Thursday, October 21, 2021

Queen Latifah Weighs In On ‘Gone With the Wind’ Controversy

*Queen Latifah has weighed in on the “Gone With the Wind” controversy. 

We reported earlier… HBO Max has reversed its decision to remove “Gone With the Wind” from its library following criticism over the film’s depiction of slavery. 

The platform previously announced that it would temporarily pull the 1932 drama after “12 Years a Slave” screenwriter John Ridley published an op-ed in the Los Angeles calling for the removal of the title because it depicts slavery in a positive light. 

Following outcry from cinephiles and fans of the classic, the streaming service said the original film will be brought back but “with a discussion of its historical context and a denouncement” of racist scenes and the depictions of slavery, per TMZ

HBO Max added, “‘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.” When the movie returns, it’ll be “presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.”

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Gone With The Wind - 1939

“We are being slow and careful, and I think that’s the right response. It will be represented, but with context and framing,” Sandra Dewey, HBO Max’s president of business affairs and production, told Variety on Tuesday.

“No one wants to take [away] these pieces of content — and there are many of them — that have what would accurately be depicted as racial insensitivity,” she said. “We feel that requires a framework in today’s discourse.”

Meanwhile, Latifah plays “Gone With the Wind” star Hattie McDaniel in Ryan Murphy’s new Netflix miniseries “Hollywood.” 

McDaniel was the first Black American woman to win an Oscar,  and she wasn’t even allowed to attend the 1940 ceremony. 

“They didn’t even let her in the theater until right before she got that award. Someone came outside and brought her into the auditorium. She wasn’t even allowed to sit in there,” Latifah told the AP. “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.”

As noted by the New York Post, after her historic Oscar win, McDaniel continued to play stereotypical roles until her death in 1952 at age 59.

“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,” Latifah said. “And a lot of that is still around today.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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