Film Critic Calls for Banishment of ‘Gone With the Wind’ Over ‘Insidious’ Racism

New York Post’s Lou Lumenick says the movie should go the way of the Confederate flag

Gone With the Wind
Warner Bros.

Film critic Lou Lumenick is arguing that Oscar winner “Gone with the Wind” is as racist as the Confederate flag, and should be subject to the same amount of scrutiny.

In a New York Post column, Lumenick argues in the post that the 1939 Best Picture winner starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh is a relic of America’s racist past, and like the Confederate flag, it should be relegated to museums and history books.

Though it may not be as overtly racist as D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation,” the critic says that “Gone with the Wind” is just as problematic.

“The more subtle racism of ‘Gone with the Wind’ is in some ways more insidious,” he wrote, “going to great lengths to enshrine the myth that the Civil War wasn’t fought over slavery — an institution the film unabashedly romanticizes.”

Despite the film’s cinematic merits, Lumenick does not see it as something to be celebrated, and posed this question: “What does it say about us as a nation if we continue to embrace a movie that, in the final analysis, stands for many of the same things as the Confederate flag that flutters so dramatically over the dead and wounded soldiers at the Atlanta train station just before the ‘GWTW’ intermission?”

The debate over the Confederate flag’s place in America was reignited after last week’s racially motivated massacre at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. Many have called for the symbol of the South to be banned, and it was recently removed from South Carolina’s State House in the capitol city.

Warner Bros., the studio that owns “Gone with the Wind,” ceased licensing and production this week on replicas and models of popular “Dukes of Hazzard” car, the General Lee, which has flag emblazoned on its roof. The company stated that it will cease the licensing of the consumer product category altogether.