The cancel culture has claimed another victim, this time the Oscar-winning film “Gone With the Wind.” HBO Max announced the move this week.
“‘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 company spokesman 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.”
The 1939 film depicts life at a pre-Civil War plantation and tells the story of Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh), the plantation owner’s daughter. It won eight Oscars, and Hattie McDaniel made history by becoming the first black actress to win an Oscar.
HBO Max announced the removal of “Gone With the Wind” after “12 Years a Slave” screenwriter John Ridley wrote an op-ed piece in the “Los Angeles Times” drawing attention to the film’s depiction of slavery. The piece, titled, “Hey, HBO, ‘Gone With the Wind’ romanticizes the horrors of slavery. Take it off your platform for now,” led to the film’s removal. Ridley argued in the piece that the iconic film perpetuates “the racism that’s causing angry and grieving Americans to take to the streets.”
HBO Max said the film will be available on its platform at a later date, along with added “historical context.”
“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,” the spokesman said. “If we are to create a more just, equitable and inclusive future, we must first acknowledge and understand our history.”
The news of “Gone With the Wind’s” removal comes on the heels of Paramount Television’s announcement that it has canceled the long-running TV series “Cops.” Netflix also faced criticism after the film “The Help” became one of its top-viewed movies last week. The 2011 film is about African Americans working in white households in Jackson, Miss, .during the early 1960s.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice