The streaming platform HBO Max has removed the Oscar-winning Civil War film ‘Gone With The Wind’ from its library amid racial tensions following the death of George Floyd.
The 1939 film, which takes place at an Atlanta plantation, has been criticised for its depiction of black people.
HBO Max, however, has pledged to eventually bring the film back “with a discussion of its historical context”.
In 1940, the film won eight Oscars including Best Picture, and even made history with Hattie McDaniel becoming the first black American to win an Academy Award for her performance.
Its rose-tinted depiction of the South and its ignorance towards the horrors of slavery has been condemned in recent times, with screenwriter John Ridley (known for ’12 Years A Slave’) saying the film continues to “give cover to those who falsely claim that clinging to the iconography of the plantation era is a matter of ‘heritage, not hate’.”
“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 colour,” he wrote in a piece for the Los Angeles Times.
The nationwide Black Lives Matter protests have caused other media companies to reconsider the content they air. Paramount Network announced that they had axed ‘Cops’ after 32 seasons, while BBC has removed episodes of ‘Little Britain’ including an episode which features a character in blackface.
“Times have changed since ‘Little Britain’ first aired so it is not currently available on BBC iPlayer,” a BBC spokesperson said. The show had already been removed from Netflix and other streaming services.
Netflix has also pulled four of Chris Lilley’s shows (Angry Boys, Summer Heights High, We Can Be Heroes, Jonah From Tonga) due to their inclusion of blackface. A scene from Friends where Ross asks a Puerto Rican technician to “look like him” has also been pulled.
HBO Max has also announced that ‘Looney Tunes’ characters like Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam will not have any guns in the streaming service reboot.