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‘Gone With the Wind’ to Return to HBO Max With More Historical Context Provided

Stephanie Sengwe

Last week, in solidarity with the nationwide protest against systemic racism currently taking place, HBO Max removed the Civil War film “Gone With the Wind” off its platform.

The streaming service made the move after an op-ed in The Los Angeles Times by “12 Years a Slave” screenwriter John Ridley urged them to reconsider the film’s place in their library as its racist imagery and romanticized version of the Confederacy continue to be problematic.

Now, after some consideration, HBO Max has decided to bring the film back to its platform and will provide more historical context of the film through an introduction by Jacqueline Stewart, an African-American film and media studies professor at the University of Chicago, The Hill reports.

“I will provide an introduction placing the film in its multiple historical contexts. For me, this is an opportunity to think about what classic films can teach us,” Stewart wrote in an op-ed for CNN. “Right now, people are turning to movies for racial re-education, and the top-selling books on Amazon are about anti-racism and racial inequality. If people are really doing their homework, we may be poised to have our most informed, honest, and productive national conversations yet about Black lives on screen and off.”

Despite being controversial in today’s context, the film spiked to Amazon’s best-sellers sales chart for TV and movies just one day after being removed from the streaming service. The e-commerce giant has the 70th anniversary two-disc DVD edition of “Gone With the Wind” available for purchase, starting at $29.55. The film is also available on Amazon Prime Video as a digital HD rental at $3.99 and for purchase at $9.99.

Released in 1939, “Gone With the Wind” is still the highest-grossing film of all time. When adjusted for inflation the film is reported to have raked in more than $3.3 billion over the years, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

In addition to topping the sales charts on Amazon, it seems the film is also performing well on Apple’s iTunes movie chart for the U.S. The film was at number five on their charts, coming in behind this year’s hits “The Hunt,” “Birds of Prey,” “Bad Boys for Life” and “The Invisible Man.”

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