‘Gone With the Wind’ and Controversy: What You Need to Know


As Ridley notes, the main level of rivalry is the movie’s romanticizing of the antebellum South, and its whitewashing of the horrors of slavery. The movie presents the area’s pre-Civil War period as a utopia of tranquil dwelling, and the Northern forces as interlopers, attempting to disrupt that lifestyle. The servant characters are written and performed as docile and content material, extra devoted to their white masters than to the wrestle of their fellow enslaved folks (and tired of leaving the plantation after the battle). And, very like D.W. Griffith’s horrifying hit “The Birth of a Nation,” the movie casts the freed slaves of the Reconstruction period as morally harmful and politically naïve.

Most critics joined in a refrain of reward, and moviegoers flocked to theaters. It stays the top-grossing movie of all time, when adjusted for ticket worth inflation. The academy was additionally impressed, giving it 10 Oscars, together with finest image, finest actress, finest director (Victor Fleming) and, in fact, McDaniel’s statuette.

Right-leaning pundits have already branded HBO Max’s elimination as yet one more instance of latest “woke”-ism run amok, however “Gone With the Wind” has been the object of controversy since its inception. As detailed by Leonard J. Leff in The Atlantic, a number of teams despatched letters to the producer, David O. Selznick, whereas the movie was in preproduction, flagging their issues with Mitchell’s novel, together with its frequent use of racist slurs and characterization of the Ku Klux Klan as a “tragic necessity.” The Los Angeles Sentinel referred to as for a boycott of “every other Selznick picture, present and future.”

Under that stress, Selznick and his screenwriter, Sidney Howard, finally softened a few of these components, and agreed to the N.A.A.C.P.’s suggestion of hiring a technical adviser “to watch the entire treatment of the Negroes.” In truth, he employed two — each of them white.

When the movie was launched, the dramatist Carlton Moss wrote in The Daily Worker that the movie “offered up a motley collection of flat black characters that insulted the black audience,” singling out McDaniel’s Mammy as “especially loathsome.” The Chicago Defender put a fair finer level on it, calling the movie “a weapon of terror against black America.”



Source link Nytimes.com

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