June 10 (UPI) -- HBO Max has removed Gone with the Wind from its library due to the film's "racist depictions."
The streaming service temporarily pulled the 1939 Civil War epic Tuesday but will return the movie to its library with "a discussion of its historical context and a denouncement of those very depictions."
Gone with the Wind, based on Margaret Mitchell's novel of the same name, takes place in the South during the Civil War. The film has been criticized for its depictions of black people and for romanticizing the Confederacy.
"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," an HBO rep said. "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."
"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," the rep added.
The removal comes amid nationwide protests over George Floyd's death and dialogue about race and the police. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died May 25 in Minneapolis, Minn., while being restrained by a police officer who knelt on his neck.
In a Los Angeles Times op-ed Tuesday, 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley called on HBO Max to "consider removing" Gone with the Wind from its library.
"It is a film that glorifies the antebellum south. It is a film that, when it is not ignoring the horrors of slavery, pauses only to perpetuate some of the most painful stereotypes of people of color," he wrote.
Gone with the Wind is directed by Victor Fleming and stars Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Leslie Howard. The film won eight Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress for Hattie McDaniel.