depicting black slaves and servants as devoted to their white or incompetent masters, while denying “the horrors of slavery, as well as its legacies of racial inequality.”

In the introduction, Stewart says there were protests that the film dates back to the original production announcement, and that despite the film producer’s assurances that it would be responsive to African-American concerns, he presents “Antebellum South like a world of grace. ” and beauty without acknowledging the brutalities of the chattel slavery system on which this world is based. “

Stewart, who is African American, points out that the Black cast members of the film were barred from the Atlanta premiere due to Georgia’s Jim Crow segregation laws at the time. And Hattie McDaniel, who won an Academy Award for playing the servant Mammy, the first African American to win the award, was not allowed to sit with the other cast members at the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles.

Why can't we get away from 'Gone with the Wind'

“Watching ‘Gone With the Wind’ can be uncomfortable, even painful,” says Stewart. “Still, it is important that classic Hollywood movies are available in their original form for viewing and discussion.”

“It is not just a document of the racist practices of Hollywood’s past, but also an enduring work of popular culture that speaks directly to the racial inequalities that persist in the media and in today’s society.”

HBO Max also included a second feature film, a one-hour panel discussion filmed at the Turner Classic Movies film festival in April 2019, titled “The Complicated Legacy of Gone With the Wind.” Both HBO and TCM are the property of Warner Media, a unit of AT&T (T), as is CNN.