Following the announcement that HBO Max would be temporarily pulling Gone With the Wind from its streaming service, it seems that fans of the movie have rushed to Amazon to purchase the romantic drama on DVD, Blu-ray, and the 70th Anniversary Edition. Since the news broke regarding HBO Max’s decision to remove the movie from their streaming library, the 1939 MGM Hollywood classic has shot to the top of Amazon’s movies and TV bestseller list overnight and at one stage occupied the number 1 slot, the number 8 slot and the number 9 slots.
The buying frenzy is something of a surprise, considering that the movie will be available again on HBO Max eventually. Despite this, Gone with the Wind has sold out in every format, with one Blu-ray copy being offered for the rather extravagant price of $334.01.
Though still on Amazon, HBO Max made the decision to remove the Victor Fleming directed movie due to the current climate of events surrounding racism and racial injustice in the United States that has led to protests across not only the country but the world. Initially, the news that Gone with the Wind was being removed sounded like it would be a permanent thing, however, this turned out to be false, with the movie merely being temporarily suspended so that some historical context messaging could be added.
HBO Max offered an official statement explaining their reasoning behind the decision to pull Gone With the Wind, and what changes will have been made when the movie becomes available again.
“Gone With the Wind is a product of its time and depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society. These racist depictions were wrong then and are wrong today, and we felt that to keep this title up without an explanation and a denouncement of those depictions would be irresponsible.”
“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. If we are to create a more just, equitable and inclusive future, we must first acknowledge and understand our history.”
The Academy Award-winning writer-director John Ridley, who wrote the biographical drama 12 Years a Slave based on the life of Solomon Northup, had previously called for the movie’s removal from HBO Max saying, “It doesn’t just ‘fall short’ with regard to representation. It is a film that glorifies the antebellum south. 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 color.”
For decades Gone with the Wind has been considered an American classic and tells the story of a manipulative woman and a roguish man who carry on a turbulent love affair in the American south during the Civil War and Reconstruction. The movie won 8 Oscars, including the first Oscar ever awarded to a black person which was awarded to Hattie McDaniel for her role as Mammy. Gone with the Wind was also given the award for Best Picture; Best Director; Best Actress in a Leading Role; Best Writing, Screenplay; Best Cinematography, Color; Best Film Editing and Best Art Direction.
While Gone with the Wind may have etched itself into cinematic history, the movie has not aged well over time, particularly in the current era of protests against police brutality and racial injustice. This comes to us from Deadline.