10 June 2020

Hollywood classic ‘Gone With The Wind‘ removed from HBO Max due to ‘racist depictions’

Classic Hollywood movie Gone With The Wind has been removed from US streaming site HBO Max.

The 1939 film won ten Oscars and remains the highest grossing movie of all time. It is set during and after the American Civil war and has been criticised for its depiction of slavery and black characters.

An HBO spokesperson told Variety: “’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. 

“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 said the film will be streamed again alongside a ’discussion of its historical context’ but a date has not been disclosed.

They added: "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. 

"If we are to create a more just, equitable and inclusive future, we must first acknowledge and understand our history.”

Gone With The Wind made history with Hattie McDaniel, who plays maid Mammy, becoming the first black actress to be nominated for an Oscar and win.

Screenwriter John Ridley, who wrote 12 years a Slave, criticised the movie last week as he wrote in the LA Times: “The movie had the very best talents in Hollywood at that time working together to sentimentalise a history that never was.”

HBO’s move follows similar action regarding Little Britian’s removal from Netflix, BBC iPlayer and BritBox over concerns of how BAME characters were depicted.

Come Fly With Me, another show starring comedy duo David Walliams and Matt Lucas, has also been dropped.

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