'Gone With The Wind' back on HBO Max but with disclaimers: Film 'denies the horrors of slavery ... legacies of racial inequality'

David Caplan
June 24, 2020 - 6:30 pm
Gone With The Wind

Vivien Leigh (1913-1967), British actress, has her corset tightened by Hattie McDaniel (1892–1952), US actress, in a publicity still issued for the film, 'Gone with the Wind', 1939. The drama, directed by Victor Fleming (1889-1949), starred Leigh as 'Scarlett O'Hara', and McDaniel as 'Mammy'. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)


NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- "Gone With The Wind" returned to HBO Max Wednesday after being pulled by WarnerMedia two weeks ago for its "racist depictions."

At the time, the company said it needed to add historical context to the film, which has long been criticized for romanticizing slavery and the Civil War-era South.

So the 1939 film is back on HBO Max, but with two additional videos that address the aforementioned issues, Variety reported.

In one video, University of Chicago film professor and host of TCM's "Silent Sunday Nights," Jacqueline Stewart, explains why the film "should be viewed in its original form, contextualized, and discussed."

Stewart said the film presents "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."

She added, "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."

And speaking about the off-camera racism, Stewart noted that Black cast members were not allowed to attend the premiere in Georgia because of Jim Crows laws. And Hattie McDaniel, who was the first African-American to win an Oscar for her portrayal of the servant Mammy, was not allowed to sit with the rest of the cast at the Oscars.

The other video released by HBO Max consists of a panel discussion titled, "The Complicated Legacy of 'Gone With the Wind," from the TCM Classic Film Festival in April 2019, moderated by Donald Bogle, a film scholar who has written several books about Blacks in film and on television.