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Gone With the Wind Is Back, With a New Explainer

Movie returns to HBO Max with introduction by Turner Classic Movies host Jacqueline Stewart
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2020 7:27 AM CDT

(Newser) Gone With the Wind is back on HBO Max, but it's now got a nearly five-minute intro for context. "Eighty years after its initial release, Gone With the Wind is a film of undeniable cultural significance," Jacqueline Stewart, an African American host for Turner Classic Movies, notes in her opener, per the Los Angeles Times. "It is not only a major document of Hollywood's racist practices of the past, but also an enduring work of popular culture that speaks directly to the racial inequalities that persist in media and society today." The 1939 film had been pulled from the streaming service earlier this month by parent company WarnerMedia, which denounced the movie's "racist depictions" and said the classic would be back soon with added commentary.

In addition to Stewart's intro, the Guardian reports that accompanying the film now on HBO Max is an hour-long panel conversation on GWtW's "complicated legacy." There's also a video about Hattie McDaniel, the actress who won an Oscar for her role in the film as "Mammy." McDaniel was the first African American actor to win an Academy Award. While Stewart says in her intro that viewing the movie today "can be uncomfortable, even painful," it's "important that classic Hollywood films are available to us in their original form for viewing and discussion. They reflect the social context in which they were made and invite viewers to reflect on their own values and beliefs when watching them now." (Queen Latifah says McDaniel's Oscar win is not what you think.)

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