The current onslaught of panicked insanity in the entertainment industry continues. On Tuesday Paramount Network announced they would not be renewing one of the longest running reality shows in television history, “Cops”, in light of the recent unrest. A&E has also pulled their biggest ratings hit “Live PD” from their schedule for the foreseeable future.
We’ve got people pulling down historical statues and monuments and NPR hosts calling for book burning.
Now comes news that HBO Max will temporarily remove the classic film “Gone With the Wind” from their library so they can add “historical context.”
In an op-ed Monday in the Los Angeles Times, the filmmaker John Ridley urged WarnerMedia to take down “Gone With the Wind,” arguing that it “romanticizes the Confederacy in a way that continues to give legitimacy to the notion that the secessionist movement was something more, or better, or more noble than what it was – a bloody insurrection to maintain the ‘right’ to own, sell and buy human beings.”
In a statement, the AT&T-owned WarnerMedia, which owns HBO Max, called “Gone With the Wind” “a product of its time” that depicts racial prejudices.
“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,” said an HBO Max spokesman in a statement.
The company said that when “Gone With the Wind” returns to the recently launched streaming service, it will include “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.”
This is a gross overreaction, to say the least. Just as the sudden onslaught of COVID signs and directions telling us how to wash our hands and what direction to walk in, this is startlingly infantilizing. Who on earth needs “context” for slavery? Do we really need a lecture before every classic film or show that is clearly of its era? Do we really need to coddle the viewer or tell them how to contextualize what they watch?
As the New York Post’s Karol Markowicz pointed out, this feels like the beginning of the #MeToo madness, when everyone was so oversensitive that even the slightest whiff of an accusation was enough to severely damage and even end the careers of anyone within smelling distance.
The "you're racist!" frenzy right now is reminiscent of the beginning of MeToo. One accusation and you're done. Sometimes that accusation proved false but it was too late. Mob justice is just too fun to stop.
— Karol Markowicz (@karol) June 9, 2020