Gone with the Wind returns to HBO Max with black scholar providing historical context

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Gone with the Wind will return to HBO Max with black historian Jacqueline Stewart providing an introduction to explain its historical context.

The film, which charts the romance between Scarlett O’Hara ( Vivien Leigh ) and Rhett Butler ( Clark Gable ) amidst the American Civil War, had previously been removed by HBO Max due to its racially insensitive content following the death of George Floyd and further Black Lives Matter protests.

Now, Stewart has confirmed in a piece published on CNN that she will add historical context to the film with a newly filmed introduction clip before the film plays.

Stewart writes: “HBO Max will bring Gone with The Wind back to its line-up, and when it appears, I will provide an introduction placing the film in its multiple historical contexts.

“For me, this is an opportunity to think about what classic films can teach us.

“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.”

The scholar explains that films with such racially-insensitive content should still be shown for study and analysis, but with the correct context to the content being provided and to ensure that the views within the text are not perpetuated.

Despite its much-criticised portrayal of the South of the United States of America and its romantic portrayal of slavery, Gone with the Wind saw the first black winner of an Academy Award in Hattie McDaniel who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the role of Mammy.

HBO Max previously noted why they decided to temporarily remove the film from the platform.

HBO said: “Gone With The Wind is a product of its time and depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society.

“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.

“When we return the film to HBO Max, it will return with a discussion of its historical context and a denouncement of those very depictions, but will be presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.”

The statement added that the film will still be made available so viewers can be aware of how far we have come from more offensive moments in film history.

They added: “If we are to create a more just, equitable and inclusive future, we must first acknowledge and understand our history.”

Do you think HBO Max made the right move with Gone with the Wind? Let us know in the comments below.

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