Gone With The Wind?

by Ron Steelman

Yes, that’s a question.  Is it too racist to watch now? Should Gone With The Wind be sidelined by HBO Max?

The following interview was conducted by CNN’s Don Lemon. “John Ridley, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of “12 Years a Slave,” wrote an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times this week asking HBO Max to take the film out of its rotation.”

I wasn’t a fan of the film, yet I wasn’t sure about Ridley’s position. As an artist I am always concerned about censorship, but Mr. Ridley makes a clear and logical argument.

It’s quite simple. I think we’re all humans. That’s why I’m a Humanist. We all should be
be concerned with securing justice and fairness in society and with eliminating discrimination and intolerance.

As a Humanist I. . . “attempt to transcend divisive parochial loyalties based on race, religion, gender, nationality, creed, class, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, and strive to work together for the common good of humanity.” – from The Affirmations of Humanism

I totally support Mr. Ridley’s position. What do you think?

HBO Max has pulled “Gone with the Wind” from its library of films. The removal of the film comes as mass protests sweep across the United States following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed while in police custody.

The removal also comes after John Ridley, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of “12 Years a Slave,” wrote an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times this week asking HBO Max to take the film out of its rotation. “It is a film that glorifies the antebellum south. 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,” Ridley wrote. “The movie had the very best talents in Hollywood at that time working together to sentimentalize a history that never was.”

Ridley made it clear that he didn’t want “Gone with the Wind” to be “relegated to a vault in Burbank,” California, but rather be taken down for a “respectful amount of time.” “Let me be real clear: I don’t believe in censorship,” Ridley 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.” Ridley added that the film “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.”

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1 thought on “Gone With The Wind?

  1. Such a range of emotions now!
    I do support Ridley’s position. Gone With the Wind is part of our historical narrative, as are so many other films.
    And slavery has been part of humanity from time immemorial. The bible approves of slavery!
    Now that we are making a feeble attempt to become more evolved, many of us are realizing that slavery is wrong, and that all humans belong to one race, and should be valued.
    So uplifting to see young people of every color protesting, but we still have a long way to go.
    Would love to see humanism become the universal belief system!

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