Frankly, We Should All Give a Damn About Cancel Culture

One of the most famous lines in movie history was delivered by Clark Gable’s character Rhett Butler in the 1939 classic film, “Gone With the Wind,” when his elusive love interest, Scarlett O’Hara (played by Vivien Leigh) finally shows vulnerability just as he’s walking out the door, and he turns to her and says, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

He was done. The line was delivered with the aloofness required to show that there was nothing left. The train has left the station and will not return. 

HBO Max’s decision to “temporarily” pull the classic movie from its lineup due to depictions of “ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been common place in American society” brings the U.S. a step closer to forgetting its past. Both the good parts and bad offer a learning opportunity to improve as a nation.

Buck Sexton, the host of “The Buck Sexton Show,” admitted on Wednesday that he never watched “Gone With the Wind.” He tried to watch it, back in high school, but he said he fell asleep about “10 minutes into it.”

Sexton said the decision to pull this movie seems to be just another example of the dangers of the "cancel culture" that will only get worse.

“This does not get better until people start to say, ‘Enough. I will not bend the knee. I will not apologize,’” he said.

The New York Times reported that the streaming service vowed to eventually bring the movie back, but not before it adequately addresses the racial missteps in the film, which was based on a Civil War-era plantation in Atlanta. 

“These racist depictions were wrong then and are wrong today, and we felt that to keep this title up without an explanation and denouncement of those depictions would be irresponsible,” HBO said.

The company’s decision to pull the movie sparked debate online.

Some commenters wondered how far these disclaimers will have to go. Will every movie that features racial stereotypes face the same “cancel culture?” The list would surely include “Goodfellas,” “Django Unchained,” “The Departed,” “Tropic Thunder,” just to name a few. Should these disclaimers end at movies or be added to books? Surely“To Kill a Mocking Bird” and the Mark Twain library would require a warning label.

Sexton said the movie’s cancellation needs to be observed with a wider lense. American history is vanishing. Last night, a Christopher Columbus statue in Richmond was pulled into a lake; the television show, “Cops,” which has been around for decades, was canceled; and Elmer Fudd, the classic cartoon hunter, had his trusted gun stripped.

“This is not going to stop,” he said. “The left is emboldened right now—and you see this among fundamentalists—religious and political movements throughout history that they attack elements of the culture."