The left doesn’t have any actual beliefs so they rely on virtue signaling and common wisdom to alert each other who is and is not one of the moral peers. In a time where the movement called Black Lives Matter has reemerged into the limelight – the left calls upon their favorite brands, people and organizations to hold up their proverbial “I’M NOT RACIST” placard to ease their minds about continuing to do business with them.
Enter HBO who decided they needed something to throw to the mob that required zero thought and zero actual action. So what did they do? They pulled one of the most iconic and celebrated films featuring a groundbreaking black actor from their line up.
HBO pulled Gone With the Wind for I assume “depicting the confederate south and slaves” in a way that makes people feel queasy in their stomachs. Ironically – the movie intentionally portrayed the confederate south and slaves as a way that would make us feel queasy. The author of the novel, Margaret Mitchell, came from a family of suffragists. Anyone who knows anything about suffrage knows that it was led by women from the abolition movement. The two movements were totally inextricable.
The movie features a rich white lady and slave owner, Scarlet O’hara, who is a complete idiot through the entire first half of the long film. The only people who teach her strength and bravery and kindness are the black characters. In fact, white men are depicted as devastating O’hara from rape to lies to cheating to heart break.
Her onscreen conscience was the character played by the legendary Hattie McDaniel who was the first black person to ever win an academy award (Best Supporting Actress). Another black woman would not win in her category until Whoopi Goldberg in 1990 for Ghost. Another black person would not win for acting until 1963, Sydney Protier for Lilies of the Field. A black woman would not win the academy award for Best Actress (in a leading role) until Halle Berry in 2001 for Monsters Ball. A black person has still not won for Best Director despite the fact that Barry Jenkins (a black man) directed the best picture in 2016 (Moonlight).
So if HBO had really wanted to do something to make a difference for justice and black culture – here are three simple things they could have done other than discrediting the work of Hattie McDaniel on her birthday (yes – ironically they did this on her birthday):
1. Hire black executives
HBO executives are pretty white. I am sure there are many qualified black individuals in the television and media industry. They may have a single black person on their executive staff that I simply could not find but I think we can clearly see: white is the primary color of their decision makers
2. Take an interest in black writers
HBO is known for their hit TV series and they’ve had a lot of them. Of their 40 or so smash successes including True Blood, Big Little Lies, Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, True Detective, Silicon Valley, Girls, Succession, Veep and on and on – only one show features a black writer which is the sensational Insecure written by and starring Issa Rae. In fact, only a couple of the shows even feature credited staff writers of color.
3. Cast black leads in original content
Insecure is also the only show on HBO with a black lead. True Detective also had a black lead for one season but white leads for two other seasons.
So next time a broadcasting company wants to value black voices – maybe they should actually value them instead of just casually dumping on someone else’s art.
Nice try, HBO.