HBO -- owned by AT&T -- decided to pull the Oscar-winning Civil War film starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Hattie McDaniel after weeks of protests for racial justice sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis who was killed while being arrested by a police officer, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
“‘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, an HBO MAx spokesperson told Deadline in a statement. "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 response, fans turned to Amazon.
On Wednesday, “Gone with the Wind” held three of the top 10 bestseller spots in the movies and television category on Amazon.
The DVD version was the overall top seller, eventually followed by the Blu-ray version in eighth place and the 70th Anniversary Edition in ninth place.
Although physical copies of the film appeared to be almost sold out on Amazon, "Gone with the Wind" was still available to rent for $3.99 or buy for $9.99 through Amazon’s streaming platform Prime Video.
Eventually, HBO Max plans to bring back “Gone with the Wind,” but with some added context, according to the company’s statement to Deadline.
“When we return the film to HBO Max, it will return with a discussion of its historical context and a denouncement of those very depictions but will be presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed,” the company said. “If we are to create a more just, equitable and inclusive future, we must first acknowledge and understand our history.”