HBO Pulled Gone With The Wind Just to Put it Back. Here’s Why
The latest entry in the streaming wars, HBO Max, announced that it would be removing the 1939 silver screen masterpiece Gone with the Wind from the current lineup. This move was obviously a show of support with Black Lives Matter protests that have erupted across the country in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Video footage of the arrest that shows an officer kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly 9 minutes circulated the globe via social media, sparking huge gatherings in a show of solidarity against police brutality.
The newly minted HBO Max (just launched on May 27th) streams new and classic movies, mini series, and more took down the Victor Flemming masterpiece that paints a picture of life in the old South during the Civil War and reconstruction eras. According to CNET, HBO made the decision to remove the film because it featured "racist depictions," and believed it to be insensitive and inflammatory in today's racially charged climate.
Unfortunately, in doing so - they also removed a very important piece of black movie history. Gone with the Wind produced the very first African-American Oscar win - and because it was won by a female, it's doubly important.
Because this award was given during a time when America was still segregated, Hattie McDaniel accepted her award for Best Supporting Actress in a separate awards ceremony held at the famed Ambassador's Cocoanut Grove nightclub. The ceremony wasn't televised, but luckily someone had the foresight to film the moment that this amazing actress accepted her award.
In HBO's defense, the cable movie giant announced that it will be adding the classic movie back into the lineup at an undetermined date in the future with "a discussion of its historical context and a denouncement of those very depictions." No concrete date has been released for the iconic film's return, but industry experts think that it could be as early as next week.