Warner Bros has decided to call off the screening of Gone With the Wind at the Paris' Rex Theater on June 23. The decision comes days after WarnerMedia-operated streaming service, HBO Max, removed the film in the wake of the mass protests against systemic racism and police brutaility, following the death of African-American man George Floyd in police custody.
The 1939 film, considered to be a classic, focuses on the love story of Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler during the American Civil War. In past decades, the film has been criticised by many for its portrayal of slavery and African Americans. The Paris screening of Gone With the Wind was scheduled to celebrate the reopening of theatres in France after a three-month shutdown due to coronavirus pandemic. Rex Theater announced the cancellation of the film's screening on its official Twitter page.
Warner Bros. is letting us know that they wish to cancel the screening of Gone With the Wind.' Thank you for your understanding, the post read. Earlier this week, in a Los Angeles Times op-ed John Ridley had asked HBO to remove Victor Fleming's Gone With The Wind from its platform as it romanticises the horrors of slavery .
In response to Warner Bros' decision to remove the film from HBOMax and cancel the Paris screening, Ridley told Deadline that now was the time to understand what was wrong with the Acadmey Award-winning movie.
I can say this as somebody who's been fortunate enough to get one, but receiving an Oscar doesn't make your work great. What makes your work great is if it can stand up to comparisons, if it can stand up to the test of time, if it can stand up to context.
No, I don't believe that no one should ever be allowed to see Gone With the Wind' again. Let it exist, but with even a slight bumper up front that might make for deeper conversations. Let us study it. Let us understand what was wrong about it, what did work in it, he said.