HBO Max, which temporarily removed "Gone with the Wind" from its roster until the streaming service could add historical context to the racially controversial 1939 movie, has tapped film professor and TCM host Jacqueline Stewart to create an introductory segment.
"HBO Max will bring 'Gone with The Wind' back to its lineup, and when it appears, I will provide an introduction placing the film in its multiple historical contexts," University of Chicago professor Stewart said in a CNN opinion essay Saturday. "For me, this is an opportunity to think about what classic films can teach us."
She added, "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."
An HBO Max representative had said in a statement last week that the Civil War-era romantic epic starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh "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."
The statement went on to say the film would "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."