Reports are swirling on social media that Hallmark is telling customers their famed Christmas ornaments themed after the 1939 movie Gone with the Wind are no longer available.
Recent civil unrest surrounding the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has elevated the charges of racism and “white privilege” in American culture.
As a response, companies all over America are posting racism policies and quickly distancing themselves from anything that might be construed as racist. Aunt Jemima is suddenly being retired after being in business on syrup bottles and boxes of pancake mix since 1889. Uncle Ben’s Rice is “evolving the brand”. And HBO removed Gone with the Wind over its depictions of “ethnic and racial prejudices.”
All of a sudden, after decades of enjoying “one of the greatest of all time films” acclaim, anything having to do with Gone with the Wind is poison. Snowflakes nationwide are suddenly triggered by what has been right in front of their face this whole time. Here’s a good example of their shock and outrage.
To be fair, other streaming services have kept Gone with the Wind available and the buying public has recently made Gone with the Wind a popular buy on Amazon streaming.
Popular movies of all types are frequently used to market Christmas collectibles in the form of ornaments. Christmas enthusiasts are famous for theming home decorations and Christmas trees under all manner of topics, from foods to music to, yes, movies.
So for Christmas collectible fans, far removed from the racial debates, the sudden unavailability of a collectible line that has been around for years is a bit much to handle.
On the one hand, all the grey market sources for these ornaments are going to clean up. Secondary markets such as eBay and Amazon for used for excess inventory sales are sure to enjoy healthy price increases. On the other, honest fans who spend years building up a collection at considerable cost the sudden change is aggravating.
One member of a Hallmark collectibles group on Facebook was just outraged when Hallmark would give no explanation when he called to order. “She just said it’s no longer available,” the poster commented. “Not it’s temporarily out of stock. She made it sound like Hallmark would not be bringing it back”. Several other posters claimed similar conversations with Hallmark.
Another poster commented that if Hallmark made a “mammy” ornament available she would gladly purchase it. That comment quickly resulted in the now-common retort that the poster’s “white privilege” needed to be checked.
Hallmark has not responded to our requests for further information.
Given the current trend in marketing it will not be a shock if Hallmark causes its Gone with the Wind products to go the way of Disney’s Song of the South.
The irony in that is that Hallmark has fallen under some criticism lately for not having enough people of color in their famous made-for-TV formulaic Christmas movies.
Clearly Hallmark has a problem and they know it.
Editor’s Note: A few hours after we posted this a kind reader on Twitter shared this screen shot from their seach at Hallmark for Gone with the Wind products: