The Reason HBO Max Pulled Gone With The Wind From Its Catalog

If you're one of the many people who has eagerly jumped into exploring the recently launched streaming platform HBO Max, there's one classic film you won't be able to watch: Gone With the Wind. While the title was initially available on the service, it has been temporarily pulled from the catalog.

While Gone With the Wind is considered a classic, the film has long attracted controversy for its portrayal of the Civil War and the Black community. A spokesperson for HBO Max told CNN Business that 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."

The film will be reintroduced to the HBO Max catalog at a later date "with a discussion of its historical context and a denouncement of those very depictions." The spokesperson added, "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."

Gone with the Wind has been criticized for its 'painful stereotypes'

The removal of Gone With the Wind comes after it was criticized by John Ridley, the screenwriter of 12 Years a Slave. In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, he requested that the film be taken down. "It is a film that glorifies the antebellum south," he wrote. "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. The movie had the very best talents in Hollywood at that time working together to sentimentalize a history that never was."

Ridley added that he doesn't want the film to be permanently removed or destroyed, though. Instead, he wants to see the film presented in a way that raises awareness. "Let me be real clear: I don't believe in censorship," he wrote. "I would just ask, after a respectful amount of time has passed, that the film be re-introduced to the HBO Max platform along with other films that give a more broad-based and complete picture of what slavery and the Confederacy truly were."

He suggested that Gone With the Wind "could be paired with conversations about narratives and why it's important to have many voices sharing stories from different perspectives rather than merely those reinforcing the views of the prevailing culture."