Queen Latifah weighs in on Gone With the Wind controversy: ‘Let it be gone’

Actor portrays the film's Oscar-winning star, Hattie McDaniel, in Ryan Murphy's series, 'Hollywood'

Roisin O'Connor
Wednesday 17 June 2020 07:25
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Queen Latifah stars as Hattie McDaniel in Ryan Murphy's Hollywood
Queen Latifah stars as Hattie McDaniel in Ryan Murphy's Hollywood

Queen Latifah has said she is glad that Gone With the Wind has been removed from HBO Max’s streaming service.

The film was taken off the service due to concerns over its racist depictions of black characters amid the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests.

An HBO Max representative said: “Gone With The Wind is a product of its time and depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society.

“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.”

Latifah has since spoken in an interview with Associated Press, in which she discussed the controversial film and its legacy.

“Let Gone with the Wind be gone with the wind,” the Golden Globe and Grammy-winning actor and musician said.

Latifah, who portrays Gone With the Wind star Hettie McDaniel in Ryan Murphy’s Netflix series, Hollywood, pointed out that her experience was far from positive.

“They didn’t even let her in the theatre until right before she got that award,” she said.

“Someone came outside and brought her into the auditorium. She wasn’t even allowed to sit in there. And then she had to read a speech that was written by a studio. You know that’s not what the hell she wanted to say.”

McDaniel became the first African-American woman to win an Oscar in 1940, but many have argued that she was later a victim of stereotyping and relegated to similar roles.

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“So the opportunities at that time and the way that those in power in that business were relegating us and marginalising us and not allowing us to grow and thrive after that was just terrible,” Latifah said. “And a lot of that is still around today.”

Latifah is currently promoting her Queen Collective initiative, a campaign to highlight up-and-coming female filmmakers of colour.

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