Megyn Kelly Baffled by Move to Pull ‘Gone With the Wind’ From HBO Max: ‘Where Does This End?’

“Are we going to pull all of the movies in which women are treated as sex objects too? Guess how many films we’ll have left,” journalist says

Gone With the Wind
Warner Bros.

Megyn Kelly lashed out at Warner Media for its decision to pull the classic, 1939 Civil War romance “Gone With the Wind” from its new streaming service HBO Max on Tuesday night, saying people can be against racism and sexism in the world without feeling the need to censor historical art.

Kelly also criticized the decision to cancel “Cops” from Paramount Network and A&E re-evaluating the decision to air the show “Live P.D.”

“Are we going to pull all of the movies in which women are treated as sex objects too? Guess how many films we’ll have left?Where does this end,” Kelly said on Twitter Wednesday. “‘Live PD’ is consistently one of the highest rated shows on cable. But now it may go away bc even watching a police show is somehow offensive to some. (Secret option #2: if you don’t like it, don’t watch.)”

Kelly also shared a clip from The Daily Caller of Hattie McDaniel becoming the first black actress to accept an Academy Award for playing the role of Mammy in the film.

Kelly then played a game saying that other shows and movies that could be considered offensive and would need to be removed from the airwaves, name dropping “Friends,” “Game of Thrones,” “Law and Order” and the films of John Hughes and Woody Allen.

“Ok @hbomax – let’s do this – every episode of ‘Friends’ needs to go right now. If not, you hate women (& LGBTQ ppl, who also don’t fare well on ‘Friends’),” she said. “Let’s keep it going until all we have left is ‘The Queen’ and Captain America.”

Kelly concluded by saying people understand that art reflects the times and it doesn’t require the need for censorship.

“For the record, you can loathe bad cops, racism, sexism, bias against the LGBTQ community, and not censor historical movies, books, music and art that don’t portray those groups perfectly. Ppl understand art reflects life… as we evolve, so do our cultural touchstones,” Kelly said.

The Best Picture winner “Gone With the Wind” is a classic and an all-time champ at the box office, but it has undeniable racist undertones and romanticizes the Old South during the Confederacy era. Earlier this week, screenwriter John Ridley in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times called for the film to be removed from HBO Max but not permanently removed or censored from exhibition entirely.

“It is a film that, as part of the narrative of the ‘Lost Cause,’ romanticizes the Confederacy in a way that continues to give legitimacy to the notion that the secessionist movement was something more, or better, or more noble than what it was — a bloody insurrection to maintain the “right” to own, sell and buy human beings,” Ridley wrote. “I would just ask, after a respectful amount of time has passed, that the film be re-introduced to the HBO Max platform along with other films that give a more broad-based and complete picture of what slavery and the Confederacy truly were. Or, perhaps it could be paired with conversations about narratives and why it’s important to have many voices sharing stories from different perspectives rather than merely those reinforcing the views of the prevailing culture.”

A spokesperson for HBO Max in a statement to TheWrap on Tuesday night specifically said that the film would return to the platform at a later date but would be accompanied by a discussion of the film’s historical context and a “denouncement” of the film’s racist content.

“‘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,” an HBO Max spokesperson said in a statement provided to TheWrap. “These depictions are certainly counter to WarnerMedia’s values, so when we return the film to HBO Max, it will return with a discussion of its historical context and a denouncement of those very depictions, but will be presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. If we are to create a more just, equitable and inclusive future, we must first acknowledge and understand our history.”

“Gone With the Wind” was a huge hit upon release, becoming the highest-earning film up to the point, a record it still holds when figures are adjusted for inflation. It also won 10 Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actress for McDaniel and Best Picture.

See Kelly’s Twitter thread below: