‘Gone with the Wind’ re­turns to HBO Max with dis­claimer

Iran Daily - - Arts & Culture -

‘Gone with the Wind’ re­turned to the US stream­ing ser­vice HBO Max ac­com­pa­nied by a dis­claimer say­ing the clas­sic film “de­nies the hor­rors of slav­ery”.

The 1939 Civil War epic was re­moved from the ser­vice – Warner Bros’s re­cently launched ri­val to Net­flix and Dis­ney+ – fol­low­ing crit­i­cism of its “racist de­pic­tions” ear­lier this month, the Guardian re­ported.

John Ri­d­ley, the Os­car-win­ning screen­writer of ‘12 Years A Slave’, ar­gued for it to be tem­po­rar­ily taken down due to its por­trayal of the pre­war South, de­scrib­ing it in an ar­ti­cle in the LA Times as “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”.

HBO re­sponded with a state­ment, which said: “These racist de­pic­tions were wrong then and are wrong to­day, and we felt that to keep this ti­tle up with­out an ex­pla­na­tion and a de­nounce­ment of those de­pic­tions would be ir­re­spon­si­ble.”

The film has now re­turned to HBO Max, ac­com­pa­nied by two videos dis­cussing its his­tor­i­cal con­text.

One clip fea­tures TV host and film scholar Jac­que­line Ste­wart, who ac­knowl­edges ‘Gone with the Wind’ as “one of most en­dur­ingly pop­u­lar films of all time” but notes its de­pic­tion of African Amer­i­can peo­ple was con­tro­ver­sial even at re­lease.

“Pro­ducer David O. Selznick was well aware that black au­di­ences were deeply con­cerned about the film’s han­dling of the topic of slav­ery and its treat­ment of black char­ac­ters,” she said.

De­spite pro­ducer Selznick as­sur­ing African Amer­i­can view­ers that the film would sen­si­tively han­dle their con­cerns, Ste­wart said ‘Gone with the Wind’ in­stead 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.”

The sec­ond video is an hour­long panel dis­cus­sion de­bat­ing “com­pli­cated legacy” of ‘Gone with the Wind’.

‘Gone with the Wind’ told the love story of Scar­lett O’hara (Vivi­enne Leigh), the daugh­ter of a plan­ta­tion owner, and Rhett But­ler (Clark Gable). It was a com­mer­cial suc­cess, and won eight Os­cars and two honorary awards. How­ever, African Amer­i­can writ­ers and ac­tivists im­me­di­ately ob­jected to its de­pic­tion of pas­sive, com­pli­ant slaves, and the sen­ti­men­tal­ity with which it de­picted the pre-civil War US South.

Hat­tie Mc­daniel, who played Mammy, a house ser­vant, be­came the first African Amer­i­can to win an Os­car when she took home the best sup­port­ing ac­tress Acad­emy Award. How­ever, she was not al­lowed to sit with the other cast mem­bers at the cer­e­mony din­ner at the Am­bas­sador Ho­tel in Los An­ge­les, which en­forced racial seg­re­ga­tion un­til 1959.

The French cap­i­tal’s most fa­mous mon­u­ment re­opened Thurs­day, but vis­i­tors won’t be able to take the lifts un­til July 1, to en­sure a safe dis­tance be­tween peo­ple to limit in­fec­tion risk, France 24 re­ported.

The very top of the iconic tower will re­main off lim­its to the pub­lic for now.

The ap­prox­i­mately 10,100-ton metal land­mark emerges from its long­est clo­sure since World War



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