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Queen Latifah: Hattie McDaniel's Oscar Win Not What You Think

'Gone With the Wind' actress only let into theater 'right before she got that award'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 16, 2020 5:21 PM CDT

(Newser) – While some have criticized HBO Max's removal of Gone With the Wind from its streaming service—including those who wonder if it hurts the legacy of Hattie McDaniel, the first African American woman to win an Academy Award—Oscar nominee Queen Latifah says good riddance. "Let Gone with the Wind be gone with the wind," said the Emmy, Golden Globe and Grammy winner in an interview last week with the AP. Latifah, who portrays McDaniel in Ryan Murphy’s Netflix Hollywood series, says the story behind McDaniel’s Oscar win is not as shiny as the golden trophy. "They didn't even let her in the theater until right before she got that award," says Latifah.

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"Someone came outside and brought her into the auditorium. She wasn’t even allowed to sit in there," Latifah continued. "And then she had to read a speech that was written by a studio. You know that’s not what the hell she wanted to say. Then after that, all she could do was play the same kinds of roles … So the opportunities at that time and the way that those in power in that business were relegating us and marginalizing us and not allowing us to grow and thrive after that was just terrible. And a lot of that is still around today." (Read the full piece for much more from Latifah, who discussed George Floyd’s death and her feelings about her lyrics being chanted by protesters.)


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