The women of “The View” don’t want to see history erased.
On Wednesday’s show, the co-hosts discussed the decision Tuesday by WarnerMedia to temporarily remove the film “Gone With The Wind” from its streaming service HBO Max.
The streamer released a statement saying the film will return to the service with a disclaimer about “its historical context and a denouncement of those very depictions.”
Meghan McCain brought up the subject on the show, saying: “I’m going to become a mother soon, and I’m thinking about what kind of art and cinema I’m going to show my future child. And I think, if I were to show my child ‘Gone With The Wind’, I would have to have a really serious conversation about how it’s a fantastical, completely fictionalized version of the South during that time.”
While “Gone with the Wind” is considered by many a Hollywood classic, winning the Oscar for Best Picture and becoming the highest-grossing film of all time adjusted for inflation, the film features numerous racist depictions of enslaved Black people, as well as perpetuations of myths about the South and the Confederacy.
Whoopi Goldberg took issue with the service temporarily pulling the film from circulation, saying by the same logic, streamers would need to “pull all the Blaxploitation movies because they’re not depicting us the right way. This is a very long list of films.”
Sunny Hostin responded, “Nobody, I think, on this panel is in favour of censorship, but what I find interesting is someone like Megyn Kelly spent all morning tweeting about this,” referring to the ex-NBC host. “I’d like to see that same energy from people on the right — rather than talking about this issue, talking about the voter suppression that happened yesterday in Georgia. Talking about the 112,000 Americans that are still dead from Covid.”
Are we going to pull all of the movies in which women are treated as sex objects too? Guess how many films we’ll have left?Where does this end?? https://t.co/Bh8mqpv0l3
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) June 10, 2020
Ok @hbomax – let’s do this – every episode of “Friends” needs to go right now. If not, you hate women (& LGBTQ ppl,
who also don’t fare well on “Friends”). Obviously Game of Thrones has to go right now. Anything by John Hughes … Woody Allen… could go on & on… & on…& on… https://t.co/dVXWssnFKF
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) June 10, 2020
The co-hosts also referenced the announcement that the TV series “Cops” is being cancelled after three decades in the wake of the recent Black Lives Matter protests.
“Let me just make a distinction between ‘Gone With The Wind’ and ‘Cops’,” Joy Behar said. “’Gone with the Wind’ is a completely fictionalized account of what went on after the Civil War, or during the Civil War, I guess, based on Margaret Mitchell’s novel. It’s a novel.”
She continued, “The whole thing is all made up! Whereas ‘Cops’ is supposedly a reality show, kind of a docudrama. So it’s more dangerous to present the cops as that one way.”
Behar also compared “Gone With The Wind” to the historical drama “Downton Abbey”.
“Do people really believe that those upstairs people were so kind to the downstairs?” she asked. “They presented it that way and made these rich people look good. It’s a bunch of baloney, the whole thing.”
Finally, Behar added, “So, let’s enjoy the fictionalizing of it as an escapist thing. That’s all I say.”
On Twitter, many defended the decision to pull “Gone With The Wind” in order to add a disclaimer.
Gone with the Wind is both Lost Cause propaganda and an important American cultural artifact and people should watch it if only to understand its influence and historical impact but … who cares if it’s not on HBO Max at the moment
— Adam Serwer🍝 (@AdamSerwer) June 10, 2020
If we don’t allow our children to see Gone With the Wind how will they understand what Carol Burnett was parodying in that one sketch
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) June 10, 2020
I really don't enjoy discussing "Gone With The Wind" with most White critics. They will basically argue how important this film is with ZERO historical context. They don't grasp how offensive this movie is to Black people. Same with "Birth of A Nation." https://t.co/5MhP5GDtsh
— Rebecca Theodore-Vachon (@FilmFatale_NYC) June 10, 2020
I actually hadn’t even seen “Gone With the Wind” until last year. Nobody warned me that the plot is mostly driven by preventable equestrian accidents.
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) June 10, 2020
What I think people don’t get about GONE WITH THE WIND is it was a *liberal* racism problem. It was the GREEN BOOK of its day. In fact, Selznick’s GWTW (including criticism in the black press & the first black acting Oscar) formed the blueprint that Hollywood hasn’t moved beyond.
— Miriam Bale (@mimbale) June 10, 2020
Worrying about the survival of classic films is part of my self-styled job description. And if there's one movie whose survival and future availability I never, ever spend a minute of the day worrying about … OK, it's probably The Wizard of Oz, but Gone with the Wind is 2nd.
— Farran Nehme (@selfstyledsiren) June 10, 2020
“Oh no! Where will I watch ’Gone With The Wind’ now?” – no one
— Jenny Johnson (@JennyJohnsonHi5) June 10, 2020
If @hbomax really wants to do something about Gone With the Wind, they should take a look at @gmgeiko's script Selznick's Folly, a Hattie McDaniel biopic centered on the making of the film. (She's also an alumna of the @WomenInFilm/@theblcklst Episodic lab for a different script)
— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) June 10, 2020