HBO Max has just returned the classic 1939 movie “Gone with the Wind” to its catalogue along with a warning about the way the film portrays slavery.
HBO removed the movie from it’s streaming site earlier this month, saying it did so because the film “depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society,” according to Breitbart News. To resolve this, HBO now includes a video along with the movie in which Turner Classic Movies host and film scholar Jacqueline Stewart explains “why this 1939 epic drama should be viewed in its original form, contextualized and discussed.”
“The film has been repeatedly protested, dating back to the announcement of its production,” Stewart can be seen saying in the video, which plays before the start of the movie. “Producer David O. Selznick was well aware that Black audiences were deeply concerned about the film’s handling of the topic of slavery and its treatment of Black characters.”
Stewart goes on to add that in “Gone with the Wind,” African Americans conform to old racial stereotypes “as servants notable for their devotion to their white masters or for their ineptitude.”
“The film’s treatment of this world through a lens of nostalgia denies the horrors of slavery, as well as its legacies of racial inequality,” she continues. “Watching ‘Gone with the Wind’ can be uncomfortable, even painful. Still, it is important that classic Hollywood films are available to us in their original form for viewing and discussion.”
HBO has also included a second video that is an hour long and shows a panel discussion from the TCM Classic Film Festival in April 2019 entitled “The Complicated Legacy of ‘Gone with the Wind.’” Earlier this month, WarnerMedia chairman Bob Greenblat said that removing “Gone with the Wind” was a “no-brainer.”
“It was sort of a no brainer, I mean, we have the best of intentions obviously here,” he said. “I don’t regret taking it down for a second. I only wish we had put it up in the first place with the disclaimer. And we just didn’t do that.”