In the mad dash for businesses to kneel for Black Lives Matter bullies, HBO Max removed Gone With the Wind from its streaming library earlier this month due to its romantic depiction of the Civil War-era South. However, HBO Max realized they can’t just destroy realities they don’t like, so they brought the film back with a history lesson tacked onto the front of it.
TVLine reported on June 24 that the all-time American classic wouldn’t go the way of the dodo bird like Aunt Jemima Syrup or Uncle Ben’s instant rice, after all. The outlet wrote that the film would be “restored to the streaming service’s library with a new prologue about the film’s problematic themes and depiction of the antebellum South.”
The new “4 and a half” minute prologue is like the ones viewers might find either before or after films on the Turner Classic Movie (TCM) cable channel, and featured TCM regular and University of Chicago Cinema and Media Studies professor Jacqueline Stewart explaining the historical context of the film and its impact on society at large.
Stewart’s prologue placed Gone With the Wind’s romance for the Civil War-era South in its proper perspective, or in other words, it was added to explain to viewers why an old film might reflect older and outdated perspectives from people not as sensitive as today’s grievance-obsessed radical left. Hey, it might be hokey and insult our intelligence, but at least the movie still exists.
Stewart’s intro began by praising the film’s contribution to cinematic history, recalling its eight Academy Awards – including a Best Picture Oscar in 1939 – and reminding viewers that, adjusted for inflation, Gone With the Wind is still the highest grossing film of all time.
Stewart then ventured into the film’s more politically incorrect aspects. She mentioned that the film was “not universally praised” even upon its debut, because it “paints the picture of the antebellum South as a ‘romantic, idyllic setting that’s tragically been lost to the past.’”
The host explained that while producer David O. Selznick assured the NAACP at the time that he was “sensitive to the feelings of minority peoples,” he proceeded to create “a world of grace and beauty, without acknowledging the brutalities of the system of chattel slavery upon which this world is based.” Yeah, the producer made a romantic movie rather than a gritty slave drama. Color us shocked.
Stewart added that “the treatment of this world through the lens of nostalgia denies the horrors of slavery as well as its legacies of racial inequality.” Though, really, it’s a movie, one that millions of people can contextualize with their understanding of the Civil War, slavery and their Christian ethic.
Stewart concluded the pedantic prologue, saying, “It is important that classic Hollywood films are available to us in their original form” to “invite viewers to reflect on their own beliefs when watching them now.” Well, that’s pretty self-evident for every conscious adult. But, hey, maybe a patronizing history lesson isn’t so bad as long as we still have Gone With the Wind. Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.