HBO Max will re-release the controversial film Gone With The Wind at an as-yet-unknown date with a special introduction by black scholar and television host Jacqueline Stewart.
The streaming service pulled the 1939 film on Wednesday after novelist, screenwriter, and director John Ridley penned an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, calling attention to the drama’s problematic depictions of slavery and the Civil War-era South. Ridley’s piece was especially poignant after the death of George Floyd, which inspired an uprising in support of Black Lives Matter with mass protests spreading across the globe.
“We failed to put the disclaimer in there which basically sets up the issues that this movie really brings up,” WarnerMedia chairman Bob Greenblatt said in an interview with Jess Cagle on the latter’s Sirius XM show. “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.”
Stewart, who hosts Silent Sunday Nights on Turner Classic Movies, explained in an op-ed for CNN on Saturday that she’ll “provide an introduction placing the film in its multiple historical contexts” when the film returns to HBO Max.
“For me, this is an opportunity to think about what classic films can teach us,” she writes. “Right now, people are turning to movies for racial re-education, and the top-selling books on Amazon are about anti-racism and racial inequality. If people are really doing their homework, we may be poised to have our most informed, honest, and productive national conversations yet about Black lives on screen and off.”
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EW has reached out to HBO Max to confirm when the film will return to its streaming service.
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