Social Question

filmfann's avatar

What are your thoughts on HBO Max withdrawing "Gone With The Wind" from their streaming service?

Asked by filmfann (52037points) June 11th, 2020

They believe the movie’s racial characterizations and situations are objectionable to the point of censorship.
Should all films be subject to such scrutiny? Is withdrawing them the proper approach?
What other films could be subject to this?

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21 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

It is only temporary, so they can add a disclaimer or something.
Nothing wrong with that.

zenvelo's avatar

It IS a pretty despicable movie. I cringed watching it the first time it was n TV fifty years ago. It is a lot more offensive than “Song of the South”.

ucme's avatar

Netflix binned off Little Britain over the “blackface” characters.
We live in extraordinary times.
Snowflakes everywhere!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Are they retitling it “Go with the lose”?

I have Song of the South, actually. There was some idiotic rumor rolling around on Facebook that you couldn’t buy it any more so I bought it.

Gone With the Wind is a really good book. I read it again, not too long ago.

ragingloli's avatar

“Little Britain” should have been binned ages ago. Not for blackface, but for being bottom-of-the-barrel trash in its entiretey.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
filmfann's avatar

Yes, I miswrote Win instead of Wind. Ugh.

GWTW also features spousal rape. Will they also address that?
What about Mickey Rooney in Breakfast At Tiffany’s? Is that less objectionable?

ucme's avatar


Jeruba's avatar

We can’t have any movies or novels in which bad things happen to anybody, because that means the author wants bad things to happen to them.

Also no fictional characters can have any characteristics that might make them look or sound like somebody else because then they are representing that person or group. Especially if they do something bad. Which they are not allowed to do. But if they did, it would mean that the author thinks the people in that group are all doers of bad things.

Also it is not okay for an author to write about a person who belongs to some group that they themselves don’t belong to, such as male or female or other sexual identity, or of course race or ethnicity. And they can’t write about just their own group because then they aren’t being inclusive.

Also watch out for the animal fables and allegories because they might represent somebody too.

Come to think of it, better not write about anything.

mazingerz88's avatar

That was sensitively nice of HBO. It’s only temporary and the sentiment behind I could appreciate. Imagine some non-racist white folks who after finding out that some of their neighbors lynched a black man proceeded to cut that tree down as act of protest.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it is a little over the top to pull this movie. Are black people asking for that? I never could get all the way through Gone With The Wind. My grandmother thought it was one of the worst movies she had ever seen. I don’t really understand the appeal.

josie's avatar

Just one more gesture that appeals to popular whims and passions, but accomplishes precisely nothing.
And the foolishness of which makes a joke of the cause it tries to appease.

Demosthenes's avatar

Dumb, condescending, counterproductive. “Cancel culture” can go fuck itself.

I feel the same way about movies that come with disclaimers about their historical context. It gives no one any credit. This is why physical media is important. Can’t trust these companies to keep movies and TV available. They will only show what they want us to see.

Darth_Algar's avatar

A private company deciding what to carry or not carry on its service. Big deal. Companies do this all the time and no one whines. No different from your local grocery store declining to carry Playboy on its magazine rack.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I remember, as a kid, going in to the local ShopEZ. They carried Playboy. I doubt QT would carry it today.

jca2's avatar

From what the news said, they’re going to put it back and put tags on certain things, explaining the historical context.

Jeruba's avatar

Are they going to do the same thing to Shakespeare?

Dutchess_III's avatar

And Mark Twain?

Demosthenes's avatar

Probably. Shakespeare and Mark Twain are both “problematic”.

Jeruba's avatar

And many, many more. For instance, the popular Nero Wolfe detective novels by Rex Stout, and especially the early ones from the 1930s and 1940s, have a lot of language that shocks 21st-century sensibilities. Even though the author and his main characters plainly abhor bigotry, the language of Archie Goodwin (fictional narrator) is full of slang and casual epithets that would now be frowned upon as demeaning to women, blacks, disabled people, and others.

I read most of those Wolfe novels in the 1970s and didn’t even notice back then how slanted much of the language is. And I was not asleep at the time; I was joining in with group sings of “Blowin’ in the Wind” in the mid-sixties. Still, the language leaps out at me now as I have been rereading the Wolfe series in order over the past few years.

I didn’t mention Mark Twain, though, because his work is primarily on paper and not performed. Shakespeare lives through performance from actual scripts. You can’t go updating his language, putting in footnotes, or positioning a fraught-language-interpreter alongside stage actors to cushion the landing of his expressions. Adaptations of Twain for a performance medium have the opportunity to interpret and set a context.

Even as a believer in reading things in terms of their own historical context to the extent possible, and not holding, say, 19th-century depictions of women to a 21st-century standard, I do find such things difficult to read.

But wouldn’t it be a disservice of another kind to pretend that such biases did not exist?—to try to erase what happened, say, to Oscar Wilde? or the barriers that society set against women?

I often wonder what we are writing, saying, and doing now that will make our descendants shudder a few decades from now, never mind a few centuries. If only we could see plainly how primitive we still are as viewed from some more enlightened future.

If only it would help.

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