Disney Adds New Racism Warnings To Peter Pan, Dumbo and Jungle Book
Since the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum earlier this year, you might have noticed some disclaimers popping up on older films and TV shows, warning about scenes and characterisations that are considered outright racist and prejudiced today.
And Disney+ has now updated its own racism warning for some of its family favourites, in the hope that viewers will be able to learn from their 'harmful impact'.
The first movies to be included in the disclaimer - stating, "this program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions" - were The Aristocats, Fantasia and Lady and the Tramp.
But the channel has now changed its warning on films including Peter Pan, The Jungle Book and Dumbo too after members of the public accused Disney of trying to 'gloss over' the true impact of racism embedded in its films.
The new warning reads: "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."
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Disney explains the context surrounding some of the controversial content -which includes the cat in "yellow-face" playing the piano with chopsticks in 1970s film The Artistocats and the reference to Native Americans as 'redskins' in the 1953 film Peter Pan - as well as the fact Peter and the Lost Boys dance in headdresses, which is thought to be a 'form of mockery and appropriation of Native peoples' culture and imagery'.
Look at #DisneyPlus letting the people know early that their old films were racist and culturally insensitive.
Accountability is key, and historical context is important. pic.twitter.com/JvHVYMxBsk
- Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) November 12, 2019
The character of King Louie in The Jungle Book, an ape with poor linguistic skills who sings in a Dixieland jazz style and is shown as lazy, has been criticised for being a racist caricature of African-Americans.
While in Lady and the Tramp, two Siamese cats, Si and Am, are depicted with anti-Asian stereotypes. There is also a scene at a dog pound where heavily-accented dogs all portray the stereotypes of the countries their breeds are from - such as Pedro the Mexican Chihuahua, and Boris the Russian Borzoi
Some films, such as Song of the South, are also not available to stream on Disney+ at all because of racism concerns.
The advisories come as part of Disney's ongoing review of its archive content.
Featured Image Credit: Disney
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