Oliver Stone: Don’t remove controversial films from circulation

Oscar-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone has said classic films containing aspects that are problematic to modern audiences should not be removed from streaming platforms.

However, the director of films including Wall Street, Born On The Fourth Of July and JFK said he would be open to disclaimers being added to movies to provide context.

Gone With The Wind was temporarily removed from HBO Max amid criticism of its depiction of slavery (PA)

Stone was speaking to the BBC World Service’s The Arts Hour a month after Gone With The Wind, one of the most revered films in Hollywood cinema, was removed from the HBO Max streaming service over its depiction of the pre-Civil War South.

It has since returned with a message saying it “denies the horrors of slavery”.

And Stone said that may be the best way to handle similar cases in future.

He said: “It’s very true that Gone With The Wind is a very coloured treatment of the South, but I think it’s a classic, it was my mother’s film of her generation. She loved it and it defined so many people, you can’t deny that.

“Certainly today, there possibly should be disclaimers put on or explanations to the audience – this represents a sweetened picture of the South. It does not deal with the issue of slavery in its worst form.

“It should not be removed from circulation though. I don’t believe so.”

The debate over what is acceptable to modern audiences was reignited following the worldwide protests against racial inequality.

They were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis in May after a white police officer place his knee on his neck for almost nine minutes.

Episodes of TV shows, including Little Britain and the US version of The Office, were removed from streaming platforms due to scenes of characters in black face.