HBO Max cuts from its catalog 1939 film for which first black actor received an Oscar

HBO Max cuts from its catalog 1939 film for which first black actor received an Oscar
From 'Gone with the Wind' Vivian Leigh, Hattie McDaniel

A black woman, at that.

According to the New York Times, the film, “Gone With the Wind,” has “long [been] considered a triumph of American cinema.” But in the wake of the death of George Floyd, HBO Max has decided to cut the film, which depicts an Antebellum South, thereby proving that one bad killing deserves another.

A spokesperson for the streaming service is quoted as saying:

“‘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. 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.

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One of the film’s co-stars, Hattie McDaniel, won the Best Supporting Actress award for her role as Mammy, an enslaved maid. She would go on during her film career to play a maid 74 more times, though when asked about whether she felt typecast she quipped, “I’d rather play a maid than be a maid,”

In her emotional acceptance speech, shown below, she speaks of what a great honor it was to be chosen.

There is no telling how McDaniel, who died in 1952, would react to news that HBO Max has censored her most memorable performance in the name of political correctness, but something tells me she wouldn’t be all that thrilled.

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer and regular contributor to "Liberty Unyielding."