After being pulled from the streaming platform in response to protests following the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, HBO Max will soon be restoring the classic movie “Gone with the Wind” with some additional material.
According to Fox News, the newly-restored “Gone with the Wind” will feature an introduction from Turner Classic Movies host Jacqueline Stewart, who also serves as a professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago.
In an op-ed published on CNN Saturday, Stewart said that America “can’t turn away from ‘Gone with the Wind’” and argued that the film should still be widely viewed for people to examine white supremacy and its various expressions:
“Gone with the Wind” is a prime text for examining expressions of white supremacy in popular culture. Based on Margaret Mitchell’s blockbuster novel, “Gone with the Wind” taps into longstanding myths about the gentility of the antebellum South. The film’s lavish costumes, magnificent plantation sets and sweeping Technicolor cinematography render Scarlett O’Hara’s romances and economic tribulations in grand melodramatic fashion.
As the title indicates, “Gone with the Wind” looks back nostalgically at idyllic days that are no more (because they never were). By harkening back to the great old days, plantation dramas invite white viewers to imagine appealing but false pedigrees. When working class and poor white viewers identify with a noble white lineage, for example, they might be less likely to form what could be beneficial alliances with their Black working class and poor counterparts.
After deciding to pull the film and issue the introduction from Stewart, WarnerMedia chief Bob Greenblatt said the move was “a no-brainer.”
“We failed to put the disclaimer in there which basically sets up the issues that this movie really brings up,” said Greenblatt. “We took it off and we’re going to bring it back with the proper context. It’s what we should have done. I don’t regret taking it down for a second. I only wish we had put it up in the first place with the disclaimer. And, you know, we just didn’t do that.”
As reported by The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra, “Gone with the Wind” became the #1 bestseller on Amazon after HBO Max decided to temporarily pull the film. It still remains the highest-grossing film in Hollywood history when adjusted for inflation.
Speaking on “The View,” Whoopi Goldberg, the second black American actress to win an Oscar, said she opposes canceling “Gone with the Wind” and the show “Cops.”
“Personally I think if you put things in a historical context — because if you start pulling every film … you’re going to have to pull all of the blaxploitation movies because they’re not depicting us the right way,” said Goldberg, as reported by Fox News.
“That’s a very long list of films,” she continued. “If you put, before you show the film: Listen, this was shot when things were different, and we don’t, you know, we don’t do this anymore, that’s what — you have to put something in context, and I think with ‘Cops,’ listen, if you balance the people you arrest — if you arrested everybody, if you make it widespread — white people, yellow people, brown people. If everybody’s getting arrested, you can have ‘Cops.’ It just feels like it’s a whole bunch of black people all the time. I’m just saying.”
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