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Is ‘Gone With The Wind’ back on HBO Max?

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Since the outbreak of riots around the death of George Floyd in the US, protests have broken out in the entire country along with several other countries, shouting and chanting Black Lives Matter, sparking off a renewed debate on racism in everyday life. Several words are being heard around the portrayal of the Black community and their history in popular media.

Meanwhile, controversies rose around 1939 hit film Gone with the Wind, a movie adapted from the novel of the same name by Margaret Mitchell. The online streaming platform HBO Max decided last week to bring down the classic temporarily due to several racial depictions.

An HBO Max spokesperson said regarding the matter,

“’ 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.”

But good news, the Hollywood classic is back to stream, but with a twist. It has come with a disclaimer explaining the disturbing facts of the movie, and explaining how it is still crucial in consideration of today’s situation. Jacqueline Stewart, a film historian and a professor at the University of Chicago, contributed to the disclaimer.

“You’re about to see one of the most enduringly popular films of all-time… but Gone with the Wind was not universally praised. The film has been repeatedly protested, dating back to the announcement of its production. From its prologue, the film paints the picture of the Antebellum South as a romantic, idyllic setting that’s tragically been lost to the past. Producer David O. Selznick was well aware that Black audiences were deeply concerned about the movie’s handling of the topic of slavery and its treatment of Black characters. Before shooting began, he assured the NAACP that he was ‘sensitive to the feelings of minority peoples.”

With a backdrop during the Civil War, the story narrates the tale of the daughter of a plantation owner, Scarlett O’Hara, and her romantic relationship with the gentleman called Rhett Butler.

Gone with the Wind casts played by Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Leslie Howard, Olivia de Havilland, Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American actress to win an Oscar.

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