LOS ANGELES: Hollywood classic ‘Gone with the Wind’ was removed from the HBO Max streaming platform as mass protests against racism and police brutality prompt television networks to reassess their offerings.
The multiple Oscar-winning US Civil War epic released in 1939 remains the highest-grossing movie of all time adjusted for inflation, but its depiction of slaves and heroic slaveholders has garnered criticism.
“‘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,” an HBO Max 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.”
’12 Years A Slave’ writer John Ridley said said that ‘Gone with the Wind’ must be removed as it “doesn’t just fall short with regard to representation” but ignores the horrors of slavery and perpetuates some of the most painful stereotypes of people of colour.
The film will return to the recently launched streaming platform at a later date, along with a discussion of its historical context, the company said.
It added that no edits will be made because otherwise, it 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.”
Meanwhile, the long-running reality series ‘Cops’ was canceled. The show followed real-life US officers on duty but had been accused of glamorising aspects of policing and distorting issues such as race.
Popular reality cop show ‘Live PD’ has also been removed from schedules, while Jessica Alba-starring scripted procedural ‘LA’s Finest’ saw its season premiere delayed on Monday.
In the UK, the sketch show ‘Little Britain’ which featured scenes where white actors wear makeup to portray characters from other ethnic backgrounds has been been removed from a streaming service.