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HBO Max Removes 'Gone with the Wind' from Its Streaming Platform Amid Ongoing Protests

Busayo Ogunjimi
Jun 11, 2020
03:00 P.M.
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HBO Max removes 1930s blockbuster, "Gone with the Wind," from its streaming offering due to racial prejudices. HBO spokesperson denounced the film and called it a product of its time.

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Recorded events of police brutality instigated by racial biases still rock the U.S and the world as the troubling video of an unarmed African-American man being suffocated by a police officer went viral on social media.

Screenshot of a scene from "Gone with the Wind" | Photo: Getty Images

Screenshot of a scene from "Gone with the Wind" | Photo: Getty Images

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Officials are getting fired; statues are being pulled down, and, in a new development, even movies that propagate these prejudices have come into the spotlight. Such is the fate of the 1939 Hollywood Box Office-shattering classic, "Gone With The Wind."

The movie has been criticized for its "wrong" racial depictions, which are in contrast with the values of WarnerMedia. It has subsequently been temporarily taken off its popular streaming network, HBO Max's roaster, a fortnight after its launch.

Clark Gable as Rhett Butler with  Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in 'Gone With The Wind' | Photo: Getty Images

Clark Gable as Rhett Butler with Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in 'Gone With The Wind' | Photo: Getty Images

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A spokesperson for HBO Max labeled the movie "a product of its time" depicting unfortunate racism in American society. HBO states that the movie's portrayals were distasteful even when the film was first released, and they remain so today.

The civil war epic portrays slaves as being delighted by their situation and extremely loyal to their owners while downplaying the gruesome tragedies suffered by many slaves of the age it was set in.

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HBO Max stated that they plan to recall the movie to their service, but not without a discourse of its diachronic context and a statement condemning its racist enactments.

The company, however, insisted that they intend to present the movie as it was initially filmed in acknowledgment of the existence of said prejudices so audiences can understand their history and are better equipped to create a fair and inclusive society.

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The 4-hour-long movie, which won 8 Oscars, was recently condemned by American crime creator John Ridley. The writer called for the dropping of the film as it glorifies the "antebellum south."

Ridley stated that the film was part of a narrative that glamorizes the Confederacy and attempts to legitimize the notion that its secession campaign was something nobler than trying to maintain the right to continue slavery.

The movement against police brutality and systemic racism continues as a Paramount Network reality show, "Cops," was also canceled, hours before HBO Max's announcement.

Protests around the world are still in progress, with numerous celebrities expressing their support on the ground as well as on social media.

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