The co-hosts of The View are sounding off on HBO Max pulling Gone with the Wind from its platform. In a wide-ranging discussion, the panel agreed that the film’s racist depiction of Black people and slavery must “be put into context,” but they suggested that it creates a complicated precedent for the many, many movies that feature controversial stereotypes. “So, we get rid of Gone with the Wind, does that solve the problem with racism?” asked Joy Behar. “I don’t think so.”
On Tuesday night, after days of backlash stemming from a John Ridley op-ed on the controversial film, WarnerMedia’s HBO Max announced that it will be temporarily removing Gone with the Wind from its library. An HBO spokesperson said that when the film — which has long been criticized for its glorification of slavery and racist portrayal of Black people — returns to the streaming service, it will feature a disclaimer about “its historical context and a denouncement of those very depictions.”
The View‘s Meghan McCain was eager to discuss the Gone with the Wind controversy; she revealed that she actually pitched the Hot Topic segment to producers yesterday, so viewers have her to blame. But interestingly, it was McCain’s co-hosts who had the most to say on the topic, and their reactions were certainly unexpected.
Whoopi Goldberg opened the discussion by noting that if services “start pulling every film,” they will also have to “pull all the Blaxploitation movies because they’re not depicting us the right way.” Added the longtime moderator, “This is a very long list of films.”
Goldberg went on to contrast HBO Max pulling Gone with the Wind to Paramount Network canceling Cops, another story that made headlines Tuesday night. “With Cops, if you balance the people you arrest — if you arrested everybody. If you make it widespread, white people, yellow people, brown people — if everybody’s getting arrested, you can have Cops,” she said. “It just feels like it’s a whole bunch of Black people all the time. I’m just saying.”
Sunny Hostin, arguably the most liberal co-host, said that the Gone with the Wind story is “a big distraction” from larger issues plaguing the country. “Nobody, I think, on this panel is in favor of censorship, but what I find interesting is someone like Megyn Kelly spent all morning tweeting about this,” she said, throwing shade at 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.”
But it was Joy Behar who took the cake with her truly bizarre monologue. At first, Behar agreed with Hostin, saying that “censorship is a lazy way to go,” as it doesn’t actively do anything to combat racism, but she quickly changed her tact. “Let me just make a distinction between Gone with the Wind and Cops,” said the longtime co-host. “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.”
“The whole thing is all made up! Whereas Cops is supposedly a reality show, kind of a docu-drama,” continued Behar. “So it’s more dangerous to present the cops as that one way.”
Behar then agreed with Goldberg’s statement that “you can’t really do it to everything,” and she mentioned Downton Abbey as an example of a show that could be removed as a result of the Gone with the Wind precedent. “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.”
“So, let’s enjoy the fictionalizing of it as an escapist thing,” she concluded. “That’s all I say.” Woof.