HBO Max Restores Slavery, Racism – Diversity3 min read
“Gone with the Wind” is back on HBO Max, along with two additional videos featuring the historical background of the classic film. Warnermedia pulled the trigger two weeks ago, citing the need to address the film as a “racist image.”
In the first video, Jacqueline Stewart, host of the Turner Classic Movies and film scholar, discusses “why this 1939 epic should be seen as the core of the play, in context and discussed.” The second is an hour-long video recording of the panel discussion, from the April 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival hosted by Donald Bogle, author and historian of “Air Window Wind the Winds.”
Stuart, now added to the 4:26-minute intro segment as an additional feature of HBO Max’s “Gone with the Wind”, has made the film “one of the most popular films of all time.”
At the same time, “the film has been repeatedly protested, dating behind the announcement of its production,” Stuart said. “Producers David and Seljnik are well aware that the black audience was deeply concerned about the film’s handling of slavery and its dealings with black characters.”
Despite Seljnik’s assurance to the black community that he would be sensitive to their concerns, “Wind Wind the Wind” has been presented “without acknowledging the brutality of the chatbell slavery system in Antbelum South on which this world was founded”, Stuart said.
Stuart says blacks enslaved in “The Wind with the Wind” adhere to old racist customs, “notable as slaves for their devotion to their white masters or their incompetence,” Stuart said. He continues, “The film’s treatment of this world through a lens of nostalgia denies the horrors of slavery, as well as the legitimacy of racial discrimination.”
Stuart, a professor of film and media studies at the University of Chicago, added that Jim Crow’s Georgia Separation Act did not allow black cast members to attend movie premieres. Also, Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American to play the role of a slave mommy in the film, was not allowed to sit with other actors at the Oscars.
“Watching ‘Wind of the Wind’ can be uncomfortable, or even painful,” Stuart said. “Still, it’s important that classic Hollywood films are available in their original form for us to watch and discuss.”
“Gone with the Wind” stars Vivian Ley, Clark Gable, Hattie McDaniel and Olivia de Haviland. Adapted from Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel, the film is set during the Civil War and Reconstruction era and follows the story of Scarlett O’Hara, the daughter of a Georgia cotton garden owner.
The film’s HBO Max description, which lasts between 3 hours and 41 minutes, reads, “Scarlett O’Hara fought to save her beloved star and find love during the Civil War.”
The movie won eight competitive Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actress for Leh, Best Director for Victor Fleming and Best Actress for McDaniel. The American Film Institute ranked “Window the Wind of the Wind” – the first film to air on TCM in 1994 – as the 4th best American film of all time, “Citizen Ken,” Casablanca and “The Godfather”. “
Last November, Disney Plus added the first caution to some of the oldest images, including “old cultural images.” These include the original “Dumbo,” “Aristocatus,” “Lady and Trump,” and “Jungle Book.” Meanwhile, Disney’s 1946 music film “Songs of the South” has not been available in any format for more than three decades due to the racist image of African-Americans.