Down the memory hole? HBO Max pulls ‘racist’ movie classic ‘Gone with the Wind,’ setting Twitter on fire
The 1939 film, set on a southern plantation in the aftermath of the Civil War, was removed from the HBO Max platform on Tuesday, with the company explaining that it depicts “ethnic and racial prejudices” which were “wrong then and are wrong today.”
“We felt that to keep this title up without an explanation and a denouncement of those depictions would be irresponsible,” HBO said in a statement, adding that the film would return to the platform, but with a “discussion of its historical context” and a “denouncement” of its controversial portrayals.
The move also comes on the heels of an op-ed in the LA Times penned by Ridley, a black screenwriter, who said the movie “glorifies the antebellum south” and ignores “the horrors of slavery.”
The decision has ignited an uproar on social media, with many critics pointing out the iconic film resulted in the first Academy Award for an African American actress, Hattie McDaniel.
Here is Hattie McDaniel's speech accepting the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress of 1939 for her role in "Gone With The Wind." Segregation was still huge back then and, although she was let in after the film's producer made the ask, she sat at a separate table from her co-stars. pic.twitter.com/sb5bIWVuEM— JERRY DUNLEAVY (@JerryDunleavy) June 10, 2020
Some countered that McDaniel was treated poorly at the award ceremony, however, saying that robbed the event of its significance.
For those who are citing Hattie McDaniel's win for Gone With The Wind, please also share she wasn't allowed to sit at table with her film's white colleagues and fellow nominees. They put her at a small, isolated table far away.— Wajahat "Social Distance Yourself" Ali (@WajahatAli) June 10, 2020
Though she died in 1952, McDaniel would have turned 127 on June 10, a fact some netizens said added insult to injury, arguing her work had not only been “erased for ‘woke’ points,” but just in time to “celebrate” her birthday.
You JUST NOW figured that out? This has been happening for several yrs. now & you all were totally fine w/it. What changed? Now Hattie McDaniel (whose birthday is tomorrow) the first African American to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress is erased for "woke" points.— Mike (@CBerthelot227) June 10, 2020
Others made comparisons to Orwell’s '1984,' suggesting the film had been cast down the ‘Memory Hole’ – a device used to expunge uncomfortable truths from history, as if they never happened.
1984 “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten...every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has altered. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped.” https://t.co/5fcYlRgiNA— Christina Sommers (@CHSommers) June 10, 2020
Fine one more... the people mad about this were never going to watch Gone with the Wind in the first damn place.— Ira Madison III (@ira) June 10, 2020
Ironically, Gone With The Wind is a great example of this. It became part of a bigger fictionalized narrative of the noble confederate and the southern belle, romanticized slavery, and erased the less flattering realities of the south. 💁♂️A lot of good books on the Lost Cause.— Jon (@RealJonAndrews) June 10, 2020
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