‘Gone With the Wind’ Returns to HBO Max With Disclaimer About ‘Horrors of Slavery'

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Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in "Gone With the Wind." (Warner Bros.)

Rhett and Scarlett are back at HBO Max, this time with context.

Two weeks after the streaming site pulled “Gone With the Wind” down, the 1933 Southern war epic is back with an almost five-minute disclaimer ahead of the opening credits.

“Watching ‘Gone With the Wind’ can be uncomfortable, even painful,” Turner Classic Movies host and film scholar Jacqueline Stewart says. “Still, it is important that classic Hollywood films are available to us in their original form for viewing and discussion. It is not only a document of Hollywood’s racist practices of the past, but also an enduring work of popular culture that speaks directly to the racial inequalities that persist in media and society today.”

Amid anti-racism protests, “Gone With the Wind’s” arrival on HBO Max was met with criticism about romanticizing the era.

“It doesn’t just ‘fall short’ with regard to representation,” “12 Years a Slave” director John Ridley wrote for the Los Angeles Times. “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.”

At the top of the movie, Stewart acknowledges that “Gone With the Wiind” shows “the Antebellum South as a world of grace and beauty without acknowledging the brutalities of the system of chattel slavery upon which this world is based.”

“The film’s treatment of this world through a lens of nostalgia denies the horrors of slavery, as well as its legacies of racial inequality,” she says.

Stewart also acknowledges the mistreatment of Hattie McDaniel, who won an Oscar for supporting actress as Mammy, a servant at the Tara plantation. McDaniel, the first black person, was forced to sit in the back of the room at the Academy Awards and was not allowed to attend the movie’s premiere in Georgia due to Jim Crow laws.

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This article is written by KATE FELDMAN from New York Daily News and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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