The 1939 cinema classic has returned after being pulled over racist depictions and will now include an intro explaining how it denies the horrors of slavery.
The 1939 cinema classic has returned after being pulled over racist depictions and will now include an intro explaining how it denies the horrors of slavery.

Movie returns with racism disclaimer

Gone With the Wind has returned to US TV, two weeks after it was pulled from HBO Max over its "racist depictions".

The 1939 film classic now includes a four minute introduction explaining how the movie "denies the horrors of slavery" by Turner Classic Movies host and film scholar Jacqueline Stewart.

"The film represents enslaved black people in accordance with longstanding stereotypes, as servants, notable for their devotion to their white masters or for their ineptitude," she explains in the disclaimer.

"And 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."

Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh's iconic screen kiss in Gone With the Wind.
Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh's iconic screen kiss in Gone With the Wind.

Stewart said the movie describes America's south as a "world of grace and beauty" but doesn't acknowledge the "brutalities of the system" that African-American slaves faced.

"Watching Gone With the Wind can be uncomfortable, even painful," she said.

"Still, it is important that classic Hollywood films are available to us in their original form for viewing and discussion."

HBO Max made the decision to pull Gone With the Wind two weeks ago in the wake of the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police.

The black man's death has sparked protests across the world, as well as discussions about racism in society and media.

The streaming service confirmed Gone With the Wind was being temporarily pulled so that "historical context" could be added in.

A scene from Gone With the Wind showing Scarlett (Vivien Leigh) being laced into a corset by Mammy (Hattie McDaniel).
A scene from Gone With the Wind showing Scarlett (Vivien Leigh) being laced into a corset by Mammy (Hattie McDaniel).

 

"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," a WarnerMedia spokesperson said

"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."

While it's one of the most financially successful movies of all time, Gone With the Wind has been criticised for its depiction of black people and failure to recognise slavery.

The film made history when its star Hattie McDaniel became the first black American to win an Oscar for her performance, one of eight it won on the night.

However McDaniel was barred from sitting with her co-stars during the ceremony due to the area being "whites only".

Originally published as Movie returns with racism disclaimer



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