Gone with the Wind has been taken off HBO Max following calls for it to be removed from the US streaming service.

By Balthazar Malevolent


HBO Max stated that the 1939 film was "a product of its time" and depicted "ethnic and racial prejudices" which "were then wrong and today are wrong." They said the movie would return to the platform with a "discussion of its historical context" at an unspecified date

A still from Gone with the Wind.

Set during the American Civil War, "Gone with the Wind" has been long under attack for its portrayal of slavery. Based on Margaret Mitchell's novel, it features slave characters who seem content with their lot and who remain loyal to their former owners following the abolition of slavery.

Hattie McDaniel became the first black actress to win an Academy Award.

This week, screenwriter John Ridley said the film "glorifies the antebellum south" and perpetuates "painful stereotypes of people of color." "The film had the very best talents in Hollywood at that time working together to sentimentalize a history that has never been."

HBO Max said in a statement that it would be "irresponsible" to keep the film on its website without "justification and a denunciation of its racist depictions." He said the film itself would return "as it was originally created" and that "doing otherwise would be the same as claiming that those prejudices never existed."

Disney+ also advised its subscribers that some of Disney's older movies, including Dumbo's 1941 animation, "may contain outdated cultural representations."

HBO Max's move comes in the midst of mass protests against racism and police brutality that prompted several TV networks to re-evaluate their offerings.

Spokeswoman of the White House Kayleigh McEnany - who panned the decision of HBO - linked the removal to conversations about whether the country should rename US military bases named for Confederate generals who fought against the United States during the Civil War.

"Where are you drawing the line here? I was told you can not find it "Gone with the Wind" on HBO because that's offensive now somehow," she said, questioning whether sites named after the US Founding Fathers would be renamed someday.

HBO's decision follows "Little Britain" withdrawal from Netflix, BritBox and BBC iPlayer. The show saw Matt Lucas and David Walliams portraying characters from various ethnic backgrounds, including Desiree DeVere - a woman played in full blackface by Walliams.

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