The suspension of the 1939 MGM classic romantic drama Gone With the Wind has been a talking point for the last few days, with fans wondering at first if the removal from HBO Max was permanent, to then wondering how long it would be before the movie became available again. Well, it is now being reported that plans are already in place to return Gone With the Wind to the streaming service, though it will now come with a new introduction providing historical context for the movie.
Reportedly the movie, which stars Hollywood icons Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, and Hattie McDaniel, could return to HBO Max as soon as next week, but now it will include a filmed introduction from a black scholar.
The news that HBO Max would be pulling Gone with the Wind from its Streaming service quickly went viral, with the public both questioning and applauding the decision. The movie was pulled from its library in the wake of the tragic killing of George Floyd by a cop while in police custody. A request was made by Academy Award-winning writer-director John Ridley, who wrote the biographical drama 12 Years a Slave based on the life of Solomon Northup, who called for the movie's removal from HBO Max saying, "It doesn't just 'fall short' with regard to representation. It is a film that glorifies the antebellum south. It is a film that, when it is not ignoring the horrors of slavery, pauses only to perpetuate some of the most painful stereotypes of people of color."
HBO Max offered an official statement at the time, explaining their reasoning behind temporarily removing Gone With the Wind, and what changes will have been made when the movie becomes available again.
"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."
"These depictions are certainly counter to WarnerMedia's values, so 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. If we are to create a more just, equitable and inclusive future, we must first acknowledge and understand our history."
This new introduction from a black scholar in order to contextualize the depiction of slavery and people of color is seemingly part of HBO Max's aim to "acknowledge and understand our history."
Since the initial announcement that HBO Max would be temporarily removing Gone With the Wind from its library, fans of the movie have rushed to Amazon to purchase the movie on DVD, Blu-ray, and the 70th Anniversary Edition. At one point, Gone with the Wind occupied the best-selling number 1 slot, the number 8 slot, and the number 9 slots. This news comes to us courtesy of The Washington Post.