Gone With The Wind has returned to the US streaming service HBO Max accompanied by a disclaimer saying the classic movie “denies the horrors of slavery.”
The 1939 civil war epic was removed from the service, Warner Bros. recently launched rival to Netflix and Disney +, following criticism of its “racist portrayals” earlier this month.
John Ridley, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of 12 Years A Slave, advocated that he be temporarily retired due to his pre-war description of the South, describing it in an article in the LA Times as “a film that, when not ignored the horrors of slavery, it stops only to perpetuate some of the most painful stereotypes of people of color. ”
HBO responded with a statement, saying: “These racist representations were wrong then and they are wrong today, and we feel that maintaining this title without explanation and denunciation of those representations would be irresponsible.”
The film has now returned to HBO Max, accompanied by two videos that discuss its historical context.
A clip features television presenter and film scholar Jacqueline Stewart, who recognizes Gone With the Wind as “one of the most popular movies of all time,” but notes that her portrayal of African-Americans was controversial even at launch. .
“Producer David O Selznick knew very well that black audiences were deeply concerned with the film’s handling of slavery and its treatment of black characters,” he said.
Despite producer Selznick reassuring African-American viewers that the film would handle their concerns delicately, Stewart said Gone With The Wind presents “Antebellum South as a world of grace and beauty without acknowledging the brutalities of the chattel slavery system this world is in. ” settled down”.
She added: “The film’s treatment of this world through a nostalgic lens negates the horrors of slavery, as well as its legacies of racial inequality.”
The second video is an hour-long panel discussion discussing the “complicated legacy” of Gone With the Wind.
Gone With the Wind told the love story of Scarlett O’Hara (Vivienne Leigh), the daughter of a plantation owner, and Rhett Butler (Clark Gable). It was a commercial success and won eight Oscars and two honorary awards. However, African American writers and activists immediately opposed her portrayal of passive and obedient slaves, and the sentimentality with which she represented the prewar war to the southern United States.
Hattie McDaniel, who played Mammy, a house maid, became the first African American to win an Oscar when she took home the best supporting actress for the Academy Awards. However, she was not allowed to sit with the other cast members at the ceremony dinner at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, which imposed racial segregation until 1959.