The racist crows of Dumbo and the stereotypical Siamese cats in the Lady and the Tramp are just a few of the “ outdated ” portrayals that Disney is trying to counter by setting up an alert system for some of its classic films.
The Disney + platform has beefed up advisory messages that warn viewers that the movie they’re about to watch contains racist content. The announcement was made last year for some films, but Disney has doubled its tongue this week.
“This program includes negative representations and / or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were then and are false now. Rather than removing this content, we want to recognize its damaging impact, learn from it, and spark conversation to together create a more inclusive future.
The wording is a step up from previous warnings leading up to the films, that critics aimed to use the vague term “outdated cultural representations.”
Viewers will not be able to speed up messaging. And if you want to know exactly why Siamese cats The Aristocats are problematic, Disney will put you in touch with an explanation.
It will appear on classics like Peter Pan (1973) for his portrayal of Indigenous peoples in what Disney calls “in a stereotypical manner that does not reflect the diversity of Indigenous peoples or their authentic cultural traditions.”
These are not just cartoon movies. The Disney version of Swiss family Robinson (1960) also obtains an explanation.
“The pirates who oppose the Robinson family are portrayed as a stereotypical alien threat. Many appear with either a “ yellow face ” or a “ brown face ” and are exaggerated and inaccurately costumed with high-knot hairstyles, queues, dresses, and exaggerated facial makeup and jewelry, reinforcing their barbarity and ‘otherness’, ”Disney writes on its Stories Matter website.
“They speak in an indecipherable language, presenting a singular and racist representation of the peoples of Asia and the Middle East.”
The content debate continues
Disney said it chose to display the messages on its films, rather than cutting them down completely, as a way to “spark a conversation and open a dialogue about the story that concerns us all.”
Earlier this year, there was a mass movement for streaming services to remove problematic content – Little Brittany, The mighty boosh and that of Australia Summer heights all were shot for their racist characterizations.
HBO demolished Blown away by the wind on his overt representations of slavery.
“Blown away by the wind is a product of its time and portrays some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have unfortunately been rife in American society, ”said a spokesperson for HBO Max at the time.
“These racist representations were false then and are false today, and we felt that maintaining this title without explanation and denunciation of these representations would be irresponsible.”
It reappeared on U.S. service a few weeks later, now containing an introductory video that says it’s important the film be seen in its original condition, in order to facilitate further discussions on the matter.