HBO Max has now re-added Gone with the Wind to its catalog after pulling it down to address its racist depictions. The classic film went back up without cuts and alterations, but they did add a couple of videos discussing its historical context attached to it. One of those videos features film scholar Jacqueline Stewart, who explains why the movie “should be viewed in its original form, contextualized and discussed” even if watching it can be “uncomfortable, even painful.”
Stewart discusses the film’s romanticization of slavery, the Black community’s concerns before it even went into production, and how Black cast members were treated in an intro video. For instance, Hattie McDaniel, the first Black person to win an Oscar for her role as Mammy in the film, wasn’t allowed to sit with the cast members. The film’s other Black actors weren’t allowed to attend the movie’s premiere due to Georgia’s Jim Crow segregation laws.
Aside from the introduction, HBO Max also added an hour-long recording of a panel discussion titled “The Complicated Legacy of Gone With the Wind” to the film. The discussion took place at the TCM Classic Film Festival in April of 2019 and was moderated by author and historian Donald Bogle.
HBO Max had removed Gone with the Wind in the middle of widespread protests against racism and police violence in the US.