A couple of weeks after it was removed, HBO Max has quietly returned Gone with the Wind to its streaming service. As expected, the movie is unedited but now includes a disclaimer that warns viewers about certain problematic content before they watch. The movie was originally removed from the streaming platform after a scathing editorial over the lack of an advisory.
Earlier this month, an opinion piece by John Ridley was published by the LA Times, calling out WarnerMedia’s HBO Max for failing to put a disclaimer on Gone with the Wind. The movie is a Civil War drama that was released in 1939; it involves a Georgia plantation owner’s daughter.
The movie was very popular upon its release and has remained a notable classic in the decades since. With that said, the title is one of many from its era that depicts offensive black stereotypes. In his editorial, Ridley noted that censorship wasn’t the right approach, but rather called on HBO Max to add a disclaimer warning viewers about this content.
As first noted by Variety, the movie is back on the service, but this time with an advisory before it plays that informs viewers about the film’s racist ideas and narratives, including its ‘treatment of this world through a lens of nostalgia [that] denies the horrors of slavery, as well as its legacies of racial inequality.’
Viewers are also provided with a second video alongside the movie that includes an hour-long 2019 panel from the TCM Classic Film Festival. In it, participants discuss the problems with Gone with the Wind, helping inform viewers about the issues of its depictions of slavery, stereotypes, and the social context of the time in which it was released, among other things.