After a two-week pause, Gone With the Wind is returning to HBO Max with a disclaimer.
On HBO Max, the 1939 drama will now begin with a disclaimer consisting of two videos. The first shows University of Chicago film professor and TCM host Jacqueline Stewart discussing why such films should still be viewed and the manner in which we should do so. In a four minute video, she also adds:
"Watching 'Gone with the Wind' can be uncomfortable. Even painful. Still, it is important that classic Hollywood films are available to us in their original form for viewing and discussion. They reflect the social context in which they were made, and invite viewers to reflect on their own values and beliefs when watching them now."
I just watched @ProfJStewart's 4-minute introduction to Gone With the Wind on HBO Max, and it's really good--not a warning so much as an intelligent, thoughtful, unsentimental framing. This, not deplatforming, is the right way to handle problematic popular culture. >— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) June 25, 2020
Mark Harris, Vulture and New York Magazine columnist, sums up his response to the disclaimer.
A Statement from WarnerMedia
When Gone With the Wind was first removed earlier this month, WarnerMedia had the intentions of bringing it back after some time. Upon the removal of the film, a WarnerMedia spokesperson says:
"These depictions are certainly counter to WarnerMedia's values, so when we return the film to HBO Max, it will return with a discussion of its historical context and a denouncement of those very depictions, but will be presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed"
In the film, Scarlett O'Hara is seen with Mammy, the house slave who also acted as a maternal figure to her. Mammy has no life other than servitude, however, author Donald McCaig wanted to show more of her. In a prequel, McCaig writes about her life in a novel called Ruth's Journey.
In Gone With the Wind, Mammy is played by actress Hattie McDaniel. At the 12th Academy Awards, McDaniel became the first African American to win an Oscar. She won best Supporting Actress for her role as Mammy, although, she had to accept the award segregated, as the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in the Ambassador Hotel had a "no blacks" rule.
Gone With the Wind has made its return to HBO Max, but this time with more insight.
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