'Gone With The Wind' Will Return To HBO Max With Intro By African American Scholar
Gone with the Wind will return to HBO Max with a filmed introduction by film scholar Jacqueline Stewart. Learn what the message intends to address below...
Gone with the Wind will soon return to HBO Max with an introduction that addresses its historical contexts.
Earlier this week, the classic 1939 film was pulled from HBO's recently launched streaming service. The move came after outcry about the Civil War drama's problematic depictions of racial stereotypes, slavery, and life in the antebellum South.
The new introduction will be a filmed message from scholar Jacqueline Stewart, who is host of TCM's Silent Sunday Nights and professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago.
On Saturday, Stewart penned a CNN op-ed titled "Why We Can't Turn Away from Gone with the Wind." It addressed the intent of Stewart's new introduction and why she believes such a message is necessary now more than ever.
Gone with the Wind: HBO Max context introduction on the way
"HBO Max will bring Gone with The Wind back to its line-up, and when it appears, I will provide an introduction placing the film in its multiple historical contexts," Stewart said in her CNN op-ed.
To Stewart, the introduction is not one of censorship or a denial of the past — American history, film history, literary history, or otherwise.
"For me," she wrote, "this is an opportunity to think about what classic films can teach us. Right now, people are turning to movies for racial re-education, and the top-selling books on Amazon are about anti-racism and racial inequality.
"If people are really doing their homework, we may be poised to have our most informed, honest and productive national conversations yet about Black lives on screen and off," Stewart's piece concluded.
Gone with the Wind's legacy under review once again
Gone with the Wind's problematic legacy came into the spotlight earlier in June after John Ridley published an opinion piece that said the film "romanticizes the horrors of slavery."
HBO Max's subsequent decision to remove the title from its library - and add what became Stewart's introduction - was met with a mixed reception, as the film is simultaneously revered by some and condemned by others.
In its original statement after pulling the film, HBO said: "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."
It's been reported that Gone with the Wind could return to HBO Max with Stewart's introduction as soon as this week.