The Hollywood classic movie “Gone With The Wind” was “temporarily” pulled from HBO Max due to the current racial tension in the United States. The decision was made two days after an op-ed written by John Ridley was published by the Los Angeles Times.
In the op-ed, Ridley pleaded with HBO Max to temporarily remove the movie from its platform as the George Floyd protests (riots) continue to happen. The “12 Years A Slave” screenplay author wrote that the movie could come back soon, but with a few caveats.
Although “Gone With The Wind” is a bonafide Hollywood classic and the highest-grossing movie of all time (once adjusted for inflation) there are some people who find it offensive. As Ridley stated in his LA Times piece, the fictional movie represents the Antebellum South, slavery, and the Confederacy in a “positive” way. Which, in his opinion, is unrealistic and should not go unchallenged.
Self-Aggrandizement Or Racial Justice?
John Ridley says he doesn’t want “Gone With the Wind” to get pushed into a
“shoebox in Burbank” but he does want viewers to have a “proper” context. A Washington Post article reports that when the movie comes back, a black academic will say a few words before it rolls. Maybe even during the movie.
Another suggestion laid out in Ridley’s op-ed was the addition of other movies in HBO Max’s library that have a “better” and more “accurate” representation of slavery. It’s not clear if “12 Years A Slave”, Ridley’s claim to fame, is currently on HBO Max. But what is clear is that there aren’t many people in Hollywood who would say that movie is inaccurate or bad representation. Although that argument most certainly could be made.
Tarnishing Hattie McDaniel’s Legacy
Attacking “Gone With the Wind” at this time could simply be spiteful and less to do with attempting to provide context to fictional movies from 80 years ago. During an interview with Don Lemon, John Ridley spoke about Hattie McDaniel’s character “Mammie” the maid. He spoke down on not only that character but other maid characters that McDaniel played in her career.
Ridley’s op-ed came out on June 8th. The announcement to remove “Gone With The Wind” from HBO Max came out on June 10th. June 10th just happened to be Hattie McDaniel’s birthday. She was June 10th, 1893 to two former slaves. She was also the first black person, male or female, to win an Oscar award. And she won the award, Best Supporting Actress, for her role in “Gone With the Wind”
Nothing that John Ridley can do will weaken the popularity of “Gone With the Wind”. As soon as HBOX Max made their “temporary removal” announcement, the book “Gone With The Wind” became a top best-seller on Amazon. Both the book and movie are loved by audiences all over the world. John Ridley’s hatred, jealousy, self-aggrandizement, self-promotion, or anything else cannot change that fact.
HBO Max Removes ‘Gone With the Wind’ | Hollywood Reporter
Why HBO Max should hit pause on ‘Gone With the Wind’ – Los Angeles Times
‘Gone With the Wind’ will probably be back on HBO Max next week, with an African American scholar at the front of it – The Washington Post
Oscar-winner explains concerns over ‘Gone With The Wind’ – YouTube
Whoopi, Megyn Kelly react: HBO Max pulls ‘Gone with the Wind’ for now
‘Gone with the Wind’ is Amazon’s bestselling movie after HBO Max removed the film | Fox Business
80 years ago, Hattie McDaniel broke color barrier at Oscars