The classic American film is no longer on the new streaming service.
In a smart move, considering the current landscape of complete civil unrest and the Black Lives Matter movement, HBO Max "canceled" the Oscar-winning film Gone With The Wind. Cancel culture is so prominent now, that sometimes it does work for the better good by bringing important issues like this to light.
John Ridley (12 Years A Slave) published an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times concerning Gone With The Wind. The long-time controversial film takes place during the Civil War and depicts slavery in a positive light. In other words it's a "pro-slavery" film.
Ridley called out HBO Max to remove the film, saying:
"It doesn’t just “fall short” with regard to representation. It is a film that glorifies the antebellum south. It is a film that, when it is not ignoring the horrors of slavery, pauses only to perpetuate some of the most painful stereotypes of people of color...
It is a film that, as part of the narrative of the “Lost Cause,” romanticizes the Confederacy in a way that continues to give legitimacy to the notion that the secessionist movement was something more, or better, or more noble than what it was — a bloody insurrection to maintain the “right” to own, sell and buy human beings."
The official synopsis of the film reads:
Epic Civil War drama focuses on the life of petulant southern belle Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh). Starting with her idyllic on a sprawling plantation, the film traces her survival through the tragic history of the South during the Civil War and Reconstruction, and her tangled love affairs with Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) and Rhett Butler (Clark Gable).
Released in 1939, it's a four-hour long romantic epic that was lauded by film critics for years. Gone With The Wind was even entered into the Library of Congress for film preservation. As far as awards, the film sweeped the 12th Academy Awards thanks to the unforgettable Scarlett O'Hare. It won a total of 10 awards including Best Supporting Actress (Hattie McDaniel), who is first African American to win an Oscar.
And on that note, Ira Madison III had this to say on Twitter:
HBO Max later said they might put the film back on their streaming service as a discussion piece. We can only assume they mean something along the lines of how NOT to romanticize slavery.
The Hollywood Reporter reached out to HBO Max and got this statement, "“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. 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.”
The most interesting part about this entire story is that COPS (Fox Networks) was cancelled just a few hours before. The longest running criminal reality show is gone for good. It looks like "Cancel Culture" is starting to hit the entertainment world big time! How many other films and television shows will be cancelled? We can only imagine that it will happen quickly and that all networks are hurriedly diving into their own content searching for racism.
This is an important discussion topic, what do you think about move by HBO MAX? Do you think cancel culture should go after racist media like Gone With The Wind?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Amy Awes0me is the Editor-in-Chief of Kulture Popped. She is currently waiting for her Nintendo Switch Lite and Animal Crossings to arrive so she can escape the real world for a bit.
You can catch her on Twitter @AmyAwes0me