Warner Bros. has canceled the Paris screening of “Gone With The Wind” at the Rex Theater on June 23. The screening of “Gone With The Wind” had been scheduled to celebrate the reopening of theaters in France after a three-month shutdown.
The Rex Theater, which boasts France’s biggest cinema screen, announced the cancellation on its Twitter account with a message saying “Warner Bros. is letting us know that they wish to cancel the screening of ‘Gone With The Wind.’ Thank you for your understanding.”
Earlier this week, HBO Max, the streaming service operated by WarnerMedia, said it had decided to temporarily pull the Oscar-winning movie from its library in light of the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests that have sparked in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.
The Civil War epic, which came out in 1939 and won eight Academy Awards, has long been perceived as problematic for its depiction of Black people and slavery.
HBO Max explained in a statement on Tuesday that the movie will return on the service with with a discussion about its historical context and a denouncement of its racist depictions. Starring Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable and Olivia de Havilland, “Gone With the Wind” tells the love story of Scarlett O’Hara, the daughter of a plantation owner, and Rhett Butler, a fellow Southern aristocrat.
“’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,” an HBO Max spokesperson told Variety on Tuesday.
“These depictions are certainly counter to WarnerMedia’s values, so 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. If we are to create a more just, equitable and inclusive future, we must first acknowledge and understand our history.”
The move by HBO Max followed an op-ed written by “12 Years a Slave” screenwriter John Ridley and published in the Los Angeles Times urging HBO to remove the film from its platform as it “romanticizes the horrors of slavery.”