HBO Max has removed the Oscar-winning epic “Gone With the Wind” from its streaming service following racial tensions triggered by the death of George Floyd in police custody.
Screenwriter John Ridley had called in an op-ed for the removal of the 1939 American Civil War movie.
The film won eight Oscars, including the Best Supporting Actress award for Hattie McDaniel, who became the first African-American to win an Academy Award.
“Gone With the Wind” has been vehemently criticized for its glorification of the slavery of black people.
The decision to remove the film has evoked some backlash on social media.
HBO Max issued a statement saying the historical romance film is a product of its time and depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have 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,” according to the streaming service from WarnerMedia Entertainment.
The statement made it clear that these depictions are against WarnerMedia’s values.
HBO Max promised that the film will return to its digital platform with “a discussion of its historical context and a denouncement of those very depictions.” But at the same time, the movie content 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 statement added.
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