HBO banned the all-time Clark Gable-Vivien Leigh classic Gone With The Wind for racism!
HBO banned the all-time Clark Gable-Vivien Leigh classic Gone With The Wind for racism, and then brought back the film with a disclaimer on racism…. Bollywood Brainstorms Over The Issue
Ruchi Narain(filmmaker): “I feel a vast majority of existing ‘classic’ or blockbuster content perpetuates very questionable social norms. Civilized society needs to move far ahead in how we think and portray race relations, gender and faith. A controversial step like this will create a much needed conversation and create awareness about how narratives have helped ingrain, romanticize and condone discriminatory behaviour.”
Shekhar Kapur(filmmaker): “Can we erase Aurangzeb from our history just by changing the name of a road? Can the US change its history of Slavery by erasing a film from HBO? Especially when its one of the most celebrated films of all time ?The British must topple every statue of Churchill, and ban a recent Oscar winning film ‘Darkest Hour’ glorifying Churchill,He was after all, a rascist of the worst kind.He was the cause of the Great Bengal Famine that starved to death almost 8 million Indians.And then famously said ‘ They breed like Rabbits, its their own fault’ and then added ‘ why isn’t that Gandhi fellow dead’
Pritish Nandy(writer-thinker-producer): “A work of creative art supersedes issues of morality. It holds up a mirror to society as it is, as it was. Gone With The Wind captures the spirit of those times and the racism you see there is not endorsed by its writer or film maker, it is shown to reflect the history of those times. It is not shown to endorse racism. It is dangerous to ban works of art, literature or cinema for what they show. For then we are taking a moral position that every story we tell is a story we endorse. Half the library of Hindi cinema will then disappear from streaming sites on the ground that they are sexist and show patriarchy at its worst. This is another form of witless censorship. What we do not agree with cannot be suppressed, however reprehensible it may appear to be. That is the very nature of free expression, of liberty, democracy and creative work. Will you ban Mein Kampf? I say no. People must read it to understand what a depraved fool Hitler was and to anticipate what comes along with the Right Wing. Whitewashing history will not remove injustice.”
Sameer Nair(producer): “Calling out is essential.Otherwise we are normalising and reinforcing stereotypes,like it happens with caste, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.I’m all for applauding ‘cinematic technique’ but we must call out ‘story’ – else run the risk of reinforcing such beliefs and behaviour.Which is why we need the ‘SMOKING KILLS’ type of graphic super on all offensive/gaslighting scenes. That would be the correct normalising!No holy cows, in art or religion or life.All the fairness creams ads endorse colour prehudiec …India’s fascination with ‘gori-chitti’ that all our art tends to reinforce again and again.Have to call out, have to stop, have to evolve….that is progress!”
Raja Sen(film critic): “I feel it’s a slippery slope to look at art made a certain time and try to fit it to the standards of today’s tolerance. Gone With The Wind is a film featuring racism but a film that, for decades, was not called out for racism. The answer is not to ignore the film but instead highlight what is wrong with it. So a screening of Gone With The Wind should be accompanied by text that tells the modern viewer what is wrong with the film, and perhaps a Q&A where the racism is debated and placed in context. Instead of removing old cultural artifacts from view because they do not match today’s standards, we should instead use these movies to discuss and reflect upon racism.”