'Gone with the Wind' pulled over racist portrayals

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on June 11, 2020 - Duration: 02:41s

'Gone with the Wind' pulled over racist portrayals

HBO Max has removed film "Gone with the Wind" from its recently launched streaming service over its depiction of slavery.

It joins other media companies that have pulled controversial TV shows as demand for racial sensitivity increases across the country.

Libby Hogan has more.

'Gone with the Wind' pulled over racist portrayals

It's a film known for its romance set in the American south during the Civil war.

But "Gone with the Wind" has come under closer scrutiny as America reckons with systematic racisim also perpetuated in its popular culture.

Now, HBO Max streaming service has pulled the Oscar-winning film from its service - to return later with what a spokesman called a quote 'discussion of its historial context.'

Darnell Hunt, Dean of Social Sciences at The University of California weighed in: "It was an amazing film by cinematic standards obviously, an Academy award winner, historically significant.

On the other hand, it's a film which glorifies plantation slavery .


So, it's certainly not the type of image and not the type of message that one wants to circulate when we're in the middle of the biggest urban unrest since probably the late 1960." The film set a milestone in Hollywood when supporting actress Hattie McDaniel, who played Mammy, a black slave, became the first African American actor to win an Oscar.

Yet her experience at the awards night was very different to her fellow actors.

April Reign, who started the hashtag #oscarssowhite, explains: "She wasn't even allowed to attend the premiere of 'Gone with the Wind', Hattie McDaniel.

They eventually let her into the ballroom the night of the Oscars but she had to sit way in the back and in fact, the people from, I guess, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, who run the Oscars, wanted to temper her speech to ensure she didn't say anything that was too negro at the time and she did anyway to her credit." A statement from WarnerMedia, which runs HBO Max, acknowledged the film is a product of its time.

However it said that it quote "depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society." And to be clear -- for now the film is still available to stream elsewhere and on DVD.

Amazon reaped the benefits as the film shot to the top of its bestselling TV and movies less than 24 hours later.

As the momentum of the mass protests over racism continue across the United States, Reign hopes Hollywood is sitting up and listening: "I hope that the studios strike while the iron is hot.

I don't want to see a plethora of resistance films a year from now where there's some interracial couple who find love at a protest or some crap.

I think there are much deeper stories that need to be told."

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