After HBO Max announced that is was temporarily removing "Gone With the Wind" in the wake of protests nationwide against police brutality and racial injustice, the classic movie is back. This time, it will play on the streaming platform with a special commentary that introduces the film to viewers.
There's now a new segment before the film with Jacqueline Stewart of Turner Classic Movies. Stewart, the host of TCM's "Silent Sunday Nights," and professor of cinema and media studies at the University of Chicago, details the controversial history of the film for nearly four and a half minutes.
The Wall Street Journal had reported that HBO Max pulled the 1939 film set at a Civil War-era plantation near Atlanta.
Oscar-winning movie stars like Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard and Hattie McDaniel star in the film. McDaniel made history as the first Black actress to be nominated for, and then go on to win, an Academy Award for acting, in the role she played as a domestic servant named "Mammy."
In a previous statement, HBO Max told The Wall Street Journal that when the movie returned to the streaming platform, it “will be presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. If we are to create a more just, equitable and inclusive future, we must first acknowledge and understand our history.”
The temporary removal of the film came after John Ridley, the Oscar-winning screenwriter for "12 Years a Slave," wrote an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times urging HBO Max to temporarily remove "Gone With the Wind."
"I know taking down a film — particularly a classic Hollywood film — seems like a big request," Ridley wrote in the op-ed. "But it’s not nearly as big a demand as when your children ask whether they can join protests in the streets against racial intolerance, or when they come to you wanting to know what you did to make the world a better place."
The streaming service HBO Max launched on May 27, 2020, with more than 10,000 hours of content that includes the entire HBO service and movies and TV series from Warner Bros.
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