WarnerMedia’s newly launched streaming service HBO Max has pulled the classic movie Gone with the Wind from its library following a heated editorial pointing out its racist content. The decision to pull the movie is only temporary — WarnerMedia plans to return the title to HBO Max, but when it does, it’ll include a disclaimer.
Gone with the Wind is a popular classic movie that was first released in 1939. The Civil War drama revolves around character Scarlett O’Hara, her relationships, and her life on a Georgia plantation, which is owned by her father. The movie was ultimately very popular when it finally hit theaters, becoming — at that time — the highest-earning film.
Despite its popularity and notoriety, the movie has been heavily criticized for decades over its depictions of black stereotypes, among other things. Renewed attention was drawn to these issues earlier this week in an opinion piece by John Ridley who called for HBO Max to remove the movie from its library.
Ridley points out the issues with Gone with the Wind and notes that HBO Max doesn’t include any sort of disclaimer about the content and inaccuracies. In his op-ed, Ridely states, in part:
Let me be real clear: I don’t believe in censorship. I don’t think “Gone With the Wind” should be relegated to a vault in Burbank. I would just ask, after a respectful amount of time has passed, that the film be re-introduced to the HBO Max platform along with other films that give a more broad-based and complete picture of what slavery and the Confederacy truly were.
Only a couple of days later, WarnerMedia has responded to the criticism by removing the movie HBO Max temporarily. The company told The Verge that it will return the title to the streaming service alongside a message that informs viewers about the nature of the film and some of its problematic content.