Sorry, kids. Now you need your guardian's permission to check out Disney's sordid past.
Disney has been issuing content warnings over some of their titles since they hit their streaming service. Movies like Peter Pan, The Aristocats, and Dumbo all contain depictions of races and cultures that are frowned upon by today's standards. At best, they're cartoony stereotypes. At their worst, they're morally vile and racist.
Rather than censoring these titles, they were running with a disclaimer. Now, Disney has decided to remove them from their default children's sections, instead moving them to the adult accounts only.
The Walt Disney Company pulled Dumbo, Peter Pan, The Aristocats, and Swiss Family Robinson from its offerings for children under seven.
Disney has acknowledged this decision and has been using the "Stories Matter" section of their website to expand on their worldview and make up for mistakes in the past. As Disney puts it, "Because happily ever after doesn't just happen. It takes effort. Effort we are making."
These titles run with this disclaimer beforehand: "This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it, and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together. Disney is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe. To learn more about how stories have impacted society, please visit www.disney.com/StoriesMatter"
Aside from that, the aforementioned titles all have much more specific advisories. For instance, with Dumbo, "The crows and musical number pay homage to racist minstrel shows, where white performers with blackened faces and tattered clothing imitated and ridiculed enslaved Africans on Southern plantations. The leader of the group in Dumbo is Jim Crow, which shares the name of laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States. In 'The Song of the Roustabouts,' faceless Black workers toil away to offensive lyrics like 'When we get our pay, we throw our money all away.'"
It's worth checking out the advisories around the other titles.
Kids are an impressionable bunch, and I think leaving the decision to explain racism, stereotypes, and cultural understanding to parents is a smart idea. These movies are still entertaining, but context matters greatly. I'm glad they're not disappearing but happier that Disney is making a concerted effort to present them in a way that acknowledges previous problems.
Let us know what you think in the comments.
MOOOOAR. I love it. censor it all. it's all racist! ban cinemas! What color is the screen you are projecting on? exactly!!!!! what is the color of the cupholder in your cinema seat? Slavery! Let's also ban snow and coal and words.
February 1, 2021 at 6:17AM
First they they came for the Aristocats, and I did not speak up because I was not an Aristocat. Then they came for Peter Pan and put it in the 7 & older category of Disney+
This MUZZLE is happening.
*cue Psycho soundtrack*
February 1, 2021 at 7:19AM
Wise decision by Disney.
February 1, 2021 at 7:21AM
Stupid is as stupid does and stupid dupes stupids into believing stupid is wisdom. On a more serious note, clearly the author of the article as well as Disney, subscribe to CRT (Critical Race Theory) which is nothing but Marxism cast in the prism of race, nothing but race, and only race. CRT is used to justify all manner of restrictions - note, restrictions only - with the single minded goal of recasting the US of A into a non free country. Despite the author's feeble attempt to justify in the last paragraph, it is a simple fact that kids would enjoy the entertainment as entertainment; it's only the stupid adults that choose to put the race lens on it.
February 4, 2021 at 2:10PM, Edited February 4, 2:25PM
December 24, 2021 at 2:21PM
Interesting topic to discuss since the Disney movies are in the center of attention for a long time. I was working on the paper for my course on Human Rights and got a few ideas on this resource https://samplius.com/free-essay-examples/racism/ for students. I think it is much easier to learn the new information online and this example with Disney movies will perfectly prove my research question.
December 24, 2021 at 2:28PM