HBO Max the streaming platform has pulled down the classic movie Gone With The Wind from its library.
The development comes as media companies reappraise content in the wake of protests over police brutality and systemic racism after the death of George Floyd in the US.
Starring Hollywood icons Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable, the multiple Oscar-winning US Civil War epic was released in 1939. It remains the highest-grossing movie of all time adjusted for inflation,
However, the film has been considered controversial for its depiction of black people and its overt positive view of slavery.
“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,” an HBO Max spokesperson said in a statement to AFP.
“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.”
Earlier on Tuesday, 12 Years A Slave screenwriter John Ridley’s op-ed appeared in the Los Angeles Times calling out at HBO for having the film on its portal.
In the article titled “Hey, HBO, Gone With the Wind romanticizes the horrors of slavery. Take it off your platform for now”, the Oscar winner argued that the film had its “own unique problem”.
“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,” Ridley wrote.
“It is a film that, as part of the narrative of the ‘Lost Cause’, romanticizes the Confederacy in a way that continues to give legitimacy to the notion that the secessionist movement was something more, or better, or more noble than what it was — a bloody insurrection to maintain the ‘right’ to own, sell and buy human beings,” he added.