Updated Jun 10, 2020 - Economy & Business

Networks pull content in response to protests on police brutality and racism

Clark Gable as Rhett Butler and Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in the 1939 epic film "Gone with the Wind."
Clark Gable as Rhett Butler and Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in the 1939 Civil War epic film "Gone with the Wind."

"Gone with the Wind" was removed by HBO Max from its library and Paramount Network canceled the show "Cops" on Tuesday in response to the Black Lives Matter protests.

Why it matters: The removal of the multiple Oscar-winning 1939 Civil War epic and cancellation of "Cops" after 25 seasons shows the effects the protests are having on entertainment companies and their content considerations.

  • Similar discussions are taking place in the United Kingdom, where massive anti-racism demonstrations across the country prompted the BBC, Netflix and BritBox to pull the U.K. comedy "Little Britain" from the streaming sites.
  • The British comedy that was popular in the early 200s featured a recurring female character played by one of the show's male stars in blackface.

The big picture: "Cops" premiered on Fox in 1989 and has aired on Paramount for the past six years. Broadcasts were first halted earlier this month following the death in police custody of George Floyd. Demonstrators across the U.S. have since called for increased accountability in law enforcement, sparking a movement to defund the police.

  • The series' latest season was slated to premiere this Monday but was pulled amid national calls to reform law enforcement, per Deadline.
  • A&E's docuseries following police officers titled "Live PD" also pushed pause on its program earlier in May. on air amid national calls to reform law enforcement.
  • "Gone With the Wind" was pulled after "12 Years a Slave" screenwriter John Ridley wrote in a Los Angeles Times op-ed that the film should be removed from the platform because it "glorifies the antebellum south" and perpetuates racial stereotypes.
  • An HBO Max spokesperson told "Variety" the network would bring the movie back in its original form at some point in the future in order to highlight previous prejudices, "but with a discussion of its historical context and a denouncement of those very depictions."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the latest developments on "Gone With The Wind" and "Little Britain."

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