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‘Gone With the Wind’ Tops Amazon’s Best-Sellers Charts a Day After Being Axed From HBO Max

Stephanie Sengwe

As racial tensions have once again come to a boiling point, streaming services have been purging their libraries of problematic content, and on Tuesday, HBO Max temporarily removed the Civil War drama “Gone With the Wind.”

Starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, the 1939 movie has long been criticized for how it portrays slavery. On Monday, John Riley, the screenwriter for “12 Years a Slave,” wrote an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times asking WarnerMedia to “please consider removing ‘Gone With the Wind’” from HBO Max.

It seems its removal from HBO Max has piqued interested in some viewers. According to Variety, 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.

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.”

“’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,” HBO Max said in a statement on Tuesday. “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.”

In addition, HBO Max said in its statement that it plans to return the movie back on the service along “with a discussion of its historical context and a denouncement of those very depictions.”