Gone with the Wind returns to HBO Max with slavery warning and two videos of “historical context”

BBC News reports Gone With The Wind has been reinstated by HBO Max, alongside a disclaimer saying it “denies the horrors of slavery”.

The 1939 film, set during and after the American Civil War, was removed by the streaming site earlier this month.

HBO Max said at the time it showed “ethnic and racial prejudices” that “were wrong then and are wrong today”.

Now, it has returned online, also accompanied by two videos discussing the film’s historical context.

One shows TV host and film scholar Jacqueline Stewart noting how the popular movie’s depiction of black people was controversial even at the time of release.

‘Deeply concerned’

“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 says.

“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,” she added.

The second video is an hour-long panel discussion debating Gone with the Wind’s “complicated legacy”.

Widespread Black Lives Matter protests, in the wake of the death of George Floyd – a black American, who died while in the custody of a white police officer – have prompted broadcasters, producers, directors and actors to quickly re-evaluate what is acceptable on our screens today,

A classic episode of the British comedy Fawlty Towers was removed from the UKTV streaming service last month over its use of racial slurs, but plans are in place to bring it back with a warning about “offensive content and language”.

Elsewhere, actress Jenny Slate announced on Wednesday that she will no longer voice a black character in the animated series Big Mouth, as her role was “engaging in an act of erasure of black people”.