In a truly bizarre move, Gone With The Wind has been removed from HBO Max following a string of negative feedback from subscribers asking for its removal. Given the current political climate in the United States, it seems HBO made the decision to temporarily remove the film due to its outdated views on race. In the company’s own words, the film was “a product of its time” that shared views that “were wrong then and are wrong today.”
For those unaware, Gone With The Wind released in 1939 when cultural values were massively different. It should go without saying that we’ve come a long way in the last 80 years, but then the news is almost proving me wrong there. HBO likely didn’t want to keep the film on its service during such turmoil, so the film has been temporarily dropped. It will return at an undisclosed point in the future after a “discussion of its historical context.”
Far be it from me to say we should keep racist films around out of some false sense of “historical significance,” but editing out the negative parts of history does no one any favors. Sure, the values expressed in Gone With The Wind aren’t something you should replicate, but we can’t paint over the flaws of our ancestors. I suppose HBO has the right to remove this film, but I don’t like the precedent this sets for other films with troubling subject matter.